For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

8 August - 12 September 2009

Rebecca Lennon, `Offering For Tesco (Where Wings Take Dream)` (2009), documentation from the performative series of ‘Offerings’ (in progress).
Rebecca Lennon, `Offering For Tesco (Where Wings Take Dream)` (2009), documentation from the performative series of ‘Offerings’ (in progress).

G39 continues its distinctive presentation of new work with For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn, a group exhibition arranged around the theme of fragmented narrative.

This short story by Ernest Hemingway was written in response to a bar bet that he couldn’t write a complete piece of fiction in six words or less. Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work. This micro-narrative plays over and over again in the mind of the reader with possible interpretations. The story is based on what is left unsaid. The artists all deal with micro-narratives in a variety of forms. There is a minimal use of materials and content that hint at much larger themes. Like Hemingway’s text, the showcased artists deal with what is left unsaid, but there is a reality within these narratives that explores failure, randomness and the nonsensical.

Through his mini epic films, video installations, sculpture and books, Alex Pearl creates a sense of an acceptance of failure or disappointment as important parts of the human condition. His sculpture is fragile, temporary and has the appearance of being on the verge of collapse or already broken. The work displays playfulness with its own limitations and a hopeless desire for greatness. Sarah Chilvers usually produces videos, paintings and drawings, and collects and displays found pieces of handwriting. For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn sees Sarah produce a short edition book fashioned from a collection of photocopied handwriting, found and collated over a ten year period. Twins Akiko and Masako Takada work collaboratively with sculptures, installation and videos, exploring the relationship between our existence and the space that we are surrounded by, creating miniature landscapes within common items whose scales are recognizable in our daily experience whilst preserving the size of the everyday objects. Rebecca Lennon combines video, performance, sound and installation in an ongoing process of montage, reconstruction, displacement, intervention and reinterpretation. Dealing primarily with the search for meaning and synchronicity via (seemingly) illogical or irrational means, Lennon uses readily available everyday materials in creating montage spaces and ritualistic constructions.

A short story is meant to contain five important elements: characters, setting, plot, conflict, and theme, and these five elements are all represented in Hemingway’s text. In the case of the artists in this show the elements have become disjointed from each other, some have been lost or disguised and we are left to decipher what remains.

This show was curated by
  • Michael Cousin
  • pdf iconReview by Darryl Corner
    • Akiko & Masako Takada, `Crop circle`.
    • Akiko & Masako Takada, still from `Rainstorm`, video.
    • Akiko & Masako Takada, `Railings`.
    • Rebecca Lennon, `Offering For Tesco (Where Wings Take Dream)` (2009), documentation from the performative series of ‘Offerings’ (in progress).
    • Rebecca Lennon, `Sea sicknes on dry land` (2008), horn Tannoy speaker, CCTV monitor, DVD audio recordings and animated text.
    • Rebecca Lennon, `Dead on arrival` (2009).
    • Alex Pearl, stills from Little Death