Amaranthine / 13 May - 2 June 2018

Curated by Dan Coopey

 
 

The phrase 'lost to history' never quite rings true: it imagines the past as a black hole into which time, with the world on its back, is being sucked. Rather, the opposite seems true, that the present is the great devourer of history, nothing ever disappearing but digested as memories and knowledge and prejudices and expectation and recognition and nostalgia and rejection and desire and more.

In Paradise Lost, Milton uses the amaranth genus as a symbol of the ever-lasting. The angels, descending on the crucified Son, sport crowns in which the scarlet-flowering weed is woven with gold.

 

Immortal Amarant, a Flower which once

In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life

Began to bloom, but soon for mans offence

To Heav'n remov'd where first it grew, there grows

 

The etymology recalls the Greek ἀμάραντος, the unfading, yet the vivid flower blooms for just a short time. A perennial however, the promise of the petals’ return remains: the plant’s past and its future essential to its very presence. The same might be said of works by Pedro Wirz, Paulo Nimer Pjota, Ruairiadh O'Connell, Hannah Lees, Paul Johnson, Maria Georgoula and Dan Coopey. Some of the artists use objects or motifs that are materially of the past – an unfurled VHS, old promotional magnets, studio detritus – but all have recourse to remembered responses and learned recognition.

 

The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us. It fools us into believing it.

– Matthias in Total Recall


A form suggests an egg, a cast mimics a latte lid, a casting recalls a trainer tread, is that a cocoon strung up?; no, no egg nor coffee nor sneaker nor larvae is present. Just forms co-mingling, each woven with stories, gestures and traditions; lost to the ever-present.