Madeline Stillwell

‘Detail’, group show @ Galerie Open, April 5th, 2012

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A small, nondescript detail catches our eye; arrests us momentarily. Caught up in the moment, we stand and gaze at the scene or the image. But which fragment is it, and why? In the exhibition Detail,  Florian Japp, Madeline Stillwell and Peter Truschner show which moments of their perception influence their practice. Installations, collages and photographs explore how the fragmentary and fleeting reflects a wider reality.

Florian Japp (born 1971) likes to tease. Taking Franz West as his starting point, he constructs obviously non-functional large-scale sculptures in acid shades of bright. While associations with the gym (nets, balls, ropes, poles) are intended to frame the piece, these remain fragmentary. The viewer is left bemused, caught trying to imbue the pieces with functionality, but losing himself in the artist’s puzzle. The action of the pieces is thus restricted to the imagination, and one is left meandering in a slightly malfunctioning parallel universe.

Peter Truschner’s (born 1967) photographs resemble film stills with highly-saturated colours and seemingly casual compositions, fragments excised from a much grander narrative. Truschner  is a highly-regarded author, and his flair for the narrative spills over into his photographic practice. His focus is on the quietly grotesque: butchered carcasses contrast with the harmonious assemblage of a mid-day meal, the restful repose of a trader among the cluttered debris of the street. In the series Glue Trushner investigates the images come together with the personal experiences and associations of the viewer to form the delicate web which unites the depicted narratives.

Madeline Stillwell’s (born 1978) delicate collages take their life from sculptural remnants of city detritus. Decoupages taken from fragmental photographs of decaying machinery, rusting shutters or derelict outbuildings, their colours softened through wind and exposure, resemble fantastical machines. Objects are thus re-infused with life, but removed from representation, their origins no longer apparent. Stillwell thus hints at a wider reality, but leaves the viewer caught between the work’s constitutive elements and the alternative reality they suggest.

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The exhibition runs from 6th April to May 26th.

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