A Joke Without Laughter
Alexandra Nemaric, Aly Westwood, Angus Baird, Phil Edwards, Si Ma Va- Presented by c3 Projects
A sickly green that permeates its surroundings- biting into pixelated photographs- rosy pink spots embellish the grins of leering masks… melancholic blue photographs peak out from dense high school-skater-scribblings… For A Joke Without Laughter, artists create work that is seemingly saccharine and playful, but further scrutiny reveals something darker, thornier; a convoluted narrative tangle that defies resolution. The work of the exhibiting artists sits on the precipice of abstraction and figuration: for some, what ostensibly appears automatic, or abstract is embedded with concealed narrative, for others narrative seems inherent, but upon closer inspection, content is rendered absurd or nonsensical. Referencing what critic Claire Bishop refers to as ‘the formation of elements capable of speaking twice: from their readability and from their unreadability’ (1), this collection of works seems charming or inviting, but remain evasive- secretive even.
1. Bishop, C 2012, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, Verso, London.