Habits of Modern Dwelling
Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Gina Fischli, Neil Haas and James Rollo Curated by Jo Harrison
To live is to leave traces.1
For Habits of Modern Dwelling, the first group show at Lungley, an allusion to the domestic interior is evoked. Work by Gina Fischli, Neil Haas, James Rollo and Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, is brought together to create an absurd living room. Objects that we know and recognise are altered or intervened with, reimagined and immortalised, as strange renditions of their former or dream selves. Gina Fischli’s glitter drawings confront our understanding of taste. Depictions of both household and design objects have been drawn on a 1:1 scale, then coloured in with glitter and glue (an accomplished skill which has become distinctive to her practice). Meeting failure with fetish, Fischli lovingly renders furniture, coffee cups and houseplants, each object acting as a nuanced signifier to a particular milieu within the interior, as symbols of luxury, class and kitsch.
James Rollo defamiliarises everyday objects through a process of subtle intervention. A light bulb or plug socket becomes engulfed in cement: the initial impulse to activate these objects with their original function is derailed. Beer and wine bottles are sliced, elongated or truncated, and then stacked. Like building a house of cards, there is a patient dedication in precariously balancing these repurposed segments back together. Rollo sets up his sculptures as quietly perverse metaphors, perhaps illuminating the absurdity found in the mundane modes of labour we carry out through everyday routines.
The stone marquetry work by Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel conjures a curious domestic scene. A large vase, soap dispenser and pipe, are meticulously depicted in marble, limestone and granite. The traditional allocation for these particular varieties of stone would be for building kitchen and bathroom surfaces; using this as their initial reference point, Dewar & Gicquel simply take this material determinism to its extreme conclusion. Their practice is forged from a commitment to craftsmanship, skilfully constructing objects which are as delightfully silly as they are serenely beautiful.
Neil Haas creates intimate mise-en-scènes with his distinctively tender and contemplative drawings on plastic blinds alongside variously branded items of appliquéd clothing. The coloured pencil drawings compounded with the subject matter (disembodied jackets, hoodies, and other clothing) act as vestiges of a familiar domestic scene. His employment of Venetian blinds-as-canvas stems from Haas’s early teenage memories, secretly looking through an obscured bathroom window at a neighbour’s son across the road. The blinds act as a visual allegory: at once imitating the original source of Haas’s voyeurism, but also, by drawing attention to the act of looking itself, destabilising conventional notions of the subject/object dichotomy of the gaze. 1. Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century”, 1970