4th Floor Gallery
2 November–21 December 2006
In his past ‘Productivist’ series Darren Lago fused everyday objects to form unique and original works. For this new exhibition he has pushed these relationships to form a family of sculptures; they seem unrelated but closer inspection reveals a commonality between them.
The exhibition has three principal components. Large Glass is an installation of five circular mirrors, each 6 feet across. Each mirror appears to be static but from behind we can see an exposed motorised mechanism with belts and pulleys. It is a pure conceptualist notion; a mirror is attached to a motor that exists purely to rotate the mirror, but once the mirror is viewed the object appears unchanged.
Belle is a full size mirrored dressing table which has been joined to a cement mixer. The result is a whirling dervish of domestic familiarity and industrial functionality. Drawers slam open and shut, furniture legs arc wildly.
Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolf? is a film in which we meet a corrupt Mickey Mouse playing an object half hoover and half electrical guitar (also on display). Feedback and disturbance emanate from guitar and vacuum, but the vacuum plays on, the tune repeats, characters meet in the far distance, a balloon floats away, but the loop is incomplete. We reach the end but the film plays on, repeating, we have come full circle.
Linking the three sculptural aspects of the show is the theme of the circle and rotation. Lago is interested in the formalism of the circle and its thematic use here is sometimes apparent, sometimes subtle. The objects themselves are beautifully constructed – playing with the viewer’s perception of machine versus artistic manufacture. They catch us sneaking a look at our reflected selves in a manufactured world.