PAUL FRYER, Potential And Ground
The Fire Station
1 Chiltern Street
London, W1U 7PA
8 February – 10 March 2007
Private view: 07.02.07 from 7-9pm
Kristy Stubbs Gallery and Reconstruction are proud to present Potential And Ground, Paul Fryer's second solo show in the UK since his critically acclaimed debut Carpe Noctum in 2005. It follows on closely from his last exhibition Radiations, at Julius Werner’s Berlin gallery in October of last year.
The show comprises a new series of work, as well as the reprised Deus Ex Machina, kindly lent by the Murderme Collection. They includea wooden atom bomb that hums quietly to itself, a tiny artificial star which twinkles in silence, and Christ recrucified by Thomas Edison. The exhibition takes place is staged in the beautiful old Manchester Square fire station, located off Marylebone high street in central London. The contradiction inherent in the juxtaposition of Fryer’s work and the former fire station exemplifies the Reconstruction’s ethos of seeking out unusual exhibition sites to show artists work in.
Potential And Ground are terms perhaps more familiar in physics and high voltage engineering than in art. In this context Potential refers to energy present in a system, which may or may not move; Ground is the baseline by which all potential is measured. The terms are relative to one another, and their relationship incorporates the very idea of work itself. Their opposition is often measured and exploited by humankind, and it may throw up surprises. An object sitting on the ground might seem like it has no potential; but if the object is revealed to be sitting by a mineshaft it's potential is suddenly heightened.
Everybody is familiar with the concept of potential in the human sphere, and with the ground on which we are anchored by gravity. The idea of human potential realized or wasted underlies many themes in literature and art and is the engine of great endeavour. Fryers’ works focus on the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the ideal and the actual, between Potential and Ground, and on the terrible cost that some attempt to cross this wilderness have exacted on humankind.
In titling the exhibition it is ultimately the idea of Potential that seems to have the distinct glow of energy about it, and it is there that the work seems to settle, high in the atmosphere, imagined and realized from Fryer's unique patch of Ground.