Action, Camera!

26 Mar — 18 Jun 2017 at The Gallery of Everything in London, United Kingdom

22 MARCH 2017
Action, Camera! Courtesy of The Gallery of Everything
Action, Camera! Courtesy of The Gallery of Everything

The Gallery of Everything is pleased to announce the third installation at its new premises in Chiltern Street, London. Action, Camera! presents two distinct and separately curated solo shows, linked only by a thematic fascination with the camera, or rather, the lack thereof.

The makeshift open-air studio of Ion Bârlādeanu was first discovered in a back-alley in Bucharest, Romania. Yet its proprietor, a modest and clandestine collagist, was unprepared for the visibility and success which swiftly descended upon his secret art-making practice.

As social commentary, Bârlādeanu’s satirical anti-communist and anti-capitalist assemblages revealed a wry sense of humour and sharp political savvy. Their brilliance, however, was down to their maker’s visual air, where impossible eye-lines and one point perspectives coincided effortlessly with the high-gloss, the pornographic and the surreal.

Bârlādeanu describes himself as a maverick lm director. In these, his movie-stills, he rules roost, setting world-famous actors and political big-wigs against each other, and primarily for his own amusement. At the tender age of 76, it is clear Ion Bârlādeanu has only just begun.

For the hands of Alan Constable, there is little difference. The silent childhood hobby, the sustained studio career, both reflect his one abiding focus: the possibility of the camera.

As a teenager, Constable would salvage cardboard from cereal boxes, crafting flimsy reconstructions without precision. Today these idyllic and defunct models are reborn. From the essential pinhole, to the convenient point and shoot, these memories sit majestic, abstracted vessels from a forgotten people, in primary, pastel and silvery glaze.

It is the metaphor which compels us to touch them. For as Constable’s sight diminishes, so his fascination with the way we see intensifies. His objects are talismans. They challenge us and the meaning of our sight, at a time when perception is de ned by a digital lens.