What a strange man busy in his studio letting something out putting something in, the fracture in his world is the painting. It comes from his shoulder, no, his hips (groin) well maybe his feet through to the crown of his head and in that moment the vessel is lost and vision is all that is present. The thing he thinks is not the thing. Sight might allow for a reduction but the meta is form and content and provides something else. He rambles a little to be sure this isn't a waist of time. The representation is symbolic of a greater truth, unshowable and probably unknowable. In this grand claim a craft is pursued and an event of distinction is sort. But it's strange; a weird vernacular of erotic deceit and dumb wizardry plops about the place. What do you believe? The funny little man thinks cos this is important, what are you doing with your life, and why should anyone care? So he and others like him put on the hat and robe and do the dance, and it's one that keeps things hopeful for the painting, it is a silly soul all out of proportion with its self. A big head and tiny hands wandering along with a limp look as its liver and kidneys and guts float around out there, in there, on the dusty track. Paintings tummy grumbles and hiccups some jizz out of stigmatic valves in lotus configurations. If it's turned upside down perhaps the right hemisphere will insure the correct price. That and other forms of a caldron type body made from jellyfish protein sustain the broth of a practice. Dribble and dip the form, for forward fjords and lords better not end up in the skip of electrical amnesia. The present is obscured and the craft is dangerous for art can change the world.
Press Release for Virtual Ouroboros at Pyramid Biz 2011
Something is done that interrupts the continuity of another thing that relieves the situation from the condition of the generally experienced: Several things happen that produce too many or not enough outcomes. Precept and concept dance around and through an aggregate of both themselves and something else. The intervention is slight and bold. However, these categories are subjective. Just as brightness may be slyly dull, awaiting a corner. Grammar may go on holiday only to worry about work.
The finitude of a clarified resolve, the thing, generates the eternal. Yet this is not arbitrary, and judgements must be entered. If it is made whole in a part of a whole how do YOU know where it is finished? If chopped up enough we wont be able to tell when it begins and paralysis takes hold. Perhaps though, in the very end, it can be seen floating in space, a perfect constant form, bulbous and smiling against the black waving back.
The point at which an inspired phantom appears is paramount to the life of the object. This permits the object the ability to transgress standard fetish. Without a spirit born from imperceptible distances, we are left only with rough hands and full bellies.
Nathan Barlex presents his continued adventures into the inconsistencies and delights of the perceptual field. Cross-pollinating folly, craft, rigour and rumour, he generates an organism of distinct proportions.
Press Release for Progressive Collapse, 2010
Christopher Crescent is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by London based artist Nathan Barlex.
A building undergoes progressive collapse when a primary structural element fails, resulting in the failure of adjoining structural elements, which in turn causes further structural failure. The resulting damage is disproportionate to the original cause. Thought of as both an epoch defining event and a metaphoric tool, Progressive Collapse endeavours to traverse a line between disproportionate intervention and reverse archaeology. Building and breaking at the same instance.
The problem of ‘transgressive allure’ plays a large part in Nathan’s artistic explorations. Held in a state of conflict the real and super real rally for favour in an endless tussle between fiction and truth. This confabulation can also be found within the cognitive practices of conspiratorial theorists/artist/charlatans like David Icke and Alex Jones; which while problematic, has currency with regard to a dilemma within politically corrupt systems of capital. Magic exists more if you can’t do anything about your situation. Indeed, Milton Friedman’s
philosophy for capitalist strategy incorporates the problematic that what is good for the individual is good for the whole. In itself a huge leap of ‘fundamentalist’ faith and in part the artist dream.
The work presented in Progressive Collapse is an excavation of phenomena; digging, scrapping, coating and pouring the senses. There is a question regarding image making and painting where by representational barriers are broken down. All matter becomes both pigment and ground exploding the possibility of mark making into not just a landscape, but ‘the’ landscape. No painting is flat; they all have mountains, valleys and even dodgy alleyways.
Nathan Barlex was born in Milton Keynes and lives and works in London. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2009 and had work purchased through Outset Acquisition Fund that was established by the Tate and White Chapel galleries, for RCA permanent collection. He has exhibited in Europe and the middle-east, and most recently he took part in a group show ‘Through the wall’ at the Rochelle school, London.