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"The Whiteness of The Whale: Works by Nadia Hebson, Reece Jones, Anna-Karin Jansson"
2007-02-09 until 2007-03-11
UK United Kingdom
Transition Gallery in London presents "The Whiteness of The Whale" works by Nadia Hebson, Reece Jones, and Anna-Karin Jansson from 10 February – 11 March 2007. The monochrome show The Whiteness of the Whale brings together three artists who today recognise the insistence of the indefinable, taking a contemporary look at the sublime. Touching on nature, spectacle, disaster, and the mundane, work in the show includes Hebson's enigmatic dark seascapes, Reece Jones's meticulous shadowy drawings, and Anna-Karin Jansson’s understated, sinister videos.
“Aside from those more obvious considerations touching Moby Dick, which could not but occasionally awaken in any mans soul some alarm, there was another thought, or rather vague, nameless horror concerning him, which at times by its intensity completely over powered all the rest, and yet so mystical and well nigh ineffable was it, that I almost despair of putting it in a comprehensive form. It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me.”
Chapter 42, The Whiteness of the Whale, Moby Dick, Herman Melville 1851
Whether the epitome of romantic writing or the first modern novel Moby Dick parades a flow of now familiar language and imagery to explore the nature of fear, where the true horror is not so much a livid white whale as unfathomable natural force.
All three artists employ a highly developed, almost obsessive working process, which can be seen as a kind of alchemy. They are intoxicated by making. As Melville explored the symbolic power of white he became entranced by the potential of language. The artists in The Whiteness of the Whale are similarly lost to their activity, mesmerised by the potency of the oblique, uncertain image.
A 24 hour continuous reading of Moby Dick took place in the gallery Friday 9 to Saturday 10 February.
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