Co-curated by Takeshi Shiomitsu and Tom Clark, Devotions articulates its title using the physical edges and borders of materiality to express the ambiguity of the present. The exhibition ran at London’s MOT International Project Space from March 26 to May 9 (photos, top right) and featured the work of artists Jesse Darling, Imran Perretta, Milou van der Maaden and Shiomitsu himself.
It attempts to take “the material of identity – where materials become identity – as a place from which to run”. The press release further states, “devotion exists, and does so, and must do, without empirical knowledge. Being devoted here (in the West) means embodying pushes and pulls between your irrational self and the rational world”.
Darling’s ‘Wounded Door’ (2014), an abstract rectangular sculpture made of welded mild steel with a cast iron wheel, appears to be in search of definition as the corners and edges demarcate where the position begins and ends in the physical space. Alongside ‘The Veterans’ (2014), their sculptures maintain a sense of strictness, with hard corners and angles that almost imply stability in their position, whether physical or theoretical. However, the fragile and vulnerable design contradicts itself: it seems as if they could tip over from the slightest poke or breeze.
A pencil drawing on archival paper, gesso, emulsion, and spray paint made up Shiomitsu’s ‘Untitled (Range #2)’ (2015), which also seems to “push and pull” between its position, the material’s irrational self expressed with marks and scratches against the rationale inherent in the support and material – rectangular MDF and plywood boards. Perretta’s ‘5 percent’ (2015) HD video loops next to sandalwood incense in a pickle jar, typically used as a votive or gesture of devotion. van der Maaden’s ‘From a Head to a Head (clip)’ (2011) uses HD video documentation of a ritualistic ceremony of non-western tradition that jerks at the ambiguousness of the other artists’ works, positioning itself within well-defined tradition and history.
A text by Tom Clark published to vqxz.net accompanied the exhibition. **