Summertime plots a fragmented trajectory through a toxic summer, articulated in film, photographs, flash animations, paintings, sculptures and appropriated adverts.
The exhibition takes as a starting point the over idealized idea and image of summer in contemporary, global, consumer culture - a sundrenched, colour-saturated, heaven-on-earth in which the ecstatic present lasts forever and death is impossible.
Semi-abstract and associative in form, Summertime follows several intertwining lines of engagement through this territory.
The works of Petra Cortright and Ed Fornieles included in the show engage, respectively, with the seductive surfaces and vacancy of trash, digital culture and reality TV. This present day dystopia is anticipated by Century 21, a masterpiece by the late Jeremy Blake, that takes the American Dream on a bad acid trip. The scanned, smashed and grease-stained surfaces of smartphones and tablets pictured by Arslan Sukan drags this virtual world back into the messy contingency of meat-space.
Elsewhere an appropriated set of stylized photographs transports us to the nirvana of consumer summer. It is a body of images from which Rasim Askan’s exquisite, semi-pornographic, photorealist painting of a selection of summer fruits presented on a female crotch is separated by only a few degrees of irony. Gabriele Beveridge’s photographic and object assemblage, uses elegance and cool distance as critical techniques, with its dead-pan deployment of image archetypes – waterfalls and a perfect female face.
The aesthetics of seduction inform the reflective surfaces of Thomas van Linge’s coolly minimal, sculptural, wall-based, abstract works and find company in Isabel Yellin’s smart, fabric collage-cum-paintings that radiate lightness. Ali Emir Tapan, meanwhile, takes a shotgun to the surface, presenting his bullet-pierced metal works. In a similar act of negation Kadar Brock’s works evade reading, their lines of text obscured by thick, black lines – pictures of meaning destroyed.