Review: Homing at Supercollider


Friday 11 January brought yet another fruitful collision at the Supercollider gallery on Cookson Street.  Max Stolkin looped towards Blackpool via Indianapolis and Frankfurt, and smashed into the curatorial force that is Tom Ireland.  Casually circling the space, not unlike the pigeons in Homing: # 4-6, Max mingled with guests at the preview show, sharing his personal observations on the evolution of the exhibition.

Max Stolkin is an artist for whom conceptual and aesthetic ideas share equal prominence.  While his image of the astronaut Gus Grissom being airlifted from the sea, having safely returned from space, has a clear conceptual link to the idea of returning home, his decision to suspend a length of red and white chain from the gallery ceiling above a pair of pigeon feathers has a more literal interpretation.

The theme which links the individual pieces in Homingtogether was not immediately obvious in all of the works.  There are different stages in Max’s thought processes, from which the pieces are born.  Some come from scientific, observable origins, for example the empty aluminium vessels, reminiscent of space debris.  Others are perhaps further down the route from concept to aesthetic.  Max reconnects with the thread of his idea after it has undergone some transformation, becoming more of a visual metaphor than a deliberate collation of observations.

The artist is clearly drawn to events onto which a personal emotional narrative can be pinned.  Max chooses elements of space, unmanned space exploration and scientific study which, when encountered by people who are not directly connected with the events in question,  have sufficient shared points of recognition to act as a framework for his unanswered questions about the need to return home.homing01web

Following a couple of laps of the exhibition, there was a definite feeling of satisfaction at having tapped into what is a coherent and confidently composed collection.  Max is not tied to one particular medium, using sculpture, image, found objects, text, and photo-manipulation to make his work.

As for the artist, he continues to explore the central theme of homing in his personal life, travelling back to Franfurt following the preview.  He admitted to not being sure whether he would ever be able to live in one place, having traversed the world for several years.  It’s fitting that a man who struggles to call one place home would question the universality of the homing mechanism.  Perhaps by minimising the distance across the globe, by viewing it in terms of space exploration, he has chosen to avoid nesting in any country, instead knowing the Earth as his home.

Homing runs from 11 January to 2 February at Supercollider, 59 Cookson Street, Blackpool


Review written in collaboration with artist David Nickson.

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  • Show Comments (1)

  • david

    Went Thur. Afternoon. In the cold.They were shut despite what it said on the door. Perhaps appropriately I went home.

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