Scales (3 stars)

Michael Zansky

Corn Exchange Gallery, Edinburgh, until Thu 18 Dec


The work of the three artists in this group show is rich and multi-layered, but there’s a lack of austerity, which makes each piece readily available to the viewer. The first work in the series, Gregory Chatonsky’s ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself’, is an interactive one. A red-lit, fingertip-shaped pad invites us to press our thumbs against it, and then recreates the fine skin contours as a monochrome image on a screen. This image slowly degrades, suggesting a meditation on – or a warning about – the dissemination of personal information.

The other artists here deal in a different kind of body fear. Michael Zansky’s large digital photographs, while impressive, are also fitfully eerie. Within them, he mixes and matches parts of plastic dolls, plaster busts and a toy monkey to create warped, otherworldly characters in tableaux like ‘2348 BC’ and ‘Vacation on Mars’, developing a freakish grotesquery of strangely humanised beings.

In Michael Rees’ ‘Putto’ diptych, meanwhile, a disconcerting bronze statue of a centipede-like elongated torso lined by eight human legs is shown in sickening, all-too-realistic motion within a blurred animation. Rees’ other pieces, meanwhile, are semi-abstract plaster shapes which could conceivably be collections of bones, digits or internal organs. Where the curator explicitly states that he wishes this to be a consideration of the aspects of scale involved in each work, the title more closely relates to a creeping, lizard-scale sense of physical fear.


  • 3 stars

Mixed media exhibition including an interactive work and photography by Gregory Chatonsky, digital photographs of dioramas by Michael Zansky and an animation and series of sculptures by Michael Rees, which have also been realized as large public installations.

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