Fractal Paisleys is a bizarre collaborative exhibition showing at the Embassy Gallery for the second half of this month. You enter the exhibition through a dark ‘cave of forgotten dreams’ installed by Jessy Jetpacks modelled on the Chauvet caves in France. The primitive atmosphere is further enhanced by supporting music from Benny Woo, who composed a piece by completely metamorphosing an interview dialogue into ‘whispers, and snatches of speed, processed through chains of thousands of resonant filters.’ The cave creates a very interesting atmosphere for the viewer to proceed into the exhibition, but as you open the curtain to exit into something more, you are left disappointed. In contrast to the intriguing setting are some fairly unexciting works, all of which seem to be curated in a random manner.
The works that I found the most intriguing were William Darrel’s kinetic sculptures that ‘harness the mesmeric by tapping into sensitive primitive areas of the brain.’ In one of the works, copper-like chains move in a circular motion on marble slabs, portraying the never ending cyclical behaviour of a capitalist society. Another work plays with static electricity inviting the viewer to engage not with the work, but the space it inhabits.
The third artist in this exhibition, Jake Russel, employs the use of painting and video. Russel’s videos attempt to add to the atmosphere created by Jetpacks’ cave, however they seem to fall short. The visual imagery of Russel’s paintings does not seem to sync with that of the rest of the pieces of the exhibition, and neither was the technique or imagery too interesting. But in his video installations Russel really seems to be playing with some interesting imagery and sound, creating concepts to put together this piece. Russel says that he ‘desperately tries to get an image together that explains something’, but it is in sound making and sound enhancing that his strengths lie.
Some of the works in the exhibition are interesting, but not awe-inspiring. And though these works can be appreciated for the technique employed by the artists to create them, particularly the kinetic sculptures by William Darrel, the installation of that of other works in this exhibition, exploring completely different ideas, does not do justice to either in getting a strong message across to the viewer.
Until 11 February 2018
Photo Credit: Aayushi Gupta