John Hurrell – 23 November, 2010
It's all very solipsistic and self reflective in its navel-gazing intensity, but there is a droll humour about the combative nature of Patterson's interaction with the settings and props. The LCDs are an anti-immersion strategy that emphasises the materiality of the installation; a showcasing of substance that makes you more aware of your own body - and not forgetful of it or besotted with the gallery space.
27 October - 27 November 2010
With this current Campbell Patterson installation we have the expected videos of him at night performing various strange actions, like clambering up trees, digging holes, laying slabs, moving rocks across country steams - mixed with olfactory elements in the gallery that we see onscreen, such as sweaty t-shirts or damp towels. Plus there are the ‘clean’ floral smells from squirted glops of body soap left in drying puddles on the floor by the front window.
The videos are presented on a row of four LCD screens (all different brands) on a camp stretcher placed inside on the floor. Being so small they make you bend over to get in closer to see, and also to get a whiff of the nearby aforementioned ‘aromatic’ clothing linked to them.
Despite their diminutive nature, there is something filmic in these moving images that was not really obvious in Patterson’s work in the ARTSPACE show he had about a year ago. These images have a nice blurry, lingering quality, a slight ghosting that makes them oddly beautiful in a manner I’ve never noticed before. The dark blue streakiness seems intensified on the small LCD screens, making the grainy murky image of Patterson’s once stocky body now slightly pudgy - and vaguely cute in its vulnerability. It becomes decorated by the technology streakily affecting the screens. Of course his overt narcissism is part of the joke he chooses to ignore, hiding vanity behind earnestness, action and purpose.
It’s all very solipsistic and self reflective in its navel-gazing intensity, but there is a droll humour about the combative nature of Patterson’s interaction with the settings and props. The LCDs are an anti-immersion strategy that emphasises the materiality of the installation; a showcasing of substance that makes you more aware of your own body - and not forgetful of it or besotted with the gallery space.
Yet despite the image quality, I think Patterson has overdone it with his arrangement of discrete items. The screens are too small, for despite the calculatedly slovenly ambience of the presentation they look slightly dinky. A pinch twee. They make it difficult for the viewer to get involved. As a walk-in sculpture with moving image components it doesn’t work.
Two Rooms presents a program of residencies and projects
by leading international and New Zealand contemporary artists.
GRACE BUTLER MEMORIAL FOUNDATION AWARD AT ARA
3 Month Studio Residency for an Artist with an Association with Canterbury