Friday, April 4, 2014

A response.

Persistent Joy

Regardless of where the works have actually come from, the exhibitions at Greenwood Street Project usually feel as if their material has been sourced directly from private collections. I guess it’s the intimate scale of the space, and also perhaps the functioning office (with “live” people) you walk through to reach it. But then all curated shows, I guess, function as temporary private collections/collations, that reflect the drives, whims and ideas of the person pulling them together.

Donald Holt’s Persistent Joy is a mix of works that he has personally collected, cajoled and snatched from their makers.  It forms a highly individual take on what it is to inhabit (however briefly, and in whatever state of consciousness) the varied environments one moves through. Shifting from outside to in (and then “out” again), the works are arranged as a sequence of spatialities: Andrew Browne’s tarnished nature scenes; Paul Knight’s intimate, ephemeral hotel room mise en scène; and then sites of communal pleasure depicted in André Giesemann and Daniel Schulz’s post-euphoric club interior photos, plus Stefan Marx’s stylised, synecdochically iconic mirror ball (wow – got to use the “s” word!).

In all of these image-based works, the absent human presence is suggested through traces, such as a forlorn smiley-face balloon, or a nature morte of used condoms.  Like the spinning mirror ball, the party stops and starts at the flick of a switch.  And if the guest list is being constantly shuffled, we have to credit this to that other party-giver, whose anamorphic skull is concealed in Holt’s poster design for his exhibition.

Michael Graf
April 2014

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