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Dunkelhiet

PRESS RELEASE

Flora Fairbairn Projects
Curated by Annabelle Moreau


Alice Anderson • Kate MccGwire • Liane Lang • Wolfe Lenkiewicz • Aishleen Lester • Petra Lisiecki •Annabelle Moreau • Nicola Pucci • Duncan Whitley


'DUNKELHEIT'

In 1959, the French director Marcel Camus relocated the Orpheic myth to modern day Brazilian Favelas for his celebrated Cannes debut, 'Black Orpheus'. Energized by the then totally fresh rhythms of bossa nova, the film, set at the time of Carnival, presented an irresistable cinematic feast of sound, colour and image, promoting the idea of irrationality and instinct over reason, fantasy and imagination over reality.

The exhibition takes it's title from the German expression for darkness and obscurity, the inspiration being the Underworld of Greek mythology, the celebrated poem of Orfeus and Euridice, and the 'total conceptual' vision of Wagnerian Romanticism, itself based on Greek principles, a unity of music, colour, text and motion.

Alice Anderson utilises a Freudian imagination to convert themes of fairy-tale and myth into dark psychological journeys. Kate MccGwire uses everyday objects  to reflect the complexity of human life within the twilight zone between attraction and revulsion, reason and superstition. Annabelle Moreau's Zusean starbursts entice the viewer into an illusional world beyond the surface of painting. Aishleen Lester combines the language of mechanical objects with delicate subterranean forms - skins or 'husks' made of fabric and resin. Liane Lang's installation and photographic work makes use of life-like rubber dummies and other props to examine the anatomy of the photograph for traces of the real and fictional. Wolfe Lenkiewicz's drawings combine religious symbolism and contemporary graphic vocabulary to create a very personal iconography. Petra Lisiecki's images are at home in the muddy gloom of St Pancras Crypt. Her subtle operatic subjects draw, in stark chiaroscuro, an oppressively intense atmosphere from live performance. Nicola Pucci's  paintings create an ironic tension between animal and human behaviour.  Adapting material from a collaborative project with James Wyness, Duncan Whitley's sound installation emanates from beyond the walls of the crypt, creating an alternative dimension within the atmosphere of the other elements.

Stepping down into the labyrinth which is St. Pancras Crypt these nine artists come together in Dunkelheit. The subterranean underworld brings to the surface the irrationality of the night - the supposed 'wolf hours' which inspire the same unencumbered atmosphere conjured by Camus' celebration of life and Wagner's romanticised and thoroughly impossible idyll.