Hannah James @ Rhubaba

Article by Rachael Cloughton | 27 Jan 2011

Hannah James’s work functions beneath a guise of opacity. Her oeuvre consists of deliberately bad camera angles and hazy images. The past year of her practice has, however, seen screens proliferate. Although Potts Purr lacks the latter element, the guests who poured into Rhubaba for the opening night punctuated the space in much the same way – determining the speed of the viewer’s interaction with the exhibit and interrupting each projection with their silhouettes.

Of course, the intimacy of Rhubaba’s project space invites the viewer to become part of the narrative, but vagueness is instilled within the slides even without their intrusion. In each of the three projections, huge visceral pots reside, they could be either ancient Isometric sculptures or Modern ceramics. Forming their backdrop is an impressive print, reminiscent of Yves Klein’s nude paintings; however, its indexical source is again, difficult to trace. Elevated, residual veins of paint remain on the wall, setting up a dialogue with the fleshy clay pots that are frustratingly intangible.

However, the unity that exists between the four works on show is disturbed by the knowledge that this exhibition is only one half of a whole: the second part will be shown in Chert Gallery in Berlin. It’s unlikely that most people who attend the Rhubaba fraction will travel to Germany to complete the show, but considering James’s taste for ambiguity, this unseen aspect is oddly appropriate.

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