Art Review: Out of Time

Article published: Sunday, May 30th 2010

At Castlefield Gallery, the artist, David Osbaldeston links public acceptance of the media with theatre audiences’ suspension of belief by incorporating philosophical lines from Luigi Pirandello’s play, Six Characters in Search of an Author with photographs of newsworthy events. Kirsten Ferrari reviews.

I was excited and apprehensive about the pretentious ensemble which most likely awaited me at an exhibition which promised to, “explore relationships between the gallery and theatre, staging, displacement, reality, illusion and social discord”.

Descending the steps of the Castlefield gallery, I enter the grey concrete space, dimly lit by theatrical red spotlights. It only needs hooks hanging from the ceiling to resemble a horror movie slaughter house. But this macabre setting works to the exhibitions advantage.

The images on display are not in themselves aesthetically pleasing. The pieces of photojournalism Osbaldeston has collected are tenebrous reprints haphazardly collaged with historical dates and philosophical musings, giving the impression of a work in progress. This is the point: that the media we are witness to is constructed and only “a stolen language of reality”. It is posed to the visitor: “doesn’t all media exist to invest our lives with artificial perception and arbitrary value?”

This exhibition is meant to unease rather than inspire. As the audience approaches each image their shadows are cast upon it in the red light, suggesting that the individual in collective society is a part of “the illusion of disturbance” which assists hegemonic power.

The link between the theatre and media, illusion and reality are all valid and important political points but the exhibition loses impact due to its nebulousness. It does not make explicit that the photographs show the 1992LA Riots, the Waco Siege and the first Gulf War’s, ‘highway of death’ and therefore partly excludes the viewer. It is a striking exhibition but somewhat inarticulate and occasionally confused. But why believe everything you read in the media? You’ll have to go and see it for yourself.

Kirsten Ferrari

Out of Time (The Light of Day/ The Action of the Play) is showing at Castlefield Gallery until June 6th.

Photo © Alex Wilkinson-Hughes

More: Culture, Exhibition


  1. Hhurmmm, you got all that from this show?

    Comment by mark page on June 12, 2010 at 2:04 am

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