SURFACE AT PLAN 8 SHOWROOMS, PARIS
SURFACE is a group show curated by the art collective Ruiz Stephinson. It gathers a number of artists from their online gallery, #submergevillage, whose cyber-walls they decided to bring down when they took over the space of the Plan 8 showroom in Paris over the weekend.
What apparently connects all of these artists is their dealing with the notion of surface as a paradoxical phenomenon. Rather than questioning what can be seen and its obviousness, the artworks seem to play with the essential hybridity of appearances.
Anthony Stephinson, a member of the collective, reveals the material dimension of the canvas with flayed paintings coloured in a way reminiscent of Magritte’s skies, while Sex Body Ache’s print is an open-heart surgery on conventional desire and its relationship to everyday language (which is mostly the language of the web). By contrast, the other pieces could be described as tributes to awkwardness. A somewhat surrealistic thread connects Charlie Le Mindu’s doll hands and hairy lips, Giles Round’s ceramic penises, and TCDV’s drawing of a corpse and photographs of attractive statues. Though these works are very different from one another, their shared treatment of surface as a porous skin offers a mischievously satisfying dimension to that which disturbs the eye.
These works may at first seem bizarre, but in the end they are surprisingly familiar. Highly recommended.