Michael A. Robinson: Sweet Dreams


April 5 – May 10, 2003

Project Description

” …that this strategy is a strategy without any finality; for this is what I hold and what in turn holds me in it’s grip, the aleatory strategy of someone who admits that he does not know where he is going… I should like it also to be like a headlong flight straight towards the end, a joyous self-contradiction, a disarmed desire, that is to say something very old and very cunning, but which also has just been born and delights in being without defense.”

Jacques Derrida [1]

What psychological effect does the insanity of war have on us? The most irrational art seems to emerge during wartime. With Sweet Dreams, Michael A. Robinson aims a critical look towards an artistic practice which cannot be directed but instead directs him. Spontaneous movement, accidents and games of chance take precedence over concepts and strategies. Hallucinogenic transformations occur at every turn; a drawing becomes a performance and then turns into an object. There is no real difference. Liberty and expression come from everywhere and nothing blocks the way; identity is no longer questioned but instead it is actively constructed.

This recent work, which occupies both exhibition spaces brings together different mediums -namely drawing, photography, relief work, video and three dimensional interventions. However, it is all clearly the work of a sculptor: lines, volumes and forms structure the space.

This project can be thought of as a narrative with no real subject or pre-established structure. The question is not “Where is the art?” but “Is art happening?” and “When will it happen again?”. Robinson tells us it is not really an exhibition but an experience. As a result, we see the imperfections and failures which characterize all experience. A requestionning of the modernist desire for control and pure form.

[1] Jacques Derrida, The Time of a Thesis: Punctuations, in Philosophy in France Today, ed. Alan Montefiore, Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp. 34-50.