AC REPAIR CO.
1588 Dupont St.
I Learnt To Say No And Walk Towards The Sun
Jan 18 – Feb 28, 2017
***The exhibition is currently on display and visible from outside. There will be no gallery hours for this exhibition as we have no heat and it is too cold. Please email for an appointment if you’d like to get a closer look.
For his first solo exhibition in Canada, Buckley presents two new works: It Was Always You (2017) and I Never Meant to Hurt You (2017). In the centre of the gallery It Was Always You (2017) hangs solemnly. Consistent with Buckley’s interests in commercial symbolism, embedded fiction and the ethics of authorial commodification, the work features an unattributed amateur artist’s drawing of John Lennon. The rendering has then been enlarged and printed onto a custom made fine-knit polyester flag. The straight edges of the material become a crude outline for the floating features of the absurd yet familiar face. The swathes of empty white space leave the hanging appearing somewhere between an oversized Turin Shroud, and a white flag of surrender (the complex connotations of both left conspicuously unaddressed). Whatever this thing is, its sombre eyes and thin smile deliver a great many layers of emptiness, as it gazes flatly across to the only other work on display in exhibition.
I Never Meant To Hurt You (2017) also hovers somewhat blankly in the gallery, equally self- evident and formally assertive as its counterpart, yet also somewhat adrift and anaemic. The orange pink letters offer no warmth or depth, instead just rather tersely stating: MORDOR. In spite of the rather seductive formal qualities of this word’s shaping, the term refers to the fictional realm from J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of The Rings’ (1954), where the Dark Lord Sauron resides. Here we see another actioning of Buckley’s interest in fictionalism, specifically how and where fictional entities (such as characters and places from literature and popular culture) can come to exist and operate in conjunction with the ‘real world’.
Both the titles of the exhibition and two works on display all feature the use of first- person address and the past tense, implicating the artist and the viewer into some sort of direct relationship (with each other and the respective works). There is a knowing wistfulness to the content of the language being used, suggestive of times lost, places forgotten and actions regretted. There is a sense of fantastical intimacy generated, which is met in sharp contrast by the impersonal, cold and almost comically indifferent physical presence of the pieces on display.
The result of this tension is that the ‘actuality’ of reality is re-presented as a constantly shifting, entangled sequence of overlaid narrative progressions. Buckley quickly and quietly builds layer upon layer of conceptual complexity (out of seemingly rather sparse formal components), wilfully juxtaposing the abstract and the representational, the original and the reproduced, the literal and the illusionistic. This sense of overload becomes symbolic of the structure of cultural thought and authorial intent within the regime of global capitalism; a system that is (also) too complex to be directly presented or understood in any one moment, but which may (also) be traversed as a series of metaphorical stages (as a series of stories!) in which one cannot experience all the details, whilst simultaneously trying to appraise the whole.
Buckley completed his Master in Fine Art (MFA) at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in 2013. Prior this he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma (PG-Dip) in Analytic Philosophy from Bristol University, where he specialised in Fictionalism, Authorial Intentionalism and Meta-ethics. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions include: Rot House, The Tip, Bangkok, (TH); As You Were As We Are, SPREEZ, Munich, (DE); and Nothing Really Matters (except me), The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, (IC).
I Never Meant To Hurt You, 2017, neon lettering, 35″ x 8″
It Was Always You, 2017, digital print on fine-knit polyester, 74″ x 74″
Documentation by Grayson James