Anthea Hamilton @ Thomas Dane
March 7, 2019 - May 18, 2019
The arrangement of objects, sculpture, and images into immersive installation has become a constant for Anthea Hamilton, whose work frequently mines heterogeneous image sources; this includes The Prude.
For the prude, modesty becomes extreme. The prude will not permit themselves, or others, sensuous enjoyment in life. Hamilton’s interest in the literary figure of “the prude” in part, references Cecil Vyse — the aloof character of E.M Forster’s A Room with a View (1908). Perceiving himself a sensitive intellectual, Vyse in reality, remains detached from lived experience. This obstinate self-awareness is matched by a cultivated, exaggerated style. This skewed mode of being, the prude-as-persona, serves a framework for the exhibition, where the prude is put to use as a proxy for Hamilton, who performs a “hands off” physicality.
The Prude also challenges relationships of scale and content, with large soft sculptures of moths and butterflies, and extravagant stone, marble, and walnut wavy boots. The effect is less an analysis of artifice, more a consideration of the way objects and images may influence meaning when treated to different processes of realisation.