The Writer’s Bench
26 Argyll Square,
3 Sep – 25th Sep, Thurs-Sat 1.30pm til 6pm or by appointment.
Last time we met Cept, he was a cackling mad-man “I’m free; no more shows; painting streets…”.
So, a few months on here we are at Cept’s second solo show of 2009 and third in less than 12 months, marking the opening of new gallery The Writers’ Bench, housed within the Sartorial Art gallery space in Kings Cross and curated by TEK33, BC. Although the proverbial cat would come to grievous gyratory-inflicted harm in this tight basement space, Cept has managed to cram in loads of canvasses, a couple of wall murals, a floor painting and a split screen TV looped audio visual multi media experience.
The key painting to grasping the threads of inter-galactic supreme beings, mind control, superheroes, and deviants in the machine is a single oil painting of a mutant galactic being formed of the cosmos or perhaps forming the cosmos. Creator or created of? There is a knowing nod to the iconography of Ganesha in the way the gas mask tubing comes to resemble and elephant trunk.
Somewhat curiously this image stands out for being stylistically as well as physically quite a distance from the rest of the show.
This galactic omniprescence sends messages to the minds of the sentient beings inhabiting the universe, strong black and white perspective lines link this source to the messages, presented in the form of tightly grouped words and messages on canvasses, “Not Everyone Thinks Like You”, “Bad Meaning Good”, “Art but Casual” – throw-away, individually meaningless but all quite sinister looked at from the conspiracy theorist’s point of view.
Under the stairs leading down to the basement is an audio-visual installation, a split screen presents on one side an excerpt from George Lucas’ first film THX-1138, a state controlled production line worker receiving electronic re-calibration and indoctrination after attempting to subvert the central control, his eyes rolling up in their sockets, while on the right is a visual white noise where subliminal CEPT words appear from time to time. The terse American voice issuing instructions and commands provides the soundtrack for the installation and recalls the audio backing to the illusion room at the 2007 Cept v. Mike Ballard show in Dalston (reviewed here).
The TV loops then throws the idea of indoctrinating the rebel back across the room to the Supervillain on the wall opposite, his eyeless face reflecting the rolled back eyes of THX-1138 as Supervillain is also subjected to mind control messages from the galaxy creator.
The forth wall shows a couple of the Explosion oils which haven’t been seen in London before (read the review of Galaxy Rays– the Bristol 2009 show here) and a bit of wild and funky larking around the letter C.
If the galaxy creator/controller is to blame for 90% of us, then Cept has found a strong and consistent technique for releasing for his own unique 10 per cent. Like his last 2 shows, “Cept – A Frozen Explosion” very strong on concept, coherently linked the various strands across the work and not least, the artwork itself retains the rich and glossy pop feel.
More photos of the show, including the individual canvasses can be seen here, and you now have permission to leave this page and experience Graffoto’s take on Cept’s Dalston show from last year and Cept’s Galaxy Rays show in Bristol from Spring 2009.