Dirt and Not Copper is an exhibition featuring work by Lorna Macintyre (Glasgow) and Zin Taylor (Brussels) that explores the connections between objects, narrative, and methods of storytelling. Reflecting on the aestheticised, and often ironic role that objects play in the building of narrative within an exhibition, the project examines the ways in which narrative is obscured through the process of making.
Pointing to the artist as author and mythmaker, a cast of object-portraits tell the story of people and things—of surface, labour, rhetoric and companionship. With a wry, deadpan sensibility, Zin Taylor’s sculptures entertain the slippage between ideas and form. Concepts are crudely modelled in three dimensions, as samples of surface growth and abstraction, and slivers of history and conversation. Poetry and mythology serve as the departure point for much of Lorna Macintyre’s work, where objects, photographs and found materials form a kind of visual poem. Using metaphor to underline the basic agency of materials, loaded substances are distilled into symbolic archetypes and re-cast in a tactile play of light, weight and space. Narrative is clouded by contingency.
Both artists are equally invested in the obstruction of narrative as they are in narrative as an artistic device: refusing to clearly tell a story. The imprint of the artist’s hand only adds to this ambiguity, and speaks to the role of the storyteller as both recorder and raconteur. Drawing attention to loopholes in allegory, translation and artistic production, Dirt and Not Copper challenges singular narratives in hopes that some new ones might emerge from the rubble.
Above photo, from left to right: Double Sliver (Tongue/South West Ancient Blanket); Double Sliver (Pepperoni/Pyramid), Zin Taylor, 2014; Untitled, 2012; Orange Tree, Lorna Macintyre, 2013; Double Sliver (Blueberry Pie/Thinking Colour), Zin Taylor, 2014.