Jordan Wolfson (3 stars)

An exhibition of high-end corporate ad-land stylings and provocative animations, as part of Glasgow International 2014

comments
Jordan Wolfson

Courtesy the Artist and Glasgow International; photo: Alan McAteer

It’s the soft-core gloss that sucks you in first in ‘Raspberry Poser’, the 14-minute billboard-size video projection that forms the heart of Jordan Wolfson’s life-and-death fusion of high-end corporate ad-land stylings and provocative animations. A CGI-generated HIV virus bounces around the neighbourhood like an ever-pulsating nail-bomb, multiplying in a regimented, choreographic display that ricochets around the chi-chi bathrooms and bedrooms of the privileged to a soundtrack of Beyoncé’s 'Beautiful Nightmare'. As a flipside to this, a condom full of chocolate hearts seems to be serving up something sweeter, but possibly more sickly.

A cartoon bad boy, looking somewhere between Hanna-Barbera doing Dr Seuss and Sergio Aragonés reinventing Dennis the Menace for the counter-cultural age, asks the viewer if they think he’s wealthy or gay, then proceeds to throttle himself, or else cut out his innards ad nauseum.

There’s a self-laceratingly playful and almost joyous nihilism pulsing through all this, basking in its backdrop of urban regeneration even as it fires off poison darts. Wolfson’s own Orson Welles-like cameo recalls vintage footage of doomed Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, crashing and burning in public in a way that Wolfson is far too savvy to fall for.

The other pieces on show are smaller and more self-contained, but no less full of attitude. The best work is the smallest, as, at the end of the McLellan Galleries’ downstairs corridor, a 16mm black-and-white silent film shows a dicky-bowed man speaking in sign language. Only when you realise his speech is the impassioned call to arms from Charlie Chaplin's 1940 satire on Hitler’s rise to power, The Great Dictator, do Wolfson’s provocations fully speak volumes.

Jordan Wolfson

Sculptural videos with absurd and contradictory narratives.

Comments

Post a comment