Viktor Wynd, Ingalls & Associates, Miami, May 27th - July 2 2005.
Looking for meaning in history is like looking for patterns in clouds - J.Gray
The work shows a fascination with the ways narratives are structured, both in the sense of oral fictions, such as in The Brothers Grimm or the Arabian Nights, where a handful of events need to be strung together in a certain form, but how they are strung varies and is of a lesser importance than the story and with literary stylists like Sterne, Fielding, Michado de Assis, Pessoa, B.S.Johnson, Calvino and many others, where it is often the how, rather than the what, that is uppermost. Within this fascination with the narrative structure there is an attempt to examine themes of perception and truth, the point at which a meaning is expressed, the gap between the intention of the meaning and the interpretation, the corners that meaning escape into, or the cracks through which meaning is lost. The work is evidently influenced (almost to the point of obsession) by the art of the early Islamic era, specifically calligraphic and architectural such as the Mosque at Samara or the Walls of the Palace of Mschetta (presently in Berlin), with the idea of coming closer to the divine through forms, together with an awareness of the drawings of Henri Michaux and the buildings of Daniel Libeskind. The work is also heavily tinged with a Neo-Dadaistic/nihilistic tendency to despair and a sense of the pointlessness of things, combining an Artaudian howl of misery with a Beckettian awareness of the absurd.
There is an almost nightmarish quality to much of the work, in the uncompromising lack of any cohesive ordered composition with only occasional hints as to what might be there, there is a sense of a world lacking in space, or more specifically lacking any way of perceiving space and one's own relationship to it. Hovering above the space is a pared down version of the bedroom which Wynd fled one night, sleepwalking, only to awaken in the bathroom after fainting and smashing his head open on the sink, and left trembling on the floor, unable to emerge for fear of being engulfed by the world outside. To this end the work in the show is elusive and often seemingly empty, combining, in the small gallery, the pointless obsessiveness of "15 hours of complete and utter boredom" a large, and virtually invisible drawing, made up of tiny lines scratched onto the paper with a sharp point and the whimsical nature of "love in the woods" where sticks cascade off the ceiling collapsing and disintegrating onto a large flat painting resembling the forest floor, where dirt, sticks and sand combine with other debris and human detritus in what superficially appears to be an abstract composition, but which under closer examination reveals a pair of stick figures, made of sticks, copulating, watched from the wall by a ball of dancing figures made out of dried orange and banana peel whilst listening to two competing sound pieces presenting excerpts from the Brothers Grimm and the Arabian Nights. Meanwhile in the main gallery an anti-narrative is promised, but never seems to emerge, as a set of five suites of disintegrating drawings marches around the walls, accompanied by an extract from the notes, trying, but never succeeding, to tell a story, like the saloon bar bore, or indeed Tristram Shandy, one feels that the story is never told, and indeed one gets lost as the story stops and changes and diverts. One gets the feeling that it isn't the story that's important but the sense and the soul behind it, an empty soul, examined in "Abyss, a video trilogy," presenting three moments of nothingness, inertia and self destructive indecision.