July 10 - July 28, 2012
This is one grand set-up! Sanjay Theodore shows a variety of photographs and a single large painting. But is there any connection?
Let’s start with the painting. From all four corners our eye is led towards the centre by decorative gold and silver squares gilded to the canvas. All roads lead to a brushed dark green void. Within the dark ground surrounding this void, geometric and architectural symbols appear like notations on a celestial chalkboard. There are layers of paint here, like thought forms drawn through time and history. The painting is called Super System and the exhibition Panorama. We are presented with a big picture, and left to ponder what might be at the heart of this matter.
Hung opposite, two medium sized photographs are similar if only for their fabulously moulded frames. One is a panoramic landscape, notable for the dutiful way tyre marks in recent snow follow a road’s centre line. The other is the end of the road – quite literally the wreck of a red car – or as some wit noted “all hell in a chocolate box”. Theodore conjures a certain reality, then he taketh away. That is the set-up and the shift that pervades this painting and these photographs so far.
It is continued in the smaller photographs clustered on the central wall. A blue Toyota Surf, shimmeringly new, lies with its roof crushed in; seemingly intimate house fires and treescapes upon closer inspection become more melodramatic and sinister. Is this North Canterbury Gothic seen through the eyes of an artist of Indian extraction? Maybe. But is also a nuanced meditation on life in the quake zone, where realities have been jolted, perceptions are subtly different, and nothing is quite what it seems.
Details of works
Super System, 2006-09
Untitled photographs, 2012