DATELINE’s trying something new this month by splitting their space and running two concurrent solos: Jack Ludlam’s Imaginary Waters and Coleman Mummery’s Everyone Is Evil and I’m Evil 2.
The change is partly thanks to smart and creative use of their movable wall. Not necessarily a sexy innovation, but the dynamic division created works well for the works on display. Ludlam’s clean photography depicts elements of a sea-faring life. Knotted rope, hooks, knives, hands, and the briny bounty float like islands in a pure white sea. The graphic works are minimal, textural, respectful and straightforward. Held within the hook-like embrace of the gallery’s new spatial arrangements, it’s a crisp and pleasing flavor for front-of-house.
Mummery’s show in the “project space” is a whole other beast, composed of a toxic array of melted plastic, concrete, paint, and bric-a-brac. Strange mounds of polymeric materials create a landmine sculpture field, an assaulting but somehow adorable mix of object and abject. Among the mean and ugly aspects of it, though, there are delicate, precious, and secret elements that are altogether fascinating. Consider the tiny, poorly-lit corner with a tiny, red wax key surrounded by tiny sunflower seeds. Or the hunk of concrete, straw, and (again) sunflower seeds “playing” an endless calliope-sound on a crappy old keyboard. While the physical durability of Coleman’s work is questionable, its ability to endure in your mind is steadfast.
Is it fair or necessary to compare the two shows? Are they inextricably caught together, natural and unnatural, clashing in an angular show of sin and sinew? Or is a well-placed wall enough to separate, define, give space, and nurture two very different ways of considering the world? We’ll see soon enough how this new arrangement plays out.
Photos from the opening receptions of Jack Ludlam’s Imaginary Waters and Coleman Mummery’s Everyone Is Evil and I’m Evil 2 at DATELINE.