Becoming sexed versus expressionist overkill

Story by Jack Foley

Versus: a series of 3 short consecutive exhibitions

The Centre of Attention Gallery in London is currently presenting a series of eye-catching exhibitions entitled Versus, each presenting two different artists working in different disciplines.

Described as 'a clash, a complement, a synthesis, and a blind date', the exhibition is designed to throw up a new visual stimulus, a new mental conundrum and fresh ideas. Part one featured the work of Thomas Raschke and Abigail Durrant, while part two, which indielondon has chosen to highlight, features Tai Shani vs Kristian Hornsleth. A private viewing takes place on Thursday, March 28, and the clash runs until April 7 (Thursdays to Sundays, 2pm to 7pm).

Tai Shani studied fashion design and fashion photography in New York and Tel Aviv where she has worked for major style magazines. She has shown her work at the Haifa Museum, at the Haus am Lützowplatz and at Novalog, Berlin. Last year, she had a solo show 'Axl Rose you rock my world' at the Tal Esther Gallery, in Tel-Aviv. She recently moved to London (an example of her work is featured in the main picture, above).

Tai Shani's videos, photographs and installations reflect the construction of gender; they especially examine how a body becomes sexed. They do not only recreate the female body from the viewpoint of 'to-be-looked-at', but also exemplify the deformation of body and identity resulting from this perspective. They thereby underline the power of definition that fashion has and portray pop as a field on which this power is executed.

Kristian Hornsleth
, meanwhile, has been shown extensively on the continent and New York, although this is his first London show. It features selected posters, large photocopies and other readymade materials mounted on the canvas as contextual background.

An important feature is the cut holes. Most of the work has been brutally cut and heavily scratched with sharp objects. This action is an intention to add an extra color, and an additional branding control.

The paintings are described as 'mostly heavy expressionistic overkillish' as well as 'sensational and statement-oriented'. The Centre of Attention's website states that, 'with time, this style has proven itself to have a market to well of-young-self-confident-business-types-who-normally-thinks-that-art-is fucking-boring'.

Examples of Hornsleth's work are pictured above right and left.

Part 3, which runs until April 14, (Private view on Thursday April, 11, 2002, from 7 to 9pm), will feature Otiose vs Marty St James and details can be previewed by clicking here.

The Centre of Attention is a contemporary art gallery which aims to present work deserving utmost attention from the viewing and buying public. It started in August 1999 and is non-funded and non-commercial. It has no fixed premises and though many of the shows take place at 15 Cotton's Gardens, London EC2 (Tel: 020 7729 0699), others have been presented in different venues across the capital and internationally.
Nearest Tube: Old Street.
Entrance: Free