JACK LAVENDER: Sorry I haven’t been

650mAh Project Space

Mist Vape Shop, 41 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1JD

20 January to 16 March 2018

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Walk from Brighton into Hove. Enter the Mist Vape Shop. Edge carefully through the throng of guests – are they here for the show, the vapes or the beer? Continue to the back of the room, turn the silver handle, push open the door and enter the exhibition.

What might you expect?

Is this a carport or a funeral parlor? A shrouded form, about the size of a small charabanc, takes up most of the floor space. Is it really a car? A waterproof, protective car protector covers the squarish, stolid form. Nothing moves, but it does not look heavy or monumental. A sheath of sorts creates a sense of mystery – but it has a feeling of commonplaceness about it. The perverse pleasure of not lifting the sheet to see what’s underneath overpowers any attempt to take a peep. Strange contradiction.

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At each end of the greyish form two vaguely eye-like slits might be considered as a sad and a happy cartoon face. From the world of theatre it’s comedy (Thalia) and tragedy (Melpomene). Both were daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. The latter was (is?) the Greek Goddess of Memory. Have we met before?

Standing on top is a singular, thin Chinese figurine. He’s certainly not Greek – but appears ancient nonetheless. Is this a shrine? He is anonymous, but strangely sentinel. He has authority. People giggle.

Around the form that is approached with an attitude of unexpected awe, the air is coloured purple and is comfortingly atmospheric. The LED monochrome light source from the floor produces a deep violet to lavender, misty dreamscape. The space around the form is rendered airy and cushion-like. It’s an eternal dawn or an evening twilight.

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An ambient soundtrack created by audio collaborator Dul Fin Wah! emanates from the centerpiece of the installation. What we see, hear and feel is one integrated whole.

Are memories dream-like?

The artist Jack Lavender is here; along with Tabitha Steinberg and Ella Fleck the co-curators. We’ll talk later – I want to form my own interpretation of this event. But I don’t want to understand. I want to take a ride: destination unknown.

Sorry I haven’t been? Pleased I went.

Geoff Hands (20 September, 2018)

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Links –

See more of Jack Lavender’s work at: https://theapproach.co.uk/artists/jack-lavender/images/

Hear Dul Fin Wah! on: https://soundcloud.com/dul-fin-wah

 

Author: Geoff Hands

Visual Artist / Writer

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