Meredyth Sparks enjoys exploring the zone between figuration and abstraction across a variety of subjects for which a plethora of images already exists: musical subcultures (bulimic in the idolatory-image department), the historical avant-garde and what she calls the “ever-evolving legacies of labor and gender-based issues”.
Like a number of her fellow artists in Out of Focus, she allows her works to step out of conventional frames and spill across floors and walls in quasi-Constructivist style, following El Lissitzky’s realization that the picture frame had become too narrow for representations of ‘the new reality’.
El Lissitzky was diametrically opposed to the absolutely non-utilitarian Suprematism of Kasimir Malevich, whose spirit returns in Sparks’ Gudrun Constructed to engage in ideological battle with Gudrun Ensslin, a founding member of the violently revolutionary Baader-Meinhof Gang. Sparks combines Malevich motifs, photographs, vinyl, aluminium foil and glitter (which I take to stand for the seductive, even hypnotic power of all photographic imagery) to create a part-digital, part-physical, five-section collage that reads almost cinematographically, but like a snippet of film, recalling collagist Paul Nash’s observation that “The more the object is studied from the point of view of its animation, the more incalculable become its variations; the more subtle becomes the problem of assembling and associating different objects in order to create that true irrational poise which is the solution of the personal equation".
Text by William A Ewing