From Andrew Frost…
There seems to be a lot of it about – pareidolia that is – the “psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus being perceived as significant” which in a visual sense typically takes the form of seeing faces in clouds, within inanimate objects or in the coincidental shadings in a piece of toast that produces an image, say the Virgin Mary. Such is the project of Connie Anthes show Ornamental Noise: Paintings and Objects, though in this case the visions are more secular in nature as the artists finds faces within images of rocks and minerals.
The peculiar aspect of this show is that the apparently objective nature of the images themselves – perhaps sourced from geology journals or text books – give themselves over so easily to an imaginative framework once the titles of the works cue the viewer to their hidden faces: Aretha Franklin in a fragment of iron, Bjork a chunk of copper, David Bowie lurking within some asbestos, and so on… In 2013 Anthes entered what seemed an atypical collaborative work into the Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize in their Surrealism section, an odd fit for Anthes whose work had experimented with association and sculptural form. But for this latest show the uncanny is at full force, a well known surrealist device, yet one that seems ageless.
Until April 12
Damien Minton Gallery, Redfern
Pic: Connie Anthes, Untitled (Iron Portrait #2/Aretha), 2014. Oil on linen on board, 30x50cms.