Laura Aldridge: Cats Are Not Important
- Talitha Kotzé
- 19 March 2010
You cannot view this exhibition in any other way than through the lens created by its title: Cats Are Not Important.
Glasgow-based, ex-Transmission gallery committee member Laura Aldridge exhibits knot-tied sculptures in pastel hues arranged against the wall, hanging fabrics and a low plinth on which a range of carefully placed domestic objects, fruits and textured images are placed. She plays with the viewer’s perceptual plane: an image of a cave, with people looking up and out, draws us in.
Other symbols of comfort and domesticity are spread throughout. An arrangement of pillows covered with tie dyed pillowcases has been laid out around the gallery floor. A seemingly inviting playground for cats, but where are they? The artist stipulates that cats are not important, but the invocation of felines is perturbing – you cannot help but recall the huge cat phenomenon spawned by the internet lolcat meme where websites have been dedicated to cat behaviour. Cats have been given a voice in popular culture in the form of kitty pidgin (‘Hai, I am in ur galry, scratching ur art’). Even though Aldridge’s tableau invites us to look down onto the work, you feel compelled to search online for Ceiling Cat in an eternal struggle with Basement Cat.
At the back of the exhibition hangs a folded sheet of organza filled with dried camomile flowers. Once again one makes the connotation with cats: should the flowers not be replaced with that recreational substance for feline enjoyment? Not quite catnip for viewers.
Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 3 Apr