Fiona Jardine: Moltke’s Eye (2 stars)

Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, until Sat 19 May


Although Fiona Jardine claims to be influenced by everything from TS Eliot’s high literary Modernism to the pagan iconography of the Green Man (via Francis Rabelais, Brett Easton Ellis, Weiner Werkstatte, and Dagobert Peche among many others), it is difficult to find evidence of this enormously worthy and learned troupe in her new installation.

Well, this isn’t totally correct - the pseudo-intellectual snobbery of Ellis can be felt, and this may be her intention. It is difficult to tease meaning from Jardine’s installation, where so many influences, materials and approaches have been brought together to create a stylistic mélange. Jardine reduces art to unrelated surfaces and forms (‘wallpaper’, a shimmering curtain material, painted polystyrene and the black and white photograph), to a pretty kind of nihilism, a decorative abyss.

The human figure becomes a black coloured ball-headed pointless nobody in the photographs, a puppet that sits, crouches, lies on mattresses and floors and hangs from a metal frame (a reference to Bacon’s constructions that trapped his figures in a schematic mid-ground). How ‘he’ relates to the enormous peering face rendered in red wax, the green curtains, the minimalist ‘font’ and cross-hatched patterned wallpaper is anyone’s guess. Jardine’s exhibition is a set for an untold story, a Lynchian lacuna that leaves the viewer indifferent.

(Alexander Kennedy)

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