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Third from the Sun
31 August 2012  -  29 September 2012

S Mark Gubb

Ceri Hand Gallery Project Space, 71 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DG

S Mark Gubb’s second exhibition takes its title from a song by American industrial-metal band Prong. Originally written by 70s experimental-rockers Chrome, it was inspired by the Twilight Zone episode of the same name. Aired in the late 1950s, the episode follows the plight of two workers at a nuclear munitions factory. Highlighting a creeping paranoia and frustration for change present in the American (world) psychology of the day, the refrain from the song, “Everything's the same, nothing has changed, everything's the same, nothing has changed, at all, changed in our world”, alludes to a place or state of being that has become entirely paralysed by the inevitability of it's own apparent destiny.

New painting, photography, video, print and sculpture extend Gubb’s concerns with social/political control and impotence, aspiration, isolation, myth, legacy, language and flawed communication.

The title-work from the show, Third from the Sun (2012), is a set of three light-boxes, seemingly depicting hypnotic cosmic universes. These are, in fact, images of stains, bleached in to the lino under the urinals in an arts centre frequented by the artist.

The video One in the Same Flesh (2012) displays the burning of a 1970 Penguin Edition of The Moon and Sixpence by W Somerset Maugham. The Only Thing That Matters is the Everlasting Present (2012) is a printed image of the same book, rendered in flocking-medium and ash on paper. Their inspiration was Truffaut's film adaption of the Ray Bradbury novel, 'Fahrenheit 451', in which the book is featured atop a pile of others, destined to be burned. Intrigued by its prominence, Gubb was inspired to track down a copy of the same edition to read. The Sun Was Lost Behind the Clouds (2012) is a run of 230 prints; every page of a 1939 First Edition of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, over-printed with an image of a farm worker in Kern County, California, burning copies of the book following its release.

Other works in the show include Drowning Dog, (2012), a security-camera video of a dog retrieving its dead companion from a Chilean highway, Class of 1986, (2012), an engraved American school-desk, For a Short Moment, I Felt Nothing, (2012), a photographic image of a hand-painted sign, floating away over hills beneath bright-red helium balloons.

For this show Gubb has also produced two new multiple works. Unum Pluribus (2012) is a boxed, stamped-metal badge of an 1804 American silver dollar, in an edition of 51. The first of the edition sold will cost 1p, the second 2p, the third 4p – the price doubling each time. I Have My Dreams While I'm Awake (2012) is a 1980 Penguin Edition of Lautréamont's Maldoror, each of the 144 pages torn from the book and folded in to a paper aeroplane, packaged individually in a hand-stamped envelope.

Nostalgia and loss, underpinned by an acute sense of the absurd is reflected in Things Are Looking Up (2012), a painterly photographic view from a window, on to an office-block and car-park. The image is drawn from Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, an episode of The Comic Strip Presents, moments after Rik Mayall has fallen through the window. This tragic-comic, performed moment, leaves behind a serene, hauntingly familiar image.

For images or more information on the artist, the exhibition or the gallery, please contact Ceri Hand Gallery on 0207 240 5482 info@cerihand.co.uk
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