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Justin Eagle: food for the daddy not home from work yet

22 March 2013 | Rachel Ridge

"I don’t think the things I use are ever discarded, they are always logged and constructed in our psyche; we are like moving memory banks and imagery from certain eras or places will always trigger a response." - Justin Eagle

Justin Eagle’s food for the poor daddy not home from work yet, showing at the Vitrine Gallery, will examine the multilayered relationship between object and human. In his third solo show, he presents his overwhelming prints hanging from the ceiling, inviting the viewer to examine themes of aspiration, human desire and nostalgia.

 

London Calling: With your new show are you attempting to rid the viewer of familiarity and urge them to view urban reality and everyday objects in a new way?

Justin Eagle: Yes, I know my understanding of the object is always shifting and my own relationship is constantly in flux. The object and our relationship with it is always moving and developing and I want to mirror this in the work. The viewer’s relationship is very complex and peoples’ readings are extremely advanced. People are always shifting and progressing in their relationship with a thing.

LC: Have you always been fascinated by society’s self-inflicted neurosis and its ‘unlikely saviour’ self help?

JE: I am interested in systems, and how structures are formed and try to contain us. I have been interested in forms of psychological help for many years, psychoanalysis especially. It’s quite an interesting pursuit that can have its limitations especially set against a capitalist economic system. I am critical of these modes of ‘help’ especially when working within our capitalist construct, not that I think we are helpless but I do feel there are other ways.

LC: Do you feel this time you are delving deeper into ideas of detachment within people, to their surroundings and themselves?

JE: I don’t think I have really emphasised the point of detachment.  I feel I have made a set of objects that are neurotic in their mode of operation. They are difficult objects to decipher, not just for the viewer but also in themselves; they are confused objects but are also produced in such a way that they are using modes of production that present them as desirable things. I was thinking about the Castrol GTX advert from the 80’s by Ogilvy and Mather, just after I made these works, and I think there is a parallel with these works in that they are very mechanical and virtual objects but have a fluidity in their production values through the render. They have an element of the humane through the choice of the dog but they are also wrong in the sense that the two things logically should not sit together, so yes there is detachment there - they are dark images.

LC: Can you talk about your use of 3D computer modelling programs and billboard paper, are you questioning how we use and consume images and objects?

JE: I always drew from what is instantly around me. I don’t want to hunt out stuff; I want to come across it. My relationship with the poster paper is really from standing on the tube platform every day and being faced with an image, I don’t really recall what I am looking at every day but I like its physicality. It is doing something when I face up to it every day, it is communicating to me in a very ridged and prepared manner. The 3D modeling is something I have used a lot before Zachary Marshall, who rendered the objects.  We have a relationship where we often discuss the image or object so it is something that is natural to use. I also like the way it is so much a part of our developing consciousness in how an image is constructed for the world.

LC: You have created site responsive works in your earlier exhibits and have taken it a step further this time with monumental images that hang from the ceiling. What are you trying to convey with these interruptions to the gallery space?

JE: I feel quite uncomfortable with just looking straight on at something so I wanted to take that away from the show. I wanted a back and a front to the work, so there is a duality with the viewers’ relationship.  Also, I want it to look temporary like the way film sets are constructed:  it’s all good from the front and the reality is there, but behind it is all just taped together.

LC: Are you trying to redefine how we perceive our surroundings and construct our identity through objects and space?

JE: Yes

LC: You’ve also worked with found imagery and objects, what are you trying to unravel in the collection of the discarded?

JE: I don’t think It’s the discarded that I am interested in, more the consumed. I don’t think the things I use are ever discarded, they are always logged and constructed in our psyche; we are like moving memory banks and imagery from certain eras or places will always trigger a response and I want to use that.

LC: What can we expect from you in the future?

JE: Well I read somewhere you should always trust your own perversions, so more on that front.

 

'food for the poor daddy not home from work yet' opens at Vitrine Gallery from the 6 March - 13 April. For more information please click here.

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