Graham Gussin’s first solo exhibition in Britain continues his exploration into the way we perceive natural phenomena. Whilst Gussin’s text and photographic installations invoke the picturesque and the sublime, ultimately the work belies these familiar tropes of seeing, asserting the artificiality of human vision.
In the centre of the gallery two photographs mounted on billboard structures refer to those objects that occupy the foreground of landscapes we travel through, but also to the fantasy intrinsic to advertising. In these photographs, what first appears to be untamed wilderness, can, on closer inspection, be identified as pockets of overgrown urban wasteland.
Everything Available, a wallpapered text, lists all the equipment advertised in a single issue of Astronomy Magazine. Items as diverse as the “Series 4000 Moon Filter” and the “Observer’s Chair (Standard Model)” divulge both the human desire to uncover the secrets of the universe and the frailty and smallness of our position within it.
Contents features extracts from the contents page of Lydall Watson’s 1970s bestsellers, Supernature and Supernature II. Italicised and written in reverse, words and phrases coined by the author such as ‘thoughtography’ and ‘perfect speed’ look as though they could be read from the other side of the wall. Thus Gussin suggests a fusion between the gallery interior and what exists beyond, much similar to Watson’s aspiration of transcendent harmony between the body and the environment. Unlike Watson, however, Gussin communicates a thoroughgoing scepticism.
Graham Gussin was born in London in 1960, where he currently lives and works. He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic between 1981 and 1985 and completed an MA at Chelsea School of Art in 1990. He has shown extensively in Britain and abroad, and has curated exhibitions for the Showroom and Interim Art in London.