Now I Know My ABC's

19.07.08 - 27.07.08

Led down the garden path to the warehouse at the end.

We are rarely easily led, and neither would we want to be as we find the joys in the unexpected and the curiosity that comes with remaining unexpectant. That is not to leave behind hope and suspense, but rather to seek an anticipation that remakes itself anew.  We would not want to deny ourselves the pleasure of being deceived- to be taken off balance and initially mistake one thing for another or nothing at all. It is with amazement to look at the games we play with our senses in an untameable continuum of challenges and pursuits. The meeting of the setting, with this project and its resolution strike me as a type of confluence, possessing an exotic mix of sources and reasons. The venue feels like a calmer stopping place on a course of hopefully little certainty, where here the unrelenting play of possibilities is becalmed and we may take ourselves aside and led astray from our own.

The curation of this exhibition is one of exploration, of a journey to four points where the destinations are all that is initially known. As if an excuse were ever needed for a journey, it’s reason is at first simply to see what is there. However, what we have before us is a collection of discoveries- brought back to us they form the detail and the intrigue of the narrative. However, like relics and antiques made trophy, nothing is quite so simple as these works brought together tell stories of their own, of their creation and motivations. So as the explorers return with these finds it is with a continued fascination in them, as it is the objects uncertainty that keeps the journey alive and still laden with possibility. They appear lived in like a skin shed and left behind, precise and full formed representations of an action, place and time, however possessing an imaginative and transformative quality that we are at ease to wonder in the absence of it’s former.

It seems to be that the works on show share an indefinable nature, each to their own, but perhaps withholding an inner performance, sign or definition. It is with a hunch that they are assembled together, each established from it’s own economy but with a potential tendency for an illusion or tale. Much like the necessary conceit that brings together the seemingly unlikely characters in the journey told in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, where the reader is led on unquestionably from the story of one protagonist to the contrast of the next, as they simultaneously construct the scenery to their own travels. It is hard not to be taken by the punctuation of transport routes of all forms that surround the building. Most striking is the trophy tall ship that is moored around the corner, retired from it’s days of fetching from far flung places, and it’s oceanic voyages to deliver guano to lands in need of fertiliser, an exemplar of a mix of conquest and discovery.

I enjoy the emergence of this work from the revelry in it’s own origins, to find it again here in an anecdotal retelling, perhaps gaining confidence, pronouncement and new alliances en route. There may be curiosity as to the possible difference in the contents and inclinations of these four similarly sea-born cities, but it is the camaraderie in the pursuit of the elusive, unreal, transcendent and uncanny that makes for a fine gathering and ceremony. With that, if it is the truth that be told, I would rather not know.