Curated by Clare Goodwin & Liz
GORDON CHEUNG (UK)
MARIANNE ENGEL (CH)
PIL & GALIA KOLLECTIV (IL)
ISABELLE KRIEG (CH)
JONATHAN McLEOD (UK)
BRUNO PACHECO (PT)
RACHEL REUPKE (UK)
Preview: Sunday 22nd June 2-5pm
Intense, in tense or in tents?
The title for the show has arisen out of a miscommunication.
pluperfect (as opposed to blueperfect) is a Latin tense used
in English grammar to describe future actions in the past
and not the name of a spoof advertising- or colour-prediction
agency. The artists chosen all create different contemporary
agendas for past perspectives on the future – re-examining
particular utopian/dystopian belief structures or schemes
(cultism, religious prophecy, visionary thinkers and scientific
theory) with the benefit of hindsight. Like the aural oversight
kept in the title, there is a sense of idealism to these artists'
acceptance of others' actions. They find new relevancy in
evidence of fallen systems or outmoded ideologies plucked
from the historical recycling bin.
The future pluperfect is also known as the hortatory
subjunctive; "hortor" meaning urge – in the
sense of making something happen or be done. And the majority
of the artists here employ facets of the instructional, call-to-arms
facility of media messaging in ways that blur the boundaries
between truth and fiction. There is a palpable urgency to
Gordon Cheung's pictorial narratives, rising phoenix from
the ashes out of yesterday's news. Using the tools of commercial
business and social activism (Financial Times pages, spray
paint), and Eastern and Western landscape painting traditions,
Cheung examines the real-world physicality implied by cultural
neologisms such as "cyberspace" or the "information
In her ongoing series of nocturnal photographs, executed with
just a camera and perhaps a torch, Marianne Engel views the
natural world from scientific, yet culturally cluttered perspectives.
The literary and filmic associations that tumble from each
image – from the Brothers Grimm to 'Close Encounters'
– transport us back in time but essentially reality
remains unchanged. At a certain time of night,
piles of sand may become alien entities, a harbour wall a
spiritual path way: the notion of a set up is ever present,
yet the variables that determine how and what that might be
exist only in the mind of the viewer.
Pil and Galia Kollectiv play directly with our understanding
of the structures at work within the social body. Their 2007
film 'Better Future Wolf-shaped', for example, follows the
tenderly funny rituals of a modernist cult with a documentary-critical
eye; reminding us equally of the political motivations behind
the telling of a story as the dogma of its subjects.
Isabelle Krieg communicates life's big themes through small
interventions and performative gestures. Stains in cups might
turn out to be newspaper imagery, or a carefully placed hair
on a bar of soap a geographical fault line. In recent large-scale
installations Krieg's political subtext is humorously packaged
but none-the-less powerfully felt: the male-dominant collection
at Kunsthaus Zürich is currently littered with giant
grape-like clusters of white Polyfoam breasts.
In his present series of hyper-real paintings, Jonathan McLeod
delivers news-topical and personal concerns through the languages
of art historical and religious iconography. Framing devices,
such as the recurring, thorny horseshow growth through which
we experience his prophetic urban visions, bring to mind the
altarpiece. The painfully executed, borderline surrealist
objects (such as trainers, a marker ofgangland territory)
strung from their branches, allude to the many factions of
the everyday as part of a wider universal narrative on belonging.
Bruno Pacheco's paintings reveal benign groups of people apparently
united by one kind of passion or another. Clowns, tourists,
a ring of dancers – are rendered through a filmy technological
glaze prompting speculation that what we see, perhaps, is
several times removed from source and reality. The everyday
nature of their curious activities begs the question of what
distinguishes cult from civic life.
Rachel Reupke digitally manipulates video footage of
real sites to question the political processes governing forms
of cultural development. In 'Now wait for last year' (2007)
she gave the architecture of Beijing a corporate-style makeover
incorporating both traditional and futuristic urban elements,
thereby subtly traversing very different ideological standpoints
on the notion of progress.
25th June – 27th July
Wed – Sun (11-6) Sat (12 – 6)
London SE16 2UA.
Tel / +44 (0) 20 7237 1230
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
CAFE GALLERY - Southeast London's leading artist-led purpose-built
venue for contemporary art
DILSTON GROVE - London's most important raw space for experimental,
installation and site-specific art
Please note the galleries are only fully staffed during exhibitions.