Curated by Rachel Price
7 artists respond to the Greek myth of Sisyphus through sculpture and video, exploring notions of the absurd, futility and circularity whilst displaying an immersion in the process, be it material or conceptual.
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king who for his crimes was subjected to the ceaseless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain only to watch it fall down the other side, and to repeat this for all eternity. It is Sisyphus’ approach to his hopeless fate that rouses interest, the myth being frequently revisited by both visual artists and literary figures.
Nick Bailey’s work uses readily recognisable and archetypal objects as a launchpad to a new realm, one of temptation and disappointment. Using a language of familiarity which stretches to one of whimsical desire and self-restraint, Bailey’s work questions the act of spectatorship. Is it acceptable to engage with the work? At best, this still only amounts to physical contact with an object or objects and remains only a superficial disguise.
Alexander Bates is inspired by the human desire to create order out of disorder, undermining and rebelling against this compulsion. His work attempts to question the definition of something as a “work” of art, as well as questioning the object’s value.
Jim Bond is best known for his large scale kinetic sculptures and installations. Bond uses the human condition as a springboard for his mechanical works. Often reductive and subtly humorous these works highlight the circular nature of the everyday. The cold mechanical aesthetic of these works is frequently at odds with the very human content evoked.
Through his work Rodney Dee explores notions of ritualism and the connections held between physical action and transcendence. Whilst working predominately in video and basing works around the body, Dee looks to explore one’s ability to exceed boundaries, and move between different spaces. An interest in the perpetual nature of the Sisyphus legend comes to the fore in Dee’s artistic practice.
JooHee Hwang’s questioning of the idea of territory results from personal experience: of finding herself in unfamiliar surrounds. She explores a ‘subjectivity of space’ through her vast sculptural installations. Hwang’s interest in the Sisyphus myth lies in the notion of a world within a world: for Sisyphus, the mountain became a world within itself, a new reality.
Rachel Price's work is concerned with investigating the dynamic between our material and our conceptual worlds, often through the pairing of image and form. Price works on the assumption that our physical experience of the world helps inform our conceptual formation of it. As an independent curator Prices provides opportunities for artists to produce new works in response to challenging curatorial themes, questioning the context of artistic practice.
The exhibiting artists are amongst the freshest of the contemporary arts sphere in London and all have well-established careers in the art world, both in the UK and internationally. It is a pleasure to bring them together in Deptford, itself home to a burgeoning artistic community which it is Core Gallery’s intention to reveal.