Artist: Danny McDonald
Venue: Bortolozzi, Berlin
Exhibition Title: Search Parameters
Date: April 28 – July 28, 2018
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Bortolozzi, Berlin
A search parameter is a character or string of characters used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of a search. In literature, a quest is often a character-defining journey limited by obstacles and conflicts to be overcome. Today, records of what we search for are traded as valuable commodities, and then used to better predict and deform our actions as consumers of ideas and products. The results of this are tragic.
When confronted by uncomfortable facts, anxiety emerges. It then provides relief to pursue diversions, with the affectation of logic, into the terrain of that which is ultimately unknowable.
From 1977-1982, the program In Search Of… aired on American television. It was hosted by Leonard Nimoy, best known from Star Trek as Spock, a being whose culture is centered around logic and science. Nimoy’s sceptical tone lends gravity to In Search Of…, and its dubious inquiries into controversial and paranormal subjects such as missing persons, mysterious historical events and personalities, infamous cults, lost cities and ships, mythical beasts, numerous conspiracy theories and other strange and off beat subjects.*
In a new series of sculptures created for his third solo exhibition at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Danny McDonald has constructed dreamlike and nightmarish narratives, the scenarios of which depict characters drawn from popular culture engaged in these types of futile searches. Found objects such as masks, toys, props, statuettes, and action figures take on symbolic attitudes as they are stacked and posed. Sherlock Holmes, C-3PO, Pinocchio, Liberace, James Dean & Marlon Brando, Ronald McDonald, The Devil, Uncle Sam and various other monsters are repurposed and deployed in comedic and alarming ways and shown frozen in a state of anxious exploration.
In Searching for Reassuring Statistics Regarding Classical Proportions, a fully articulated action figure version of Michelangelo’s David straddles a photographer’s antique grain focusing device, framing his tiny penis in the scope of the lens. Searching for Anonymity, shows the Star Wars android C-3PO wearing a gold masquerade mask with his right arm replaced by a gold bull whip which descends and binds his legs. In Searching for the Perfect Place to Store Files, a flaming volcano sits perched atop two overturned file cabinets whose contents are being destroyed in the fire by Sauron, villain of The Lord of the Rings, while Uncle Sam has become Gollum, leashed to his captor.