All Suffering SOON TO END!
14 April – 6 June 2010
Jennet Thomas’ first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery, All Suffering SOON TO END!, comprises narrative film and installation incorporating sculpture, sound and performance.
Thomas has reconstructed the gallery into two interconnecting chambers. In the first, the Dark Chamber, a 30 minute film plays continuously. Escalating into a series of surprising and rhythmic variations, the film depicts a number of elaborate parallel worlds which become increasingly absurd and disturbing. The second Purple Chamber, entered only through the first, houses a further alternate world, theatrically enclosed in purple tickertape tinsel. Key motifs depicted in the film are exaggerated and distorted – as if by centuries of mistranslation – into sculptural and sound installations, inhabited on occasion by performative presences.
Thomas takes a contemporary evangelical pamphlet – describing the ‘end of days’ – as her inspiration. An imagined characterisation of the pamphlet’s author acts as the film’s main protagonist. This passionate and menacing Purple Preacher is a conflation of fundamentalist preacher and cartoon super villain from 60s and 70s Marvel comics, The Purple Man, whose superpower lies in his ability to instantly convince and persuade.
Calling at the home of an elderly couple, the Purple Preacher uses his curious allure to enchant the unwitting residents. A hypnotic slide show, life-sized Adam and Eve rubber dolls, a disconcerting trip to a model village, and an impromptu gig in the garage, are amongst the surreal tools the preacher employs to illustrate his sermon.
At moments sinister and alarming whilst at others charming and enchanting, this mesmerizing world of surreal repetition bombards the senses. A speculative exploration into cultural forms of ‘belief’ and representation, this darkly comic work satirizes the persuasive rhetoric of fanaticism, and begs the question:
WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO RULE? AND WHO’S RULE IS RIGHT?