Isaac LythgoeI am getting sicker
14 February—04 April 2015
Almanac is thrilled to present I am getting sicker by British artist Isaac Lythgoe, a solo exhibition emerging from the residency programme Almanac Inn, Turin.
In an architectural journey as well-planned as an episode of MTV Cribs, the artist has laid out the gallery as a home for the segmented gaze. The go-go dancers’ presence might well carry the same signification as the hall of mirrors in Versailles – a multiplication of desire, insecurity and self-worth, bouncing off the walls to establish an uncomfortable flattening of space and personalities.
The Day-Glo whites of sports bras and tank tops form beacons of youth, channelling the promise of Scarlett Johansson’s opening scene in Lost in Translation, only slightly interrupted by the hieroglyphic verticality of each pose. Both are symbols, after all.
Once introduced to these guardian spirits, they follow us through the rooms, floating through portals of contemplation: the glass panes, wooden screens, moving images. Or rather, they are in each place at once and nowhere at all, the image diffused.
The attraction of the image-object-screen elicits a state of kaleidoscopic slow motion. The temptation of the veil is the experience of static movement, entering and passing through each translucent barrier, moving closer to the true face of beauty that is never the ultimate goal. On the other side of the windowpane we find nothing more than the repeated reflections of Blade Runner’s cyborgs and mannequins.
In the back room, mood-lit by the flicker of low-intensity life forms, symbols are rearranged into digital images, which proceed to circulate and collapse into resinous skeletons. In this realm of transubstantiation, brand names and sponsors take on the role of spiritual guardians, while the myths of our time are left to need translation from the shortened perspectives of Go-Pro cameras and drone footage.
Luxury problems: while attempting to navigate the geometrical architectures of information, you feel increasingly disconnected from your avatars, your projected selves. The idols polished for public display are overlapping into an unrecognizable pattern, endlessly swirling like a blizzard of cherry blossoms.
The purity of the image is realized in its decay. That which does not rot cannot ever crystalize.
I am getting sicker
a text by the artist included in the show
The mouth is only for decoration and protection.
I am reminded of a moment in Berlin some while before. When things weren’t projected this clearly. Lost in the dark and running - running tired. River bends lacking forgiveness… That trip I spoke to people who weren't charming as if they were.
Here is different, when I passed over those mountains and felt those thousands of steps between my 36 and your few - I knew. Peak- trough- mountain- river. Stay trained on track, slimming gradients, maintaining my curves to withstand only the smallest sacrifices of speed.
Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusion of a person about to lose consciousness.
I ran along in the dusk. The flash-flow beside me a tributary taking me out to deeper water. I could feel the cold that it had carried from the mountains, hear the cold of it. Like the waves crackling in the still of an icy beach.
Translucent bodies see laboratory walls
This morning the pavements that had yet to feel the sun kept their skin of snow from last night. On the hills the sun would warm the south facing walls for a bend at a time. I imagined the summers here…
Climbing the road out of town I passed the city limits. The road winding, rearing steeply at points, the air feels thinner than I’m used to. Five miles up the road is a definite distance, but, the time goes blissfully as if there is no worry or problem. Warmingly I sweat - the odd drip leaving my face and it feels like a thawing; my frozen mind expunging like a radiator bled at the start of winter. As if I’d been putting up with the groans of the thing.
Before the world went away, I was a cautious person...