A Collaborative project between Anders Oinonen & Mike Murphy
February 10 - March 6, 2011
Opening reception Friday February 11, 2011 from 6-10pm
The phrase “sadderday night” is a governing structure that bears no
significance. It is an empty phrase, a mirthless joke. I remember when
Saturday Night was fun, something to look forward to. Lets go out, get
wrecked, have an awesome time, and reconstruct it the next day. Again.
And again. Why do we have to do it again? So tiring, and the hangovers
get harder to take with each passing year. Maybe we really should read
more Chesterton, and just stay in beside the fire, with a nice warm
blanket over our knees... The dog will fetch the slippers. Or maybe we
should go out just to be alone, surrounded by others trying to connect
different less childish ways...
Sadderday Night with Mike Murphy and Anders Oinonen
Underneath a sheet of white snow, underneath the black ice,
everything is straightened out. The complex topology is
approximated and coated with subtle curves. As this blank
canvas of dark winter slowly melts, only a few chance pockets
of snow are left behind. With the thaw, the water carries frozen
fragments of itself across ponds and creeks, it is its own
medium, its own beginning. Beginnings, moments of entrance
into being, designate a oneness, a oneness that almost
instantaneously shatters, multiplies into billions of triangular
pieces of ice, into burrs, cones, eyes. Sadderday Night captures
these bits as they turn into dust, a light haze, a mellow glow.
Michael Murphy uses common, everyday objects, and engages
with them in a direct manner, allowing access to his methodology,
where nothing seems to be covered up. Yet, most of the work in this
exhibition is the result of covering, as with white paint or plaster.
This brings attention to the surface, to the outer edge, to the
seemingly transparent. But this surface brushes against everything.
It seems to respond to even the most subtle external stimuli; like
a field of nerve endings, it is easily excitable and combustible.
In broken but still together (2011) one confronts a cracked mirror
covered with a tinted film. Studying the dark reflections, one may
realize that they are doubled, that this thin film does more than
just let light pass through, it adds another layer of information,
complicates one’s experience. The gallery space itself is lined
with a resonating, barely detectable multi-layered drone: the six-
channel sound installation part of a sad song (2011). Out of each
of the speakers installed around the perimeter of the gallery, the
sound of a single note hummed by the artist is heard; collectively
these sounds make up the D minor chord (in two octaves).
This chord flatly lingers, like a colour-field painting, it seems
unwavering, univocal, a singular entity. But this sustained
harmony does not last. For as each note is exhaled it eventually
dies down, momentarily falling into silence, marking a break in
the overall unity. Since every track was recorded separately and
every breath lasts a different amount of time, the moments of
silence follow an arrhythmic sequence, creating an unstable aural
membrane, full of leaks and holes.
For Anders Oinonen this membrane is manifested in a more literal
way, as the face. We read the face into everything, we see it behind
the window at night, in the folds of textiles or in a landscape. It
always reflects back, it is inescapable, always at an irreconcilable
distance, it is the very measure of the outside, it is the outside.
The face is depicted in some form in every one of Oinonen’s paintings,
often in pure and saturated colours. Noseeum (2011) for example,
features an array of individuated adjacent hues, which seem to be
the productof white light dispersing through a prism. As light
disperses into foundational colours, the face too disintegrates into
primary, geometrical shapes and facial features, as though in the
midst of a dramatic metamorphosis. In the ancient practice of
damnatio memoriae, where the (damned) memory of a dead emperor
was to be wiped away, it was common for the public representations
of these individuals to be desecrated. These actions mostly targeted
the eyes, the lips and the nose. These features seemed to embody
the uniqueness of the individual, by removing them the individual
was also extinguished. What was left of the face was a formless
entity, a moldable generality. In Oinonen’s paintings the cone nose
sags down, about to fall off, the lips fold back into the face, the
sunken eyes dangerously drift on the edge of the waterfall. These
features, often spaced out on the picture-plane, nervously occupy
their positions, and still the face somehow remains. It is thwarted,
flattened, it is almost intangible, seemingly, in its last moment as
a unified whole.
The work in this exhibition is open to many different interpretations,
is informed by different approaches and conceptualizations, breathes
with new thoughts and old ideas, but does not necessarily prescribe
to any one specific course of action. Murphy and Oinonen are more
interested in allowing the subject to submerge into the ether of
unlimited possibilities, then, at the moment when it is about to turn
into nothingness, they take a quick snap shot before it completely
disappears. It can be a beautiful moment between being and the
possibility of being, a moment of many colours, of chance, where one
identifies a sense of humour, a naivety and a crudeness, but also a
seriousness, a sadness. It is an impossible moment, when there is
nothing left but a feeling, an uncontrollable, indescribable feeling.
Wojciech Olejnik, 2011