SODIUM VAPOUR NIGHT LIGHT
Saturday 22nd June - Saturday 3rd August 2013
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FOLD is pleased to announce the continuation of their programme of solo shows. These consist of two solo shows that run simultaneously, presenting two separate bodies of work within the same space. However, there is no major physical divide within the gallery to set them apart.

The intention is to present the viewer with a unique opportunity to form their own conclusions regarding the relationships between the separate shows. The hope is that the gallery, rather than intervening, is acting as a catalyst for these events to unfold.

 


 

‘The only thing that can stop a bout of ‘spinning out’ is a point of reference. Look at something, know where it is, and as you spin, refer to it, in revolutions you will be located somehow. In slower moments analyses happen, yet none can fault the decisive eye located on the chosen reference. That is neither nostalgic, nor past-tense. Only then when it happened.’

 

In his second solo exhibition with FOLD, Dan Davis includes paintings, sculpture, and site-specific installation to relay a collective vision which combines concerns with the narrative uncertainties that are created when referential works exist in a purely visual way, and how this relates to a broader view of civilization as a staged event.

The notion of a Sodium Vapour Night Light, came about when the artist arrived home late one night after a long day in the studio. His bedroom window was permeated with a deep orange glow emanating from the streetlights below. The white blinds in the window obscured full view and the condensation on the glass refracted the light in a pleasingly hellish vision. Davis re-creates this in the gallery, as its’ reminiscent of how film set windows were often never really windows to the outside, but windows to a re-creation of the outside.

This continues Davis’ pre-occupation with a broader Ballardian view that all signs and codes of civilization were set-like in their interchangeability and ripeness for dismantlement. This coupled with an awareness of art display as a staged event. ‘While these tenets relay more than a hint of cynicism, I prefer to take the opposite sentiment, in that awareness of this can open up a potential for art as a psychological/imaginative realm.’

Sodium Vapour Night Light contains paintings and sculpture from a disparate engagement the artist has with both Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s brief foray into science-fiction in World on a Wire (1973), and the notion of the ‘executive’ figure in late-capitalist western commerce. The interest in World on a Wire being a point of reference to the idea of a retro-futurist world where the protagonist is caught in a multi-layered narrative confusion about whether the virtual world he invented is one in which he is the master of, or a prisoner trapped within. Davis also finds the notion of the ‘executive’ or ‘C.E.O.’ interesting – ‘because of the profound manner in which their decisions affect the lives of so many, and so disproportionately to the manner in which they are held to account for their own decisions when they go wrong. It creates an almost existentially untouchable class, whom the physical forces of life’s narrative consequences don’t seem to apply in any noticeable way, making them almost virtual in one regard.’

In one life-sized portrait, Davis decided to cast Robert Hughes, the late popular art critic and star of the documentary television series The Shock of the New (1980), as an executive figure. ‘I had been enjoying watching these old series and I found Hughes manner to be C.E.O. – like, almost an executive of the art world if you grant that analogy. I found it somewhat comical that at the beginning of scenes, he would dramatically appear from around the corner of some gallery in a fixed camera shot before launching into a monologue about the current subject of art history. This reminded me of a keynote address at a corporate conference on the state of affairs of cultural capital.’

 

Dan Davis was born in Indiana, in 1978. In 2004 he received an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College. His was included in FOLD Gallery’s inaugural show in the galleries’ previous location in 2008 and had his first London solo show there Halcyon, in 2009. He has curated several shows including his collaboration with CALarts theorist Arne De Boever, Primitive Accumulation in 2011, and Needle in a Cloud, with fellow band-mate and artist Nick Goss in 2012. He has also recently collaborated on several performances including Octave, performed at the Chisenhale Gallery in 2012. He is also a member of the band, My Sad Captains who’s third full-length album is due for release in early 2014. To accompany this exhibition, FOLD Gallery London has published a catalogue adjoined with Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, with an introductory text written by Berlin and New York based writer, Aaron Bogart.