THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE: A GROUP EXHIBITION CURATED BY PAUL CAREY-KENT

30 January - 14 March 2015

It’s often said that negative space is as important as positive shapes in a composition. The works in this show turn around a parallel feature of content as opposed to form: namely, what is not present is at least as important as what is present in the work – and so it is that a key role is played by the paradoxical sounding ‘presence of absence’ in work by fourteen artists across a wide range of media. Films by John Smith and Liane Lang use buildings, outside and in, to animate our understandings of what we cannot see.  Maria Marshall’s films pivot on the removal of substantial elements of the action, while Giorgio Sadotti’s sculptural presentation of found images operate purely through removal. Stefana McClure gives us a much the longest film – albeit, it could be said, without images or duration. A sound installation by Bronwen Buckeridge creates an illusory space in the midst of the Berloni Gallery itself. Nika Neelova presents a sculpture which seems to stand in for an absent other work, echoing Rachel Whiteread’s characteristic use of the negative. Blue Curry’s found object groupings stand indirectly for people and for differing constructions of their self-images.  Alan Magee calls literal attention to two absences by filling them in.  Anni Leppala and Jason Oddy exploit the uncanny ability of the photograph to freeze what isn’t there, as well as what is, into permanence. Two painters complete the line-up: Martine Poppe’s images come and go as we circle around them, and Ian Bruce plays with the absence and presence of people in their surroundings.


Your presence is encouraged and your absence, though thematic, would be a matter for regret…