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Friday, 12 August 2011

Studio 1.1

Taboos rear up on their hind legs (and in our faces) in this well-past-the-watershed art: what exactly are we looking at? Initially perhaps a strong impression of craft, a choice of gay (old sense) domestic fabrics, clearly - defiantly, we might say – held together by stitching. (Whatever became of Invisible mending?) Obviously we're in the World of Quilts.

But then again - the other side of another watershed and they’re sculptures, totems, a soft-toy Golden Calf, clownish idiots our size occupying a space that could be playroom, carnival - somehow never brothel – the fabric not covering a body but being it, embodied, emboldened exactly to the point of precisely not going too far.

And when we see and turn the handle, what is that? We crank them into (real) life, make them do what comes naturally enough, if not normally to puppets or soft toys. What they're up to now is something Satyrical, conjured up by us. Unlike the idol (‘Gracieux fils de Pan…’) of Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations’ these figures’ erotic energy is conjured up(wards) not by the poet’s imagining but by our actions, our curious ungodly touch. We set things in motion without maybe knowing what the result’s going to be. We’ve made the grotesque come alive with the outcome authentic Panic - the unlicensed rite of Pan, right here in the gallery.

There were seaside amusement arcade peep-shows just like this – or there should have been...

Michael Keenan & Keran James

Studio 1.1

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