ALICE ANDERSON, GEORGIE FLOOD, ANNABEL DOVER, KIRSTY BUCHANON, ANDREA HANNON, CORINNA SPENCER, JESSICA VOORSANGER, HAYLEY LOCK, PAUL KINDERSLEY, ALLI SHARMA, MARK SCOTT WOOD, CATHYLOMAX. Selected by Corinna Spencer
29 September – 18 November 2012
You are an obsession, you’re my obsession…
For those who do not share it, unconditional devotion is seen as unhealthy and unsettling, typically loaded with negative stereotypes and labels of deviancy. But to the devotee, their chosen idol, however undeserving, is at the centre of the world, skirting between reality and fantasy.
While aficionados of high culture are seen to have tastes and preferences, their rowdy popular culture counterparts are deemed fanatics, expressing excess emotion and passion. The dividing line involves issues of status and class where reason is pitched
against emotion, and the objective apprehending of reality against the subjective, imaginative and irrational fantasies. However, fantasies are one way humans have to negotiate troubling situations. Fantasy occupies a central place in the project of analysis undertaken by Freud and bridges the gap that is created when desire is prohibited, but the longing for full satisfaction is still there. Fantasies allow us to close the distance between what we need or want, and what we can have, throwing open questions of identity and the self.
Tainted Love is a day-dreamingly, dark installation questioning what it means to desire, cherish, seek, long, admire, envy, celebrate, protect or destroy. These desires for desire inform aspects of how we make sense of the world, in relation to mass media, and in relation to our historical, social and cultural locations to create meaning in our everyday lives where the traditional bonds of race, religion and ethnicity are increasingly diminished and where fantasy functions as an empty surface for the projection of our desires. Ranging from simple groups of paintings to more elaborate devotional structures, each dedicated to what Proust claimed was ‘the only successful (sustainable) love’, unrequited. From cabinets of transgression to intimate shrines the Tainted Love artists attempt to come closer to an object of desire, that eludes our grasp, no matter what we do to attain it.
Images of the exhibition can be seen here.