John Hurrell – 19 July, 2012
Intriguingly the three ‘antennae' sculptures in this show have been carefully aligned on certain walls to take advantage of their directional properties so that the peak reading each architectural location receives becomes its name. In other words these titles refer not only to each discrete sculptural object but its installational vector: its positioning. The two can't be separated.
10 July - 28 July 2012
Located close to the marinas and fish markets of the Viaduct Basin waterfront, Gloria Knight is now having its fifth exhibition - by Francis Till, one of four individuals (the others being Henry Babbage, Juliet Carpenter and Oscar Enberg) who founded the venue in mid-March.
Till’s elegantly hung exhibition consists of six minimalist metal and glass sculptures. These refer either to 3G (third generation) network antennae that relay mobile telecommunication signals, or else iPhones themselves. Each work has conspicuous layers of mesh in the form of perforated stainless steel, or perforated vinyl as a digital print on toughened glass. The former have moire effects because of their two layers, and the vinyl versions irregular patterns with inventively distorted forms.
The iPhones in Till’s hands have been simplified and enlarged (in the manner of Oldenburg or Opie) while this has not happened for the antennae. He is obviously commenting on the power of social media, though the aerials are closer to the semantic ambiguity that, say, the paintings of Matt Henry have as ‘realistic’ fittings within office architecture. The iPhones instead are more symbolic as indicators of the social network, being too large to be potentially perceived as mimetic objects.
Intriguingly the three ‘antennae’ sculptures in this show have been carefully aligned on certain walls to take advantage of their directional properties so that the peak reading each architectural location receives becomes its name. In other words these titles refer not only to each discrete sculptural object but its installational vector: its positioning. The two can’t be separated.
There is a sense that Till might be using this Light Industry technology as a trope for ordinary social exchange, or specifically the politically charged (tribal) dynamics of the art community. While he could also be concerned say that 3G signals have a detrimental effect on the health of the communities living and working around these transmitters, these snazzy pop arty objects are also symbols for their users and the network of social relationships they are part of.
The black iPhones amuse because the two versions are positioned differently to the walls and head of the walking visitor: sideways versus frontal. You peer through them or at them. With the mesh they could be cages or even coffins, while the antennae planes of vinyl on glass could be futuristic Op Art paintings. Slightly creepy yet alluring, these impeccable sculptures are apt symbols of our time and an excellent reason to visit Gloria Knight.