Opening: 5-8pm, Saturday, February 23, 2013
The term “Absurdistan” was once used to describe the often-nonsensical goings-on within the borders of the USSR and its satellite states, but absurdity can exist in a variety of different realms, from the national, to the local, to the personal to the fictitious. In this show, ten artists present their own visions of the absurd — taking reality and twisting it ever so slightly to create something familiar enough to remind us of ourselves, but strange enough to provoke contemplation.
Many of the artists in this show use reality as a departure point: for instance Christina Shmigel’s strangely-proportioned recycling cart, Linda Duvall and Peter Kingstone’s series of interviews with street-wise people about unconventional skills, Leung Chi Wo’s sign-language instruction video which features some unorthodox vocabulary and Qian Rong’s reflections on the lives of the mid-century Chinese literati.
Ailadi Cortelletti presents a series of animal drawings based on the novel “Cronopios and Famas” about friction between two social groups, while Chen Xi uses equally caricaturized forms, animals and space creatures to make a comment on futility. Savinder Bual picks up the same theme with two video pieces featuring inanimate toys and Melissa Thompson uses porcelain finger puppets to express a feeling of forlornness over the hopeless struggle for survival. Orianne Zanone takes to the streets searching for post-consumer waste and local materials to construct semi-architectural, semi organic objects which defy our human need for rational categorization while Ang Sookoon presents us with strange juxtapositions: pieces of bread out of which grow clusters of crystals. In light of these myriad visions of the irrational and the nonsensical — by contrast, or world on earth looks not so strange after all.