Mumbo Jumbo by Michael Taylor
1 November - 1 December 2012
Opening Thursday 1 November 18:00 - 21:00
Walkabout with the artist Thursday 29 November from 18:00
Looking for trouble
Stick to what you know
This is a monologue
No easy way in
No easy way out
Every man is an island
This is what you get
Good old mumbo jumbo
John Dunne’s observation that ‘No man is an island, entire of itself’ is generally accepted as the ubiquitous man-island metaphor. The comparative association of people with islands is not uncommon. Through the ages literature has offered classic examples of man-meets-island fiction. Tales such as ‘The Odyssey’, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, ‘The Tempest’, ‘Robinson Crusoe’, and ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ all explore island ideologies. In psychology Jungian theory compares an individual’s ego to the notion of an island. Contemporary psychoanalytic practice provides space for the individual to draw a picture of what one’s own island looks like. Interpretative value is placed on these real and imagined islanded words, thoughts, and marks.
Taylor has chosen to approach this exhibition as a playful exercise in describing the landscape of his ‘island’.
Not only is this body of work a return to large-scale drawing for Taylor, but also, a return to using narrative as a starting point for the image-making process. Devising a story, in the form of a poem, and working with a select number of preconceived titles, Taylor attempts to create a familiar metaphor for which to make drawings. The narrative shifts simultaneously between two chief protagonists - the hero, Mickey, and his ego, the island. Diving between character sketches the pictures illustrate an uncanny likeness of the two subjects.
Predominantly featuring fictional characters and imaginary spaces, Taylor’s work brings together the visual languages of illustration and abstraction to challenge notions of representation and the interpretation of pictures.
Michael Taylor (born 1979) is a South African artist who lives and works in Cape Town. He studied at Stellenbosch University, where he completed his Master’s Degree in Visual Art. Primarily working in the mediums of painting and drawing, He has exhibited extensively in South Africa and was recently selected as one of the Business Day Young African Artists. This is his fourth solo exhibition with WHATIFTHEWORLD / GALLERY.
Click here to read a review of this show, written by M Blackman.