Still Life with Punches
Opening 28.05.14 6-9pm
Artist Talks 31.05.14 2-4m
According to artist George Gessert,“Domesticated ornamental plants, pets, sporting animals and consciousness-altering drug plants constitute a vast unacknowledged genetic folk art, or primitive genetic art, that has a history stretching back thousands of years.”
With this in mind, Melissa Deerson takes a humorous look at flowers and their multifaceted role as art objects, symbols of human emotions, tradable commodities, plants operating within a wider ecosystem, and living individuals.
Still Life with Punches consists of two videos – a projection of various floral arrangements being punched by a disembodied fist (the artist's), an accurately captioned collection of found Youtube clips in which people make snapdragon flowers ‘talk’, and a book of notes and images which expand on the thinking behind the work. Taking the still-life genre as a starting point, the installation creates a clumsy, slightly disturbing performance of human intervention into, and interaction with, the ‘natural’ realm, and tries to get a little closer to questions such as: When does nature become art? Do human interventions into non-human domains only go one way? And how do we engage in an honest way with the living things we have contact with?
Melissa Deerson is a visual artist and writer who uses video, text, installation, ad-hoc objects and public projects to explore the indistinct boundaries between human and non-human spheres of life.