Subject to Endless Gossip
Paul Eachus - Nooshin Farhid
April 21. - May 29. 2004
Artists talk Sunday April 18. at 6pm
A collaboration between Shaheen Merali, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures), and Sparwasser HQ
A red light flashes obsessively on and off, accompanied by the hypnotic rotation of a fan. A table full of food hovers at the point of collapse, as TV monitors grapple with the breakdown of information. A man and his dog sit passively, surrounded by signs of impending disaster. A series of false starts lead to failed artworks lying discarded around a studio. The vibrant sounds of break dance music give way to the banality of a hair salon.
The incidents described above appear in the works of Nooshin Farhid and Paul Eachus. Both artists' works describe the impossibility of communication, highlighting awkward disruptions to the logic of continuity.
Nooshin Farhid's videos focus on diverse narrative situations and visual scenarios. Her subject matter is rooted often in the ordinary and the mundane, which she observes acutely, extracting the interplay between lucidity and reason, obsession and madness. Farhid's videos often appear structurally fragmented and disjointed. The smooth flow of narrative storytelling is used only as a "hook," to convince the viewer that s/he has a controlling hold on the situation. Farhid thus pulls the rug, metaphorically speaking, from under the viewer's feet: the continuity of the narrative is a false strategy, the situation complicates itself, as other narratives are glimpsed or referred to obliquely. The video-works thus engage time - time which is held back, slowed down, its familiar linearity disrupted. Both time and space are suspended and deferred. Out of the unimportant and the unremarkable emerge extreme psychological moments.
Paul Eachus' photo-works contain the overwhelming sense of an absence of a centre; they lack starting places that might allow the viewer to enter the fictive spaces of the works. Many centres vie for the viewer's attention, many starting points imply multiple beginnings, middles, and ends. All exist, at different moments in their individual unfolding, in a single work. These accumulations and collections of things from different and unrelated sources, often objects that have been discarded and abandoned, are the subjects of obsessive processes of categorizing, ordering, and controlling. The obsessive actions themselves veer out of control and the viewer is confronted with a series of failed attempts, collapsed systems, and an overpowering experience of disorder. There is fragility in the way that things come together and hover between stability and disintegration. Eachus' photo-works have the look of glossy magazine reproductions, their intense colour exerting a power reminiscent of contemporary furniture catalogues, but adding only to the fallacy of the attempt to control.
Supported by the London Institute