Towards a Theory of Powerful Things
Thomas Hämén, Jens Kothe, Paloma Proudfoot, Sofia Restorp, Nicholas Riis
13 July - 11 August, 2018
'Rod Barton is pleased to announce an upcoming group show featuring artists, Thomas Hämén, Jens Kothe, Paloma Proudfoot, Sofia Restorp and Nicholas Riis in “Towards a Theory of Powerful Things” from 13 July - 11 August, 2018
Quasi-organic and metamorphic in their materiality, these artworks settle into the gallery habitat, freshly hatched in the sterilised, laboratory-like room. With polished curves and measured corners, the fleshy forms suggest a non-organic design, pointing towards a theory that paths a meeting point for a new species of bi-objects, with fantasy-function and almost-texture. Their soft, reptilian sheen sits like fresh sweat on the surface of a collection of new-born items.
Non-terrestrial in their nature yet broadly referential of the existing parameters found in grounded consumer items, the objects can be seen as transmutations between sleek furniture to animal toys, fetish-wear to theatrical props, bowling pins to food. They are all adopting of a function that has evolved, warped or been spellbound from any natural, organic or formal origin, like a level-up in a cos-play fantasy game or a advancement in technology which has an unspoken power. Like a child knows their toys can’t be alive, Nicholas Riis’s techno-fetishistic chambers act as containers of something that probe belief that they are; Thomas Hamen’s crustacean like figures crawl across the planes of his drawings; Sofia Restorp’s bewitched Cephalopoda arm’s are on the brink of fusing themselves around a willing body.
As devices for an imagined reality, the work departs from the expected usage that their recognisable components suggest. Continuing in Paloma Proudfoot’s smooth, dented ceramics and Jens Kothe’s suede anatomical cell maps, the work morphs between reference from various household objects, surfaces and meticulous industrious production methods. Seductive and vulnerable in their delicacy, they are transformed and derailed from their perceived origins.
With future, fantasy function in mind, these powerful static 'things' apprise their ontology; as artificial-organisms from constructed origins.'
Text by Oliver Durcan