John Hurrell – 30 September, 2011
In the gallery handout, Hadley bemoans what he sees as the limitations of working in video - its cramped environs compared to a bigger space in a gallery - but actually up in the loft, the monitor draws you in. It seems richer and more mysterious having most of the props on screen and out of direct sight or physical reach.
2 September - 8 October 2010
This droll little installation up a very steep ladder, situated outside the entrance to the Film Archives viewing room, takes you to a high space occupied by the work of third-year Elam student Jack Hadley. The installation is a whimsical blend of a colourful meditation info commercial (the sort of thing Dan Arps likes to appropriate) easily found on youtube, and a garish kinetic papier-mache installation of the eighties by say Debra Bustin.
The display features a lucky Japanese ceramic cat (Maneki Neko) waving (or beckoning) to us as it sits over by the far K’ Rd window, with the video monitor presented through a hole cut in the cat’s packaging box, placed much closer and facing the viewer on the other side of the triangular hoist. We perhaps need all the luck we can get as we ponder the future and how to get our sweet arses safely out of this vertigo-inducing tower.
Hadley’s video shows himself draped in flowing robes, playing some sort of strange winged recorder, teaching a mantra and exhorting us to inhale and exhale. Vague and lumpy psychedelic animal forms abound with organic blobby, glittery, dotty shapes everywhere. Despite the presence of knobby spiders and more cats, it has an underwater ambience.
In the gallery handout, when chatting to Arron Santry (ARTSPACE’s curatorial intern), Hadley bemoans what he sees as the limitations of working in video - its cramped ‘monitorial’ environs compared to a bigger space in a gallery - but actually up in the loft, the monitor draws you in. It seems richer and more mysterious having most of the props on screen and out of direct sight or physical reach. The austerity of the remote room is a nice foil for the sumptuousness of Hadley’s filmed mini-theatre, which in itself is a natty parallel to the colourful General Idea and Patricia Dauder works downstairs in Test Transmission. In picking him and placing him where she did, ARTSPACE’s new director Caterina Riva obviously planned it that way.
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