Supercollider is pleased to announce Waiting For The Main Event; an exhibition of new works by Catherine Payton.
Waiting For The Main Event is an exhibition in limbo. Confronted initially by the characters of Payton’s films (all played by the artist), viewers enter a space in which they may find themselves feeling excluded from ‘the action’. Curtains and drapery play a crucial role in developing a further sense of anticipation understood within a common trope of theatre and film, not to mention comedy: anyone visiting the gallery toilet and then re-entering the space may feel like Tommy Cooper taking three minutes to find his way to the front of the curtain, or Eric Morecambe looking for the key to get back behind it. The material is also suggestive of the public seance or a Medium’s stage backdrop – recurrent themes in Payton’s work – akin to the curtain that concealed one of the greatest charlatans, the Wizard of Oz: the emerald green satin being pulled aside by Toto to reveal the masterly trick.
Each film aims to form an ‘almost’ portrait, with the characters performing shaky tableaux vivants, occupying emotional spaces that swing between anticipation and boredom.
References to theatre, literature, films, the occult, and the comedic all permeate Payton’s work, but give way to an overarching paradox or loop – the pairing of a willing suspension of disbelief and a self-confessed charlatanism. The works leave us wanting to suspend disbelief, to be drawn into the implausible reality infront of us, whilst Payton’s conscientious amateurism reveals the trick to us repeatedly, acknowledging and referring to the construction of that reality. It is this cognitive dissonance that gives the work it’s lasting hold.
Waiting For The Main Event will coincide with Showzam!; Blackpool’s annual festival of circus, magic and new variety which will take place between 15 – 24 February 2013 at sites across the town as well as the annual Blackpool Magic Convention; the worlds largest magic convention which will take place from Friday 22nd through until Sunday 24th February 2013. Both of these events provide a fitting context within which to consider Payton’s ongoing investigations.
The exhibition is on now until 02 March 2013 at Supercollider Contemporary Art Projects, 59 Cookson Street.