Part of Summer 2011
Co-presentation with Feminist Art Gallery (FAG)
The work of German artist Isabell Spengler forces a merging of realms, the fantastic and the ordinary. Sometimes it is the characters that are the aliens in our world, navigating urban and pastoral landscapes with their colourful eccentricities; other times it is the environment, bubbling with personality where there should be none. The creatures of Permanent Residents adapt to the mundane, their evolved bodies mirroring the chores and errands they perform: a balloon inflates as a vacuum inhales, disco balls spin with the wash cycle. Excitement hides in plain sight, it belongs. The serene Lantouy glimpses a secluded grotto where the water breathes bubbles and whispers magic. It is nature from another planet, yet familiar enough, and welcoming.
An interesting counterpoint to Permanent Residents, Psychic Tequila Tarot explores the space between self and other, and its collapse. In her yacht-sized, trinket-filled car, Leila, a sparkle-lipped nomad in full arcane regalia, cruises around offering passers-by her unique brand of fortune-telling services. Appealing to the spirits (both metaphysical and liquid), she presents her clients with a mirror in place of an answer; she becomes what they want her to be. Critical of Leila’s precarious immersion in the public realm, Isis secludes herself in a white, light-filled room of interactive, intuitive screens, delighting in the sole company of an especially frisky canine.
Works include: Permanent Residents; LINT LENT LAND; The Natural Life of Mermaids; Lantouy; Transformation in the Land of Enchantment; and Psychic Tequila Tarot.