In We Never Dream Alone, works by Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski see the borders between real and unreal, fact and fiction, virtual and visceral, and blurred and explored. Diverse media, from video and painting to installation, bind together the diverse yet complementary practices of these three artists, as each navigates the ‘other’ space. Seemingly ordinary events collide: a hand pours bourbon into a decanter; a woman behind a diner counter stands with her back to you, leaving you to see only her bobbed blond hair; somebody walks towards a large, ornate door; a strange chandelier rotates slowly in the air and two disembodied voices speak to one other, soft murmurs swimming in and out of audio focus, mesmerising.
Sidsel Christensen’s practice explores the field created between ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ reality, navigating the boundary between fact and fiction. This investigation is played out in conversation, live presentations and video portraits and for We Never Dream Alone, she presents the single screen projection Study for Composition XI (A Conversation at the Edge of the Object).
The video sets up a conversation between Christensen and art collector Thomas Frankenberg, taking place at ‘the end of the world.’ It encompasses philosophical reflections on his collection, and as the camera pans through the artworks and their conversation unfolds, we are presented with a journey through a landscape bordering on abstraction, in which fragments of art objects and natural elements join in unexpected ways. The collector’s and Christensen’s voices, provide the trance-like soundtrack, pervading throughout the gallery space.
Meanwhile, Andrew Leventis creates still lives from snapshots of period dramas played out on film and television, concerned with the tension between the painted and technological image. Looking through the filter of the digital screen, he reflects on how contemporary TV borrows configurations from painting, whilst himself borrowing back from the pictorial designs of contemporary television.
In the work presented here, Leventis focuses on interiors and characters that occupy suspense films, particularly cult films that are noteworthy for their vivid Technicolor and stylistic flourishes. In each painting, there is a negation of interest on the figure and an emphasis on interiors instead. The purpose here is to record the interaction between the character and the environment, rather than to record the figure’s face and physical features, as in traditional portraiture.
Finally, Lisa Slominski covers the gallery walls with her signature wallpaper work, alongside a floor piece. Slominski shifts digital images into the physical realm, sourcing images from the Internet and abstracting these. Here, she investigates ideas of access and appropriation in our relationship to both the Internet and interior space; the former providing an ocean of images and information, not only for reference but for us to take and manipulate.
Ultimately, in We Never Dream Alone, we are faced with a collision of worlds, wrapped in the many voices and thoughts of our collective consciousness, which are accessible through the various media that only we, as humans, could have dreamt up.
Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski: We Never Dream Alone, until 7 February, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, 533 Old York Road, London SW18 1TG.
Visit the gallery’s website at www.kristinhjellegjerde.com.
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1. Lisa Slominski, Taut Taw A Puddy Tat (2014). Copyright of the artist.