Gallery 1 at first appears to be moments of everyday life, captured by several artists. Looking closer at Ulrike Lienbacher’s work, the drawings seem strangely intimate. They mostly involve women, in various poses, washing themselves or cleaning their hair, in private and revealing gestures that makes you feel like an intruder. At the end of her drawings a film is playing of a woman drying herself. She then goes on to style her hair, until it dissolves in to lines that disappear down the plughole as if like water, as if the film has no end or beginning, as the woman begins drying herself once more.
Rachel Goodyear’s drawings are a lot harder to get used to. At first, they appear to be relatively normal scenes, but when you get closer, they become rather sinister. Two dogs appear to be walking together, but if you look closer, one had the lead of the other, and is clearly in charge. In another, a dog appears to be patting its owner, though it is actually scratching it, giving the girl tiny cuts all over her back. Clashing ordinary with extraordinary, her work leaves your mind reeling.
One of the other artists shown is Naomi Kashiwagi. She experimented with old and inanimate objects, trying to turn them in to art. On show are pieces of work she made by placing paper in to a piano while she played. The outcome is rather simple, though grabs your attention and holds it for a long time.
In Gallery 2, a lot more animation is used. The first piece of art you come across is by Catherine Bertola. She used a pattern usually found on carpet or furniture to decorate the floor and walls of part of the gallery, including a small room. Stuck to the pattern is dust she collected over a number of weeks at Cornerhouse, perhaps referring to the time when Cornerhouse was a furniture store. The effect is dramatic, making you consider what sort of impression you leave behind on the places that you’ve visited.
The next piece of artwork you see involves two films on different sides of a screen. Although they have different storylines, they somehow link together. One is of a young girl who learns to play a complicated musical instrument, and the film shows her playing a song that took a year for her to learn. The other is an animated story of a girl working in an eyelash factory. The music from the other film seems to narrate this one, the tune following the story, and helping you to understand what is happening. The song seems to follow you all around the room.
One of my favourite artworks was Dan Perjovski’s “The Almost Crazy Dada Book”. This was a collection of sketches done by him about the politics and media affecting his native country, and others around the world. Some of these are oxymoronic, including a dove holding an olive branch in its beak and a nuclear bomb in its claws, making you wonder which one it will hand over first. The pictures are drawn with a humour that surprises you, and I think I could have stood there for hours.
In the last gallery, your attention is grabbed by Margaret Harrison’s work, which was too extreme in the sixties to be shown. The pictures represent the way women are portrayed in society, and seem to have been made by somebody with an odd sense of humour. Quite stereotypical superheroes have become women; though somehow have kept their air of masculinity.
Overall, the galleries seem to relate to each other, with their use of mixed media and scenes of intimacy and humour. Although some of them are hard to get used to, none of them are hard to remember.
Review by LiveWire Critic, Fiona Turner ‘Nov 08
The Intertwining Line is on at Cornerhouse until Sun 11 Jan ’09
ADMISSION IS FREE
Video Review By LiveWire Critics, Alice Toomer McAlpine, Josh Rayworth, Max Igbon (Nov ’08)