18 April – 3 June 2007
For OCEAN POSE, John Russell’s first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery – and also first solo show in London – THE ARTIST PRESENTS THE SPECTACLE OF FOUR TEN BY THIRTY-FIVE FEET BACK-LIT TABLEAUX, DIGITALLY PRINTED ON VINYL, DEPICTING SCENES OF PEOPLE STANDING IN A SEDUCTIVE AND INFINITE OCEAN IN THE THROES OF ECSTASY. These are people SAYING ‘YES’ TO LIFE – CAUGHT IN THE THRALL OF THE EVENT AND SPREADING THEIR DESIRE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD LIKE A CONTAGION. It may be unclear whether these poses are the result of ‘FREE WILL’ or whether they are fixed as narrative or compositional elements within a wider ‘philosophical context,’ but in fact these questions are subsidiary to the performative or ILLOCUTIONARY FORCE of the works as the staging of a staging, or PRESENTATION OF A PRESENTATION. A SELF-ARTICULATION OF THE FICTION OF AN ARTWORK-AS-EVENT-AS-PROPHECY-AND/OR CURSE OF THE UNLEASHING OF THE POWER OF THE FALSE. In this respect the SHIMMERING SUN-SOAKED PLANE OF THE OCEAN is equivalent to the illuminated surface of the picture/object plane, both PITCHED SUPERFICIALLY AT THE SURFACE OF THINGS as an absolute (abstract/virtual) flatness – an incorporeal realm where the forms, passions, shapes and rhythms of this flatness might slip and explode as ideas, shapes, states of affairs, bodies and forces in the real world, FROM WHICH THEY ARE ANYWAY NOT SEPARATED.
OCEAN POSE exists in a variety of actualisations - the exhibition at Matt’s Gallery, a website which will be online during the exhibition and a publication/artwork, the 13th in the second series of Matt’s Gallery booklets, available free of charge at the exhibition.