Charcoal and spray paint on paper pinned to pegboard
October 25th, 2010, Available works/ wordpress
Lucy Coggle, whose work shows an interest in exploring the multidimensional depth of things we dismiss as one-dimensional, with this work reveals how much there is to see when there is nothing to see:
How important is it to be informed when visiting a website that there is no image where an image should be? â€śAwaiting photoâ€ť â€“ how much does this information actually reveal? It says nothing about the image itself, only that it is absent. Since we recognize an absent image by itâ€™s being absent, why do we need to be told? And yet, it is precisely the redundancy of this placer which makes it so appealing. Isnâ€™t it funny that something like this exists in a medium that is made for fast and efficient consumption? Besides, informing the user of the potential arrival of visual data is a very polite gesture. And then, â€śAwaiting photoâ€ť might say nothing about an image (about an indefinite number of images actually), but it is an image itself. Coggle pays tribute to this image of no image by placing an â€śAwaiting photoâ€ť-file of poor digital quality on a handmade, analogue texture.
Posted by the entrance of Schinkel Pavillon, an exhibition space for sculpture that canâ€™t be looked inside from the outside, the work plays on the role of the audience. The exhibition might exist without an audience, but it is endowed with an image only when it gets perceived and discussed.
Layering up potentially contradictory quotations from our visual vernacular, Lucy Coggle's work havers between indulging and decrying the pleasures of inherited traditions. Boldly stating hierarchies only to dare the viewer to capitulate, the work has an unsettling yet distorted familiarity that refuses to settle into any straightforward declaration of intent.
Lucy Coggle studied english at Oxford university, sculpture at Chelsea School of Art & Design, drawing at The Prince's Drawing School, and is currently completing a post-graduate course at the Royal Academy of Art. She lives and works in London.
For the exhibition at Galerie Lorenz, Lucy Coggle has taken the language of traditional figure drawing, or portraiture, (i.e., a very contained, studio-hemmed activity) and used it to create something odder, which highlights the uncomfortable hierarchies behind such practices. There is an imposing sombreness to the work, a kind of unsettling mute menace, which is played off against pointedly jaunty colours, or the absurd presentation of an overblown child's game. In this series, the work moves across the wall like a modular, Ikea installation. The artist's choice is replaced by the inconsequential sequencing of a domino game with portraits of 'The Greats' competing with blank-eyed children's masks for authority.
In another piece, the silhouettes of glamorous pin-ups of the 1950s become the stiff outlines of Bratz dolls. Their skewed disproportionate bodies bring us back into the modern age of plastic surgery, while the defunct colours of the suffragettes make up the backgrounds. Instead of being called 'Meygan,' 'Sharidan,' or 'Cloe,' they take on the imperative nomenclature of abstract nouns that have traditionally been given to women: 'Faith', 'Hope', 'Charity', 'Chastity' 'Prudence' and 'Grace.'
These new pieces for Galerie Lorenz essentially make up one half of a whole body of work. The other half exhibited at RUN. Guernsey, having been both German and English during its recent history becomes a fitting title for these two exhibitions. Perhaps more significantly however, the title 'Guernsey Punk' may be viewed in reference to an angry yet defunct argument. This perhaps speaks more of the intellectual territory of the work, an idea of an outdated rebellion, or at least a deflation of the idea of rebellion.
Lucy Coggle graduated with a BA from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2007, was included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2007 and in the same year awarded a place at The Prince's Drawing School, London.
"Coggleâ€™s power lies in her capacity to annex unbridled skill, hedonistic delight, and palpable vulnerability to equally unchecked fury. [...] But as I have yet to see the new, conceptually intertwined series of drawings â€“ the â€śknotsâ€ť and â€śstarsâ€ť that accompany her domino heads and suggest a project whose ambition lies somewhere between Blake and the Brontes â€“ I must leave further reflection to the future, and to you lucky viewers who happen to be on site." Linda Norden, January, 2008.