Sci – Fi Lullaby by Machiko Edmondson
Exhibition runs: 8th – 13th Oct 2013
Location: Gallery and Project space
Edmondson refers to her practice as the ‘representation of painting’. Despite the overt use of faces as her image source, she regards her work as neither figurative paintings or as portraits, as they are not ‘portraying’ any particular person in a conventional sense; they are better described as ‘anti-portraits!’
Employing the momentary seduction of fashion photography to lure the viewers into the world of idealised beauty and yearning, her paintings mimic the styles and codes of the desire industry to question the value and obsessions of aspirational perfection.
Just as in fashion photography where the model is a support for the product and contextualises it, such images also support and contextualise Edmondson’s paintings. Although seductive, the ideal they present becomes hyper-real: the image is devoid of identity and is a paradoxically empty facade, which is quickly consumed, giving way to the anxiety and obsession that assert these paintings as paintings. Beyond the image that gives them their presence, what is being portrayed is the question of the aspirational perfection of painting itself. As the viewer engages with these works and scans the surface, shifting their reading between fantasy and modernist abstract painting, the skin of the image and the skin of the painted surface, these works become paintings of unattainable desire.
In this way, Edmondson’s paintings are really about ‘language of painting’.