Break in Transmission at The Holden GalleryJames Mathews-Hiskett
The Holden Gallery has an uncanny knack for drawing unexpected parallels and creating dynamic and exciting group exhibitions. Drawing on the unpredictable and unintentional, Break in Transmission certainly does not disappoint. Featuring Meriç Algün, Fiona Banner, Kerry Tribe, Shannon Ebner and Sam Durant, The Holden Gallery present a group of artists unafraid to expose the failures, miscommunications and unforeseen possibilities innate within modern modes of communication.
The artists range across text, installation, video and photography, pushing the limitations of their chosen medium and ripping context from under our feet. Language is at the heart of it all, as we see transformation as well as transmission, moments of change, and of loss. Although the work in this show seems at times ontological, it is also positively outward facing and routed in human experience.
Durant examines the power of language in a political setting. He appropriates texts taken from political protest signage and creates vibrant works using light boxes. Thus, changing the context of language loaded with emotion and creating a profound effect. Authorship as well as situation are scrutinised by Algün, who uses modes of collecting and receiving to expose the pitfalls of written communication. However, this is expressed in an almost celebratory fashion, recognising the power of failure to expand limitations and preconceptions.
Transformation takes on a physicality in Banner’s work, which combines language with a potent materiality. She creates tension where a relationship is formed between solid and industrial materials and written communication. Ebner also investigates how materials relate to one another, using photography to make the changing and fluid nature of text static. Similarly, Tribe expresses the failure of any one medium to record complex events, such as past memories, creating multi-media pieces that expose the ultimately flawed nature of representing the past.
At a time when the misinterpretation of information, and its questionable authenticity, seems so current, Break in Transmission at The Holden Gallery presents a truly thought-provoking experience.