Review: Darkness Matters
The show runs until June 14 at John Buckley Gallery 8 Albert Street Richmond
Imagine a museum display from another planet, or imagine what the early seventies thought the future of art would look like and now imagine them getting it right. If you can't do either of these things then check out Giles Ryder's latest show, Dark Matter.
Ryder's grey matter must be like a black hole sucking in everything from Donald Judd to 2001:A Space Oddyssey; from Dan Flavin to disco to astrophysics and beyond. What we see on show at John Buckley Gallery is the event horizon of Giles Ryder's singular mind. Neon words and working light bulbs are embedded in gilded expanding foam and displayed on perspex plinths like space junk relics from some interstellar red light district. Ultra sleek abstract paintings on curled aluminium hang next to black perspex mirrors that reflect an alternate, darker world. More neon words and shapes hover above their reflections on tilted perspex canvases. Obscenely bulbous forms of coloured expanding foam are deposited on low stages while in the centre of the main gallery a black Perspex platform with oversized tungsten foot lights awaits some Martian performance.
The sleek surfaces endlessly reflect the neon aura that fills the room and the effect is spacey, lurid and strangely reverential (who will ascend the stage?). The objects Ryder creates are not quite like other things in that they do not re-present the world (in the way for example that images do) but they seem to be somehow new, inchoate and as yet unclassified. Certainly one can trace artistic influences of minimalism but this is not a minimal show, there seems to be very little evidence of subtraction or retrogression from a large unruly state to a purity of form. Rather this seems a new state of things, additional to the world. The objects seem newly formed from primal matter. They are propositional rather than analogous and seem, like Frankenstein's monster, to question what they are, and who they serve.
© Tony Lloyd 2008