GIPPSLAND ART GALLERY | 2014
THE SPLICE OF LIFE
IMPROBABLE JOURNEY EXHIBITION ESSAY | GIPPSLAND ART GALLERY | SALE | MAY 2014
BY SIMON GREGG
‘Oh, the places you'll go' wrote Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. ‘Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!’ Such a heraldic call to arms might equally serve as the best introduction to the work of Becc Ország, whose own world of everyday characters within unlikely situations operates along similar lines of illogic. Ország dips into our world as one might dip into a chocolate box, carefully selecting shapes, sizes and flavours to appease an eclectic and curious taste. She then splices and stitches these segments together to create altogether new and bizarre scenarios, in which everything we thought we knew slips into malady and enigma.
The flotsam and jetsam of life wash up on the shores of Ország’s gentle surrealism, where people and their instruments become infected by spurious mind-drifts and cataclysmic serenity. Incongruities abound between larger, focal images, and the smaller vignettes. Bursts of unrelated prose and cropping notes add further twists, which serve to sever any chance of a rational narrative taking hold. Instead, the composite images are calibrated to a self-defining spectrum of atmospheres and phenomenological conditions.
The epic and the domestic co- exist and coalesce around groups of people, who might be gymnasts, choirs or synchronized swimmers. Their activities are presented as factual; their countenances are benign and unperturbed. Like storyboards for an improbable journey, these visions recall illuminated manuscripts; certainly there has been little produced in the intervening centuries quite like them. For Ország’s creations demonstrate an uncommon degree of care and patience, of pointedly aligning and realigning her miniature ‘worlds within worlds’ so that they correct, rather than confirm our natural assumptions.
These disjointed but strangely resolved tableaus—signposts on a shared journey—invite us into a place that is both funny and sad. They speak of times and places that we cannot travel to, that are perpetually out of reach. It is only through these little windows, like faded Polaroids, that we might, just for a moment, go there.