29 Nov 11 - 28 Jan 12
Rumour From Ground Control
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TJ Boulting is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo show with British artist Jennifer Taylor, ‘Rumour From Ground Control.’ Taking its lead from David Bowie’s classic song ‘Space Oddity’, Taylor has created a surreal playground, and predominantly white installation of objects, whose apparent serenity belies darker, underlying tensions relating to isolation, loss of control and physical and psychological anxiety.
The objects are tactile and alluring in form; ovoids, curved and shapely, or linking to human physical dimensions, and with almost perceptible functions. One can imagine some as furniture, a rocking chair form, or a placebo lover, whose form fits snugly to the body. Constraining the body, the objects resonate a certain control and dominance, while the bleached palette suggests something removed, a shell of reality, the function twisted in some weird perversion. This vacant and bizarre apparatus seeks to muddle the mind, triggering a sense of bewilderment, something either thrilling or threatening. As in the song when Major Tom loses contact with Ground Control and floats off into oblivion, here we are presented with a deserted environment, and a sense of hopeless abandonment.
Though the body is absent among this malformed equipment, there are still suggestions of obscure functions and a relationship with the body. As many of the objects would restrict or imprison an individual this in turn leads to an underlying and unsettling sense of anxiety. The objects shift in role between ones of torture or pleasure, but through the absence of the body any personal fantasies must remain in the imagination as physical actions. Like a Hieronymous Bosch for the 21st Century, all the weird fantastical instruments denote the folly of human pleasure and the darker side of its moon.
Formally there is an important relationship between the objects, a dialogue or understanding of one another as repeated shapes and forms occupy the same space. Often unified by their whiteness and removed from familiar contexts, new collective and displaced narratives emerge.
The work stems from a previous project ‘Ground Control’ at The Wapping Project this year, a vertical hanging installation of white objects like a celestial gymnasium in its tall hydraulic tower. ‘Rumour From Ground Control’ extends the themes of isolation and control, by honing the forms of the individual objects and their relationship to us and each other in the space. It becomes an exploration of human thresholds – pain or pleasure - and their psychological limits.