Curated by Paul SnellPoimena Gallery
Ten Days on the Island
March 11 to May 6
March 11 to May 6
‘It is what it is’ is such a frustrating statement. Usually, its utterance implies a lack of critical or analytical capacity, often tinged perhaps with defensiveness, or even a lack of inclination to engage. It can of course also refer on a higher plane to the truly ineffable or inexplicable – still somewhat frustrating. Yet in this excellent exhibition deftly curated by Paul Snell it finally has value and real meaning.
The 43 artists in this exhibition are only broadly linked stylistically in their commitment to abstraction, but the overriding conceptual connection is that their art demands a commitment from the viewer to engage with the elemental nature of the work, to accept that it is what it is, no more and no less.
The plethora of terms which could be employed to theoretically ‘place’ these various works could include, minimalist, reductive, purist, non-objective, concrete, hard edge abstract, materialist, formless, retinal, abject…and the list goes on.
As soon as we get involved in the limitations of such defining, we move away from the artwork, or we push it away. As Susan Sontag has elucidated, we effectively kill it, neutralise it.
Laurien Renckens states of her work - ‘one loses oneself in them’. We find ourselves in a new world of ‘delayed observation’. ‘You have to surpass a threshold, to feel at home vis-à-vis this work.’ And this is essentially true in relation to all the work in Orbit.
What is required is a willing submission. We often tend to look beyond the phenomenon of what is actually happening, what is actually there. We avoid the key confrontation which is actually one of submission to the, often ineffable, nature of the experience.
Excerpt exhibition essay, Sean Kelly