Monday, 19 November 2012

The Monro, Liverpool Biennial 2012

Up some creaky stairs, pass some haunted looking portraits, there seems to be something supranational going on upstairs at The Monro. Where two un-homely hotel rooms created by Markus Kahre, they wait like a vacuum to be filled by the presence of the viewer. I think by this point you probably know the punch line to this piece, the un-mirroring mirrors. During my first visit I did stand in front of the mirror moving my arms around in some strange attempt to activate the mirror. Like with most optical illusions it relies on your brain being set to a narrow band of information, in this case that if it looks like mirror then I will be reflected within it. I wonder if this piece called No Title is about the whole super-modernity concept where in the replication of environments such as chain hotels, airports etc. Makes it hard for the individual to gain a hold within that world and therefore becomes invisible.

Sharing the space above The Monro are Dane Mitchell's Spectral Recordings. When I first heard about this piece I was intrigued by the poetic and enchanting idea of capturing words into glass. Facing the speech bubbles I felt I little disappointed. Well perhaps not disappointed but while looking at these exhalations I really want to hold them to feel the vibrations of the caught voices. Ultimately I want to smash them open, to hear the voices inside, I imagine the twinkle of shattering glass followed by the gasping squeal of the voice released to the ether. I think somewhere within my desire to undertake this act of destruction is the desire to complete a cycle to allow the imprisoned voices to possess another human.

Before I leave there is Janine Antoni's Umbilical which I initially mistook for some strange instrument of mediumship, an instrument to communicate to another world. In a very strange way this might be partly true Umbilical is a cast of the artists mouth which is connected to a cast of the artists mothers hand. The piece seems to be channelling the inexpressible feelings created by the parental bonds. Two bodies joined by the delicate and un-nameable bond of love.

The works at The Monro carry their own poetry they speak of the spirits which inhabit us all and of the spirit we leave behind. The ghosts we form with our memories of the places we inhabit, the people we contact, of what we are and who we will be,

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