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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Richard Ducker

There is undoubtedly something very strange going on in Joshua Raffell‘s work. It is not that there are no precedents, Paul McCarthy being one of the more obvious. What troubles here is the lexicon of materials and the atmosphere it creates. Although it is a world populated by sexual (masturbatory) urgency, unlike McCarthy this is not the set of daytime TV. Neither does it use the device of repetition or the epic strung out performance. Rather, through the use of ‘crude’ hand made puppets, it sets this performative excess within a very English domestic as if the Id has suddenly interrupted a polite cup of tea – two sugars, and please don’t hit me Mr Punch! Although this then results in the abject of the settings they are fabricated with the consideration of an old lady’s crochet. This attention to craft places the violation is from within – and yet the viewer is left laughing, albeit a little nervously…

By Richard Ducker, (fieldgate Gallery) 2010

From ‘It Smelt Like a Hot Banana’ by Joshua Raffell

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