Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
Airspace Gallery, Stoke on Trent
3-24 November 2007
Reviewed by: Helen Thompstone »
With a confusing premise 'The Parallax View' seems distorted in both its aims and execution. A large installation by Mozal and Joaquim greets the visitor to the gallery, huge orange weather balloons, cement mixers and umbrellas rest on mirrors, occupying a corner of the gallery floor and wall. The piece is unaided by its apparent dislocation from the other works. The sarcasm and cliche hinted at in the installation seems to be echoed elsewhere within the show although it felt unclear whether this was intentional or not.
Further into the gallery the group show continues with pieces on a smaller scale-an assortment of sculptural, pictorial and video work. The sculptural pieces felt the least engaging seeming to possess little sympathy for the location in which they were being shown and ultimately the potential audience. The video works were perhaps a better representation of what the curator was attempting but failed to induce much interest.
A couple of pieces had a certain charm. A tape recorder played mix tapes salvaged from abandoned vehicles in scrap yards. Making a social connection this felt a more genuine gesture with 80's pop tracks somehow managing to rescue the awkward situation. Tristan Hessig's work was more intriguing but like the majority of the works looked lost and unplaced. Some folky looking boxes adorned with shells set in plaster looked like they might have had a more interesting reason for being but again this was lost or at least misdirected.
An exhibition with lofty ambitions 'The Parallax View' at the airspace gallery Stoke on Trent fails to clarify any kind of point. Describing itself amongst other things as an exhibition where 'artworks and found materials overlap' the result can only be described as messy; thank goodness for those mix tapes.
A Staffordshire based visual artist
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