Rob Kennedy: acts of dis play
Kennedy invites us to consider the complexities and contradictions of the creative process
Glasgow based artist Rob Kennedy deliberately disrupts the conventions of traditional gallery display in this complex myriad of found objects, videos and artworks.
Downstairs, a series of leaning panels and MDF scraps lean precariously on top of one another at various points around the room, punctuated by a bonfire-like structure around a huge tree in the centre of the room. Onto these deconstructed 'walls' two mid-18th century paintings are displayed, both different versions of Peasants Playing Bowls, by David Teniers. The eagle-eyed visitor might spot the missing tree in one painting, seemingly replaced by the one in the centre of the room. In a series of weekly Saturday performances throughout the exhibition a performer occupies the role of the enigmatic, clothed figure in Teniers' painting, each discovering their own ways of navigating the exhibition space; both the figure and the tree break free from the two dimensional image into the gallery space beyond.
Elsewhere LED signage flashes a series of random advertising messages and cultural quotations, whose broken language is visually mirrored by a series of smashed flat screen monitors, still flickering the remnants of their message and spilling outwards into the upstairs spaces. In this kaleidoscopic arrangement of sound, screen, performance, painting and sculpture Kennedy deliberately moves away from any fixed, static meaning towards a more sensorial, imaginative and live experience, inviting gallery visitors to consider how complex and contradictory the creative process can be. He says, 'I'm interested in a dialogue about using the exhibition to encourage the experiential element of what it is to find yourself in an art gallery surrounded by objects, images and sounds. What does this stuff, in this room, in this institution, 'do' to the visitor?'
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 17 Dec