Justin Fitzpatrick
Ballotta

★★★★★

On until 20 January 2024

Harpies drape themselves in pearls and wind their bodies around Art Deco ornaments on Fitzpatrick’s bronzer-gold canvases. Multiple copies of Brian Johnson, the 45-year-old billionaire face of anti-ageing therapy, haunt the room. His empty eyes betray a craving for the elixir of youth so consuming that it can only be satisfied by sacrifice. 

In a bout of dark humour, Fitzpatrick nourishes this extractive dependency and prototypes a human growth hormone home brewing kit. The apparatus is assembled from salvaged Christian devotionalia and comes with an order of kindly nuns who watch over the proceedings. Beads for counting – or prayer – meter out the ritual. The reward for taking part in this experiment of life is ascension to the holy orders. 

This would be a cynical caricature if it weren’t all true. Fitzpatrick’s sculpture and painting follow a rigorous research protocol deep into our molecular-spiritual system. Work by work, they build an ornate map intelligible only after decades of devoted study and even then, only to the divine. There’s no fast promise in this practice, but it’s the only way to reverse art’s schism with the image.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Max Hooper Schneider, Twilight at the Earth’s Crust at Maureen Paley ★★☆☆☆

Max Hooper Schneider

Twilight at the Earth’s Crust

★★☆☆☆

Mad Max meets Waterworld in a crossover sequel conceived by a film studio’s marketing department.

Nick Relph, Fils, ta vision! at Herald St ★☆☆☆☆

Nick Relph

Fils, ta vision!

★☆☆☆☆

There’s little for the eye to hang on and none of the punk culture of Relph’s earlier practice emerges from the works.

Atiéna R Kilfa, Primitive Tales, at Cabinet ★☆☆☆☆

Atiéna R. Kilfa

Primitive Tales

★☆☆☆☆

An uninspired re-staging of the artist’s Camden Arts Centre show.

Asami Shoji et al., Gestures of Resistance at A.I. ★★★★☆

Asami Shoji et al.

Gestures of Resistance

★★★★☆

The figures appear as though in x-ray and helplessly foretell their own ends.

Ksenia Pedan, Revision at Cell Project Space ★★★★☆

Ksenia Pedan

Revision

★★★★☆

Pedan’s paintings would rather be anything but.

Karrabing Film Collective, Night Fishing with Ancestors at Goldsmiths CCA ★☆☆☆☆

Karrabing Film Collective

Night Fishing with Ancestors

★☆☆☆☆

Little separates this display from a human zoo complete with curators who occasionally kettle-prod the once noble savage into a spectacular rage.

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