Florian & Michael Quistrebert – Visions of Void, Dundee Contemporary Arts
- Neil Cooper
- 23 February 2015
The Quistrebert brothers’ biggest UK show converts DCA into an intense and atmospheric chamber
White light, white heat and pop art fun palaces spring to mind as you enter the biggest UK display to date by the French-born Quistrebert brothers. A mind-bending projection of op-art geometric patterns beam onto canvas in a pitch-black room. Such black and white counterpoints in what is styled as 'Stripes 2' has the appearance of a well turned out chill-out room, designed for sensory disorientation and altered states in ways many of DCA's shows have explored over recent years.
In the main gallery, there is plenty of space left between the paintings that make up the 'Overlight' series, created this year. These paintings are daubed thick-set layers of modelling paste mixed up with coatings of either gold, chrome or gold chrome. Inside these already shiny surfaces are embedded tiny LED lights, both coloured and clear.
Parked next to each other, using a gritty powder used for high visibility road markings, each resembles a mould of a car boot or the base of an Airfix diorama upended and hung vertically. In the corner, the projected shapes of 'The 8th Sphere' conjure up an array of occult-based conspiracy theory symbols against silver painted walls that look like retro-futurist cave paintings of Illuminati pyramids and the like.
For simulated sacrifice, the flickering screens of 'Void Fires' are immersive. Home-grown viewers of a certain age may struggle to avoid replaying the opening credits of hammed-up 1970s TV thrill-fest Tales of the Unexpected.
Far from the noise, smoky breath and rock'n'roll excesses of any maddening crowds that might easily illustrate it, the fact that the Quistreberts' work is shown in silence without soundtrack speaks volumes of a more attentive approach required to reflect on what's on show beyond its shiny surface.
The Quistreberts have already been championed by ultimate transgressive art star Genesis Breyer P-Orridge in his/her essay, 'Shadows and Mirrors'. Here, the siblings' psych-punk titled show is supported by the Institut Francais d'Ecosse in Edinburgh, who are showing a trio of the pair's geometrically inclined short video works under the name Amnesiac cisenmA in tandem with Visions of Void.
Back at the DCA, once all demons have been silently dispelled, you can hide from the fray in the gallery's small ante-room, where, set against silver-painted walls, the jet black paint spray of the tiny 'Soue-Bois Vertical' is tucked in the corner of what could easily be the bedroom of two teenage brothers flirting with their dark side, from sulky adolescence to the spaced-out beyond that fuels them.
Dundee Contemporary Arts, until Sun 22 Mar.