“Casting Glances in All Directions”

Supplement | London
115 Wallis Road
April 7, 2012–May 6, 2012

View of “Casting Glances in All Directions,” 2012.

The first work one encounters upon entering this group exhibition, by literally stepping on it just inside the door, is Philomene Pirecki’s Untitled (The belated fulfillment of a dream about which I should by then have ceased to care), 2011. Stenciled on the floor with transparent aerosol glue, the title quote from Proust’s Within a Budding Grove (1919) gradually becomes legible by the dirt tracked in by viewers. At once droll and elegiac, this piece introduces the oneiric and elliptical mood of this carefully curated show, which revolves around ideas of centerlessness, accumulation, and a countervailing fugacity.

There is something strangely liminal, for instance, to Gwenneth Boelens’s video Hand Wall, 2007. This simple piece depicts a looped close-up of the artist’s hand as it steadily passes along the windows and white walls of a room. Meanwhile, Rob Lye’s small sculpture Peter Madonie interview 12 minutes 45 seconds (Interview no. 1), 2010, consisting of a humble cinder block with a couple of cigarette butts stubbed out on it, assumes, thanks in part to its company, a no less evocative air. But it is Camilla Wills’s Dictated from the Bed, 2011, which most directly suggests the refreshing illogic of dreams. Skipping back and forth from images of the artist in bed to shots of two different buildings—one glassy and reflective, the other squat and opaque—the video outlines in a disjunctive voice-over the alleged difference between cats and pigs: The former, it seems, are bloodless, while the latter are fat and have “thick edges,” like the buildings. The cogency of this work is difficult to account for—perhaps it can be attributed to the conviction with which it is narrated—but, much like this exhibition as a whole, one walks away from it as if from a dream, feeling pleasantly oblique and convinced.

— Chris Sharp