at Rod Barton, London
November 19 2012
“Newly Laundered Smile” is a great title for an exhibition. To ‘launder’ is an idiomatic phrase that can mean both to clean and conceal. It suggests elaborate fiscal scams and laundromats, an image that perfectly captures the tone of Gabriele Beveridge’s new solo exhibition at Rod Barton. The work in the exhibition brings together a number of assemblages that include appropriated content from vintage magazines and advertising – the work is populated by beautiful models and far away places. The images are placed within a highly attuned constellation of materials including plants, cigarettes, ametyst mineral, lipstick and an old Nikon camera.
It is useful to think about Beveridge’s methods as akin to that of the filmic edit - specifically, the dissolve and close-up. A faded portrait of a female model whose smile was once used to sell sun cream and the high life now stares back at us blankly, the truncated image removed from its own genealogy. The cinematic dissolve (the screen fades to white in the edit) suggests time lapsing or a dream sequence.
The allusions to reverie seem apt, and the work is marked by a hyper sensitivity to materiality and display that feels almost dream like. The filmic close-up for Giles Deleuze is an ‘affection-image,’ cutting the face off from time and concealing it from a context – in its place we project our own desires and narratives. “Newly Laundered Smile” is about that moment where time stands still. Where the ceaseless flow of images gets stuck, it feels like a film without beginning and end only a perpetual middle. (George Vasey)