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JH

bridle at Glovebox

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g.bridle, black wedge 3. Image: Joe Prisk g.bridle, Of the Spoiling, as installed at Glovebox. Image: Joe Prisk g.bridle, podpole. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, podpole. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, black wedge 3, detail. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, Of the Spoiling, as installed at Glovebox. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, Krivda 3 g. bridle, Of the Spoiling, as installed at Glovebox. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, Of the Spoiling, as installed at Glovebox. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, Dirt Work. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, Of the Spoiling, as installed at Glovebox. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, Of the Spoiling, as installed at Glovebox. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle: black work 10; Ferrule 4; black work 9. image: Joe Prisk g. bridle: black work 10; Ferrule 4; black work 9. Image: Joe Prisk g. bridle, the Inimical. Image: Joe Prisk

Around the corner is a beautifully framed (via painted fabric from an old Clairmont) photograph (The Inimical) of a man wearing a helmet that is like a cutaway bucket, and a parka. Comical but ominous, the headgear has vague overtones of a KKK hood, giving the image a creepy sense of confrontation - albeit mysterious. You are attracted, but there is a foreboding sense of terror about to be unleashed as well, as if in a scene from a Coen Brothers movie.

Auckland

 

g.bridle
Of the spoiling

 

13 August - 29 August 2015

Continuing the interest in mystery so apparent in earlier shows, g.bridle presents a new (for Auckland) poetic assortment of 8 items from his the Retreat archive, elegantly spread out in the L-shaped Glovebox. This artist specialises in making or finding objects we might eventually proclaim to have peculiarity as common ground, even though (in surrealist art especially) the best peculiarity is what first is taken for normality.

Glovebox uses two rooms separated by an open heavy (safelike) door, over which hangs a decorative drape anchored to the floor via a large cannonball. The ball shape is echoed in the sculpture positioned off to the cannonball’s right: a small rocking chair with a table tennis ball fastened to one of its curved runners. The heavy cannonball pinioning the cloth is static; the white light ping-pong ball bobs up and down on the rocker - when these spheres are compared, there is a strangely subtle humour in operation here. (Maybe metaphysical symbolism as well.)

Through the thick wall we go. On the left is a large coloured photograph of a strangely pointed, painted paper configuration (looks like a bright red turkey beak) perched on a green mossy rock. It is like a chili pepper, or deformed berry, and looks botanical and dangerous.

On the right on the dividing wall is a hessian stretcher covered with glued on dirt, and painted with raw umber. A monochrome, with symbolic texture that might reference the rock in the photograph.

Further along the wall is a shallow rectangular indentation, a sort of niche, where Bridle has inserted three objects: a truncheon, a chain link, and a dark weathered knob that appears to be either dried leather or bark covered wood. They look sinister, as if instruments of submission and brutality. They could be on hand for immediate use - like a enforcer’s (or thug’s) tool rack.

Around the corner is a beautifully framed (via painted fabric from an old Clairmont) photograph (The Inimical) of a man wearing a helmet that is like a cutaway bucket, and a parka. Comical but ominous, the headgear has vague overtones of a KKK hood, giving the image a creepy sense of confrontation - albeit mysterious. You are attracted, but there is a foreboding sense of terror about to be unleashed as well, as if in a scene from a Coen Brothers movie.

The show’s title alludes to plunder, both collecting as something avaricious, and accumulation as the removing of items from context: a destructive action with consequence perhaps at the multiple sources. Or it can even apply in a mystical sense to a soul’s capture (by a Divinity or Godhead), or a sexual union (as you might find, for example - for both cases - in some Leonard Cohen songs). In consideration of bridle‘s heading, the Glovebox space becomes a bunker, a heavy-walled repository for hiding, hoarding and protecting a trove, or a desired loved one.

A cannonball lies uselessly by the open doorway, denied access. The fidgety guard has got up and left the rocking chair, leaving the high peephole into the inner cell unattended, while the bucket-headed sentinel around the corner adjusts the mirror. A bucket over a cerebellum and spiralling, ricocheting thoughts of longing - bouncing around the room - unable to escape.

John Hurrell

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