Works shown as part the solo exhibition 'Word Balloon' at Lon Gallery, Melbourne, 2016.
There’s a restaurant in the north of England with a picture of Marlon Brando as Don Corleone on its wall. It serves pizza and pasta. The owner has never been to Italy. Brando was born in Nebraska. And yet an approximation of a relationship is formed and Italy pervades the space, despite the manifold distances.
Regardless of its lack of authenticity, its patrons understand its Italianness. They’ve digested the signs, navigated a subjective and fragile network of mediations, and arrived, miraculously, at their Sicilian conclusion. And so a blurring of the lines between mediation and authenticity occurs. A blurring that allows grounds to scrutinise the foundation of all forms of narrative; fictional, historical, political, personal. If signs and images belong to a tenuous network of mediations and typifications then narrative of any kind is subject to influence from, not least of all, conjecture and chance. Even if their function is as optimistically unambiguous as the theme of a small restaurant in the North of England. There is an illusion of directness, undermined by its inherent possibility, like a word balloon filled with nothing but images.