ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE
Through an initial large and comical black hole we fall into an absolute battlefield of Jonathan Ellery’s symbols, cursive gestures, drawings, sculptures, words and photographs. These sonnets of the seemingly unremarkable, are compressed into a myriad of fragments and synapsed connections.
Screwing, masking and soft crumpling offers temporary form to the mediums captured within this softcover. Chance is accepted and is positively asserted through the elementary and provisional use of modest materials, substantiating these tactile pages into something like an archaeological dig for truth. In them Ellery silently composes a score themed around freedom, geography, money, positionality and desire.
The attraction to materials from the domestic, everyday realm is obvious: the tape and foil offers permission and freedom to move in a sculptural sense, its lack of preciousness a chance to play without the inhibition of extravagance. The traditionally taut formality of the book is overcome with disobedient, sprawling shapes that spill from its seams, straining from the corners of the rectangular page. This contradiction of form and content stretches the work to the absolute limit.
Malachite green and decadent yellow seep into an orgy of shimmery mercury; its darkening surfaces flow in burrowing streams, coaxing the promiscuous debris of truth to rise. Japanese mannequins and opulent automobiles, abandoned perspex seats and solitary hotel
suites, are absolved in morsels of hand written words: an annotated map of Ellery’s solitary terrain. The silky, white pages, traditionally seen as sumptuous, are subverted by details of a burnished, severely bruised thigh and a naked man – a sense of unrestrained rupture amid the vestal canvas.
Despite its constrained format there is something performative about the nature of this work – a slow descent into and out of a two dimensional hole, to unfold a new way of thinking. The universe is full of nothing, ever expanding and ever destroying itself. A smouldering black hole.
All photographs, drawings, images and words
Naked man Bruce Gilden
Edition of 350
Published Browns Editions 2020
Softback 4 colour + Gloss UV plates
300 × 230 mm