Wednesday, 21 July 2010
FIELD - BY MEANS OF MATTER review
Nicole Morris, Distant Lovers
Field is a London-based artists’ collective united by circumstance and a common interest in space and materiality. This eight-strong unit journeyed from a warehouse complex in Peckham to present their show at the Generator’s industrial hangout in Dundee, a move that’ll be reciprocated in October when a Generator-curated group of Scottish artists will duly head down south in exchange.
The final push of Field’s own voyage took place in front of the gallery on the opening night when Francis Thorburn’s performance paraded a group of strapping lads in pants and red loincloths, all hauling barrels and planks up to the building’s forecourt. Once inside a DVD of previous Thorburn actions plays, and we see gangs of costumed celebrants parading with their rudimentary vehicles over London’s streets and parks. The sculptural elements in these performances are echoed in the main gallery by Natasha Bird’s imposing Steel Rods from Girder which breaks up the room’s architecture with eight towering metal bars. Similarly process-heavy items by Arthur Steward twist lamp-posts, bend steel and crumple aluminium into contorted, forbidding shapes. Nearby, Perspectual Entropy I & III pairs two large-scale paintings by Michael J. Davis that rest on the floor at right angles, their surfaces depicting a fractured geometry pushing and pulling the gaze through multiple perspectives.
In the work of Nicole Morris, objects in painted hardboard punctuate the floor and wall to conjure an after-image from the surrounding spaces. For Distant Lovers, two slim rumpled sheets of fabric modestly recline below an arrangement of tall wooden structures in the corner of the room. In keeping the best of the works on display, it’s a happy glimpse of frailty that still resonates far beyond the edges of this field.