Adeline de Monseignat & Berndnaut Smilde – The Uncanny
The Uncanny is an idea of the strange talked about by Freud, which is not out and out wackiness, but a subtly unsettling feeling where something is just out of place. Adeline de Monseignat and Berndnaut Smilde create uneasy wonders from recognisable things.
De Monseignat’s sculptures achieve a sense of intrigue by compelling you to imagine how they might feel – fur and feathers, encased within large glass globes. They reference so many different concepts that they simply exist as art. They sit there while you just enjoy looking at them and allow them to resonate personally. You will probably never quite finish wondering how they were made. Perhaps less convincing are the globular blob mirrors, which are wrapped in what seem to be nappies.
The idea of a cloud with a consciousness is currently used to great effect in a Guinness advertising campaign. You might immediately suspect Smilde of using Photoshop to achieve these clouds within interiors, but the lighting and the traces of mini puddles betray their reality. In fact, the artist uses fog machine technology to create cloud phenomena just long enough to photograph them. Once the idea is established, the difference is the choice of interiors: municipal halls and industrial spaces, occupied only by a cloud. The clouds manage to be cute and awesome at the same time; they stay in the imagination and engender the childish sort of hope that you just might come across one yourself one day, just around a corner.
These two artists’ works sit well together, creating a coherent exhibition. The gallery is all concrete, bare and bright – just the right blank canvas to discover marvels.
The Uncanny is at the Ronchini Gallery, 22 Dering Street, from 16th January to 16th February 2012.
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