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An Outcast Bonding Experience

written by Bahar Muller July 3, 2016

Back in May, in the wake of the much anticipated Fringe Arts Festival, an exciting exhibition opened its doors to Bathonians, in the unusual setting of a fledgeling oriental supermarket in town in The Corridor, the HAI NA. Inside the shop, in the middle of the heavily packed shelves of eastern ingredients, snacks, condiments, and what-not, three video installations and a literary experimentation of sorts were neatly displayed to create a modern existentialist journey. An

42aae376-aa4e-4f3e-b85b-e95c3a57a4cf_origOutcast Bonding Experience fits the space perfectly in the alienated/alienating works of the artists, sharing an intimate experience of the modern jigsaw called the 21st century.

Pip Marshall’s animation, the Three Things, is a poetic ode to Plato’s allegory of the cave, through the story of three ‘entities’, coincidentally living in ‘close proximity to each other’, shaping/creating a proof of each other’s existence. The speculative voice of the protagonist gives a glimpse of their lives in the universe of ‘Everything’. Ploughing through their days in the inevitable journey to nothingness, they are removed from their reality in a Russian doll of realms, with two-dimensional versions of themselves on the edge of their ‘known’ universe on one side, and their moulds and creators just outside the borders of ‘everything’ on the other. Except, no superior level of existence is suggested, as the moulds and creators are of the same fabric as them. The mischievously naive aesthetic of the piece unmistakably brings to mind the illustrations of the beloved children’s story, The Little Prince.

Created by transfer lettering on cards, Hannah Stevenson’s Snippets of Conversation is a collection of overheard sentences from conversations between strangers, collated over a period of near eighteen months. Removed from their ‘original’ context and suggestively positioned throughout the space in twenty-two different corners, the selected little mumblings of modern times eerily create a whole new spatial narrative.



Finally, Lisa Dreykuft’s video compositions, You will never get that emotion again and It’s not about you though, complement each other in the way that they blatantly defy one of society’s favourite obsessions of late, the self-actualisation, self-help, meditation, and inner peace in a world where the self and success is ironically defined by power, noise, and being ‘ever present’. With the disturbing contrast of the velvet-like, meditative voice of the narrator, and the alien, synthetic fluorescent starkness of colours, the work audaciously challenges the boundaries of the modern way of communication/expression, from language to image and sound.



Watch ‘Three Little Things’:
Password: curve

Watch ‘You will never get that emotion again’:

Password: Grapefruit

Watch ‘It’s not all about you though’:
Password: Grapefruit

Photography courtesy of the artists and Tom Welsh

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