Christopher Langton’s latest exhibition steps away from the hyper-glossed sculptures that have come to define his work into darker, more matte territory. Exploring the ways in which the virtual world has seeped into daily life, this body of work will confront and question what we now accept as normal. It features five PVA sculptures that stand over two metres tall and four accompanying canvases working together to explore the concept of Animal Logic.
The show's title refers to our primal instincts and how we have been taught to subdue them in daily life. "What interested me was our animal urges that we have trouble controlling," says Langton. "Everybody is meant to conform and there are certain people who don’t or can’t. So [the show is] based around those notions: those animal parts of us that we must control to survive."
Instead of the shiny reflective surfaces that appear in Langton’s contemporaries’ work, such as Jeff Koons and Patricia Piccinini, his new figures are more like real life avatars. Their pixilated, angular frames clash with their primal qualities, leading to a sense of something that is both incredibly natural and unnatural. It is the uncomfortable fusion of past and future that draws the viewer into these ill-omened characters.
Chris Langton says: "I’m definitely trying to get away from that shiny gloss thing. That’s why I feel so good about this – it’s a bit of a departure from that sort of ‘Pop’ look… I like experimenting a bit. I get bored doing the same thing over again."
Accompanying the sculptures are four opposing canvases. They are the dire opposite of the colourful 3D characters, painted in faded neutral and green tones that mimic that of army fatigues.
"The canvases represent real life," says Langton, and those anonymous assailants within are the living humans that play life like they live in the virtual world, where existence can be renewed through the click of a button, and human life is an expendable force.
These two mediums of work support each other’s contentions: people playing out their animal instincts either publically through often violent acts in society, or privately within bedrooms against 2D enemies on a computer screen. The otherworldly characters that Langton has created appear to have stepped out of a computer screen and into the expansive space of Tolarno Galleries, ready to provoke and perform.
Press release courtesy Tolarno Galleries.
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