Friday, September 20, 2013

Dominik Mersch Gallery - Isidro Blasco

Hailing from Spain and residing in New York, Isidro Blasco has blessed us here in Sydney with a gob smacking delight of a show at Dominik Mersch Gallery in the Danks Street Waterloo complex in Sydney. On close inspection the work was intense with an attention to detail to rival anyone with obsessive intent.

Photograph’s taken, laminated, folded to replicate floor boards, architraves and door ways of each interior/exterior. The backing supports are reminicent of my time in the 80’s working backstage for a number of Theatre companies in Brisbane as there is enough wood and foam board to build an actual life size stage set.

‘Zero Gravity House’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware, 48x66x18 cm has chairs floating or most likely suspended from the ceiling, with each chair leg made into relief. My eyes were drawn to the Biedermeier and then the tall boy and continued on to check out every nook and cranny. Chairs are the focal point in this piece, 24 of them either hanging from the ceiling, at the forefront or tucked into a corner and everything else became irrelevant.

‘Penelope’s House’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 20x56x9 cm being an Architecturally designed house allows for a perfect fold out of the width of the interior, from window to window and stairs in the middle, fireplace to the grand piano. Penelope’s house is simplistic in design but the most effective I found.

‘Anita’s Garage’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 20x55x9 cm was almost identical as Penelope’s house as it’s from one side to the other, representing the extent of the working artist with canvas’s and drawings hung. The floor is sparse as room is needed for much pacing from one end to the other and standing in front of the works for final completion.

‘House with Basement’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 20x50x10 cm was one to look at, at first glance you miss it but if you angled your head you’d see him looking back at you.

‘East FM’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 25x42x11 cm a non domestic interior but a place of work and somewhere I’ve visited to talk about Art. It’s all about the angles, capturing every centimeter of the work space and transforming it and I would have to take a wild guess at how many photograph’s Blasco would take in each interior let alone the entire show. There was a great little video on how Blasco put this show together on the Galleries website which revealed the start to finish.

 ‘The Doll House’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 30x36x11 cm, it’s not just the photo’s but the supports could well be the star of the show, with a 2D work you may just lose the want to look at the intensity of detail from each folded photograph, following each shelf to find something new about it’s inhabitants lifestyle. The occupant Christine Myerscough was blown away with the fact that her shelves became alive more so than when she is there in person. That fact accounts for something as these works were so theatrical that they demanded an audience and you can feel their prescence as soon as you walked into the Gallery.

A wonderful way to showcase a room or in this case a hallway with, ‘The Consul’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 24x36x9 cm, revealing an intimate collection of paintings, photograph’s and objects. I kept coming back to this piece as I was quite partial to it, it’s created to reveal a distant room, just one long view to a point and I’m left wondering what was in that end room.

Blasco’s interiors offer a moving narrative to the ongoings of domestic life, just not all were the interior of a home or office but also a vehicle as in ‘The Godess II’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 12x24x8 cm. The Citroen DS-9 was and always will be the perfect car and how wonderful to represent it in this way, a salute to it’s designer. Folded out into a way to showcase it’s bedroom like interior in three sections showing off passenger and driver’s seat, it’s superb comfort enhanced by it’s retro colour scheme.

‘Book Shelf’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 38x32x10 was one of my favourite’s as I found it strangely comforting that someone else’s many books and magazines have a home when mine sit waiting on the studio floor. The extention of the shelves reveal the supports and gives it an added dimension. It’s bulging at the seams but more can be added I’m sure.

The larger work ‘Gale Edwards’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware 80x100x5 cm was an entire house walking in from the front door and almost to the back door, a life time in theatre unfolded infront of us. Four levels of display revealing the inner workings of this house which comes across as being larger than life, each room was filled to the maxium and stylized to within an inch of it’s life.

Each work seemed to leap off the wall as Blasco has taken each location to another level, his earlier work was more exteriors and were much larger and more compacted. His use of colour enhancement within the printing process seemed to give a more surreal affect which changed our perception.

‘QVB’ C-Print on museum board, wood and hardware, 80x125x21cm gave us a birds eye view perched in the right place to show a panaramic of the interior of this grand old lady, helping us to notice elements that we’ve never seen before and making us to consider going back to discover for ourselves.

That’s what it is all about, rediscovering a new way to see beyond what we already see, redefining our perception of how we all live, some maybe more dramatic than others but it’s our way to create a comfortable existence.

Although to define that existence would have been better to showcase the work only on three walls instead of the entire gallery, this exhibition needed a lot of space around it, hanging it on every available wall space just made it fall into a schasm of confusion and to retain the integrity of each work would have produced a far more powerful response on arrival.

Blasco is one to look out for as what’s his next fold going to be.

Fleur MacDonald
10th August - 7th September 2013

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