Chris Fortescue

338 Gallery, Sydney
10 August - 27 August 1988

Picture frame; Instant lawn; Wheeled wooden crate (marked "Fragile. No rain. No sun."). Parachute (crumpled material); Shovel (spade?); Armchair. Hay bale; Umbrella; Music stand. Blind (screen?); Ladder; Oar. Suitcase; Timber; Bed spring. Strange ratios; what geometry?

No word association test. Found, but “more" than random, objects arranged on a handsome wooden floor, photographed inverted  - except for the hay bale, etc. – from above. Large, striking works. No literal or literary sense: no allusion, except to a general photographic technique in terms of which more or less random or ordinary objects are ordered as effects of some more or less visible principle. No suspense, once you've worked out the perspective which the images aren't precious about anyway – although the effect of that perspective is suspension. No discernible, describable order, beyond “arranged – inverted – from above” (no epistemological statement?). No seduction beyond elusion: what kind of sense?

Elusion, though, is something; something cold and hard perhaps, but so are diamonds. Ought we begrudge them their value? These images, however, proceed by a series of negations beyond diamonds. No firelight is reflected in their hearts, and you couldn’t make tacky engagement ring out of any of them. What is a diamond, their either sentimental nor commodity value? (The thing is, who knows?). These are images which want nothing, except to be purged of sentiment and commerce. That may well be impossible, but it is probably the source of their resistance to epistemology. The thing is, if they simply remain interesting to look at, these images may acquire an aesthetic value, either beyond the reach of fetishism, or, as pure fetish objects.