The Third Policeman is proud to present our inaugural exhibition: The Place Where He Is Meant To Be Lost. The show takes its title from a quote from Town Of Cats, a short story by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. It uses his ideas as a springboard to open up a space for artworks that inhabit a solidly contemporary, Murakami-esque zone between the real and the magical, the prosaic and the dreamlike, the deeply personal and the political. The show includes UK and US artists who explore gaps and slippages in a range of media – some who work closely with language, sound and performance as well as those whose practices strike an otherworldly chord in a purely visual way.
The sculptural works of emerging NYC-based artist Christopher Aque and paintings by London-based Anna Ilsley interrogate notions of the erotic and the desirous gaze in contemporary culture. Aque uses the language of the readymade to his own contemplative ends, producing objects that are full to the brim with a surplus of desire and information, whether aspirational or erotic. The unabashed women in Ilsley’s exuberantly-wrought paintings are a reaction to the ways feminine desire is typically portrayed in the mass media. “Humping trees and showing off their willies and balls are attempts to divert standard power plays within the classical gaze,” she says.
British artist Maia Conran’s installation deals explicitly in the place between provisionality and possibility. Conran also uses performance, YouTube and constructed footage and text to provide iterations of her central motif – the island – blurring the boundaries between the scripted and the improvised. Artist and writer Patrick Coyle’s spoken performances and readings also inhabit and revel in gaps, often taking the form of a show-specific ‘guided tour’. Coyle often uses errors of speech or mishearings as raw materials – here, his performance and related sculpture (made in situ) pull and prod at elements of the Murakami story that inspired the exhibition as well as the eponymous novel of the gallery’s name.
The works of NYC artist Jack Henry and London-based Tanya Moulson take us on journeys into strange, otherworldly places that touch on the romantic sublime – drawn from their individual imaginations and sets of cultural references. Henry uses torn cardboard surfaces as material starting points for his series of delicately-rendered, collaged drawings, and the resulting rocky scenes are at once irrepressibly American and bewitchingly other. Moulson’s film and photographic works occupy odd spaces between. Populated by characters from Medusa to Willy Wonka in heady combinations of found and made footage, she takes the viewer on a tumble through serenity and terror, the rational and the irrational.