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JH

FrontBox Installation

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Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Detail. Image courtesy of the artist. Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Image courtesy of the artist. Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Detail. Image courtesy of the artist. Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Detail. Image courtesy of the artist. Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Detail. Image courtesy of the artist. Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Detail. Image courtesy of the artist. Zhoe Granger, Asymmetrical Mall Cut, video installation at FrontBox. Detail. Image courtesy of the artist.

Thematically the work seems to be about the post-structuralist projection of commodity desire onto the acquiescent Self. Propped up on a block of charcoal-coloured packaging material is a car door window, a transparent 'screen' on which is an image of two clutching but empty female hands. On the right on a plasma screen is a continually revolving turntable on which appear an endless line of phantom products, each one fading into view and out again - to be replaced by another.

Auckland

 

Zhoe Granger
Asymmetrical Mall Cut

 

15 September - 26 October 2012

Visible at night through the FrontBox window from the St. Paul Street footpath, Zhoe Granger’s Asymmetrical Mall Cut in the AUT building blends sixties haircut with compositional imbalance: a small installation with a video loop component. You can see the video here.

Thematically the work seems to be about the post-structuralist projection of commodity desire onto the acquiescent Self. Propped up on a block of charcoal-coloured packaging material is a car door window, a transparent ‘screen’ on which is an image of two clutching but empty female hands. On the right on a plasma screen is a continually revolving turntable on which appear an endless line of phantom products, each one fading into view and out again - to be replaced by another.

These range from boxes of iced coffee and a laptop, to glassy minerals and fashion garments. Some products like white robes or wine glasses are shredded or shattered as they turn, and at the end a young woman is shown wearing a large visor and pointedly holding a handful of cards. These she is looking at closely, as if searching for a solution to commodity addiction.

Granger has made a nicely integrated mini-installation blending moving image with static sculpture, and exploiting darkened glass as a key symbolic element, a screen onto which ‘we’ are projected. The presence in the window of the VCR player, the silver appliance and meandering electrical cords, is crucial - for it adds an instrumentalist component to the reading, a sense of societal inevitability, of greater forces at work.

At times the imagery also has a poetic dimension, such as a high heeled shoe stepping on a chunk of shell-encrusted aggregate, or a buckled woven paper mat swelling like the sea. These seem to be subtle references to the turbulent ocean as a trope of overwhelmingly pervasive social fluidity, and a possible allusion to the large billboards of Ruth Watson (see Landfall #177), with her symbolic weaving of ‘nature’ versus ‘culture’ in constructing the language-speaking Self. A physically simple but intellectually complex window display well worth investigating.

John Hurrell

 

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