Kiss Chase @ Electro Studios Project Space

Kiss Chase @ Electro Studios Project Space

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Kiss Chase at Electro Studio Project Space is an exhibition showcasing the work of seven contemporary artists in a variety of media, including painting, film, printing, and sculpture. The works reflect on childhood through approaches ranging from humour and irony to the uncanny and the subversive, resulting in a compelling show that is at times intriguing and unsettling.

I went with Rebeka to see Kiss Chase at Electro Studios Project Space and it was good, and better than the art we eventually saw at another gallery that will not be mentioned. It was a joy to meet Paco de Quesada and discuss how art follows and mimics the patterns in our lives.

There was a delightful variety in works on show, which is always nice to see. When I go to see art I like to put the artists statements and catalogues in my bag before reading them, so I can view the art with an open mind, allowing me to question and read the work, only later seeing if the artists message is coming through loud and clear. Punk Venus by Anne Parfitt nailed this perfectly, and reminded me of fairytales, greek mythology, and other satirical artists (See: Gavin Turk, The Chapman Brothers, Paul McCarthy).

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'What pleases is what is terrible, gentle and poetic': Georges Franju. An actress is trapped within a five second loop of the Spanish film, 'La Isla Minima' ('Marshland'). She confronts and then retreats from the viewer, inviting and rejecting, accepting and denying us. Her duplicate walks alongside her, but is out of sync, out of time - evoking feelings of loss and abandonment.

Russell Miller too, created a piece that captured my imagination, not just with it's clever installation that encouraged the viewer to be intimate with the work. The jarring video made me think of being stuck in a moment, one of growth that was stunted, that time in our lives where we are all arrogant but only because of our naivety and ignorance.

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Hermoine Allsopp exhibits a piece that un-ashamedly feminist and juxtaposes soft furnishings with a masculinity that is felt rather than seen. There are holes in the work, that could be explored, and Rebeka reminded me that once a critic commented that women make works with holes and dark spaces. Allsopp's sculpture reminds me of home, and lights going out and being a child afraid of the big black thing in the corner of the room at bedtime. If I had to pick a piece of work from the exhibition that related to my childhood, it would be this one, but I can't tell you anymore than that, it just feels right.

Geraldine Swayne, Gerard Hemsworth, Alexandra Drawbridge and Paco de Quesada all exhibit works at Electro Studios Project Space that also re-affirm the questions raised in the show, simmering below the surface of some interesting works is a seedy, dirty feeling of childhood, adolescence (especially), and coming of age. This multi-layered approach lends itself to a questioning of why we romance the idea of childhood so much. Why to be young and naive is ideal, when it is also such a vulnerable position? That for many of us, there is a rose-tinted view of whimsy associated with children and our own childhoods.

Maybe I am alone in never wanting to be a child again, not because of ignorance of vulnerability, but because I was never comfortable within myself. Although I'm not overly comfortable or confident in myself as an adult, I am much more so than then, and I am also able to live and enjoy my life despite these insecurities.

The show, as quoted above, claims to be unsettling, and it does that, and it does that well, and for me, that's the best type of exhibition.

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Photographic Essay: September

Photographic Essay: September

Gonepteryx rhamni

Gonepteryx rhamni