Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dizzy, Dazzled and Dissatisfied

Massimo Bartolini is a humorous and talented artist, his art takes the form of playful interventions in the existing fabric of our lives, he has a skewed, sideways and often tongue in cheek look at the world around us. In Bartolini’s subverted interventions we as viewers are pushed into reassessing and reinterpreting the familiar, we are challenged but also charmed by his art. So standing in the Frith Street gallery for his latest show I ask myself “what the hell went wrong?”, this is the moment where Bartolini steps across the line from tongue in cheek playfulness to self satisfied smugness. With Bartolini’s previous works I have been aware of an artist forcing a reaction from the viewer, in the world we share he pokes, prods and cajoles an engagement with the work and a response to it. It is with this contriving of reaction and response when Bartolini finally oversteps his mark.

In this sculptural, kinetic, video installation eight videos are projected from 2 shelving units as they rotate and revolve the projected images around the gallery surfaces, the looped sounds and images create a never-ending cycle of movement. The images depict scenes of everyday movement a series of seemingly unlinked actions, a house being demolished, moths on a disc of light, a cement truck crossing a road bridge, piano tuner tuning, window cleaners cleaning. These disparate images loop, rotate, cross and overlap occasionally disappearing or obscured by the galleries internal architecture of columns and walls and then reappearing on their relentless cycle. The images change scale, focus and perspective as they continue their journey across the various planes of the galleries surfaces, walls and ceiling.
Presumably Bartolini is showing us a world of seemingly unlinked and unknown forces and actions, movements through time briefly coexisting before becoming once more isolated everyday actions in life’s onward progression.
Life can be a beguiling and intriguing thing< unfortunately as I am once more caught annoyingly and blindingly in the eyes by a passing beam of light from the projectors and as I wheel around in a vaguely dizzying dance contrived by Bartolini I scan the passing images for some understanding and feel Bartolini has me chasing a view of life of frustrating, confusing and boringly unresolved dissatisfaction.

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