Rob Swainston: They said what we said, only clearer. We thought they thought what we thought, but they didn’t
1 April – 22 May 2016
Opening reception Friday,
1 April from 6 – 10 pm
Rob Swainston’s second solo show at Marginal Utility “They said what we said, only clearer. We thought they thought what we thought, but they didn’t.” asks one overarching question in the context of two related installations: Is it on the periphery of our vision and the margins of our speech that we are closer to knowing?
We think we can draw a line between the historic and the now, but it is unsatisfying. We think the image is fixed materially and historically, but it is not. For example, we can look at renaissance images and narratives of the beheading of saints or of the crusades and we sense that humanity is not far removed from the barbarism of our past. But the more we look the harder this is to see. Something makes the lines impossible. Is it our point of view? Is it our culture? Is it this thing we call global capitalism?
In each work in the exhibition, images emerge from spaces between, between backlit layers of printed fabric; or mirror-reflected images of clouds. We assume what we see present and past exist in their respective places, but the harder we look the fainter the image. What is this blur? If we want what we say and see to be clearer, do we need to look and speak less?