Friday, September 06, 2013

Suppression. For one week only.

I wasn't going to post again so soon, but there's an exhibition on at Rook Lane that will be over when I come back from Spain and really deserves recommendation. Multi-media artist Mark Carr fills the coolly austere gallery space with colour & discord: big acrylics, challenging woodcuts, disturbing videos ~ and music & poetry. At last night's opening Mark was ready to talk about his theme of 'suppression' as well as his techniques. The self-portraits came from an experience of wrongful arrest: there's a video that evokes the confusion of captivity, which led to exploration of the integral aspects ~ anxiety, wariness, and a kind of defiance. This was the image that led Mark to think about his capacity, and the capacity of all of us, to be a 'suppressor' to others.
All the visual work here in some way exposes what is suppressed or hidden. A series of brightly-coloured prints of jolly characters, looking almost like Canterbury pilgrims, is unambiguously titled with actual identities: cardinal, chief executive, child killer... The video in the main room, Hand of God (2) is about the Pope's visit: note the haunted cherubs in the corners. The big woodcuts use a Hogarth/comic-book crude energy to evoke political anger. But don't go without reading some of the poems in the display copies of "13": they show a different side to the artist, reflective and even rhapsodic, as he walks in the countryside appreciating moments like a "peach river showing sunset clouds."

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