Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Haunted House Is Not A Haunted Home


This Haunted House Is Not A Haunted Home:
New Works by Wil Murray

April 23rd to May 9th, 2009
Opening Reception April 23rd 6pm-8pm

Diane Farris Gallery
1590 W. 7th Avenue
Vancouver, Canada
V6J 1S2
tel (604) 737-2629

Exhibition Preview

Exhibition Statement:

“Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb, then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I 'haunt.' I must admit that this last word is misleading, tending to establish between certain beings and myself relations that are stranger, more disturbing than I intended. Such a word means much more than it says, makes me, still alive, play a ghostly part, evidently referring to what I must have ceased to be in order to be who I am”

From Nadja, Andre Breton

I am a haunted house painter.
One night I heard from my writer friend a description of our bodies as houses, haunted by ghosts. This image stuck with me, and became parasite or symbiont to my memory of Breton’s lines. So I sang "There's A Ghost In My House" by R. Dean Taylor over and over and thought: The studio door disembodies. It invites visitation.

My own seduction by photography haunts me. Photographs of my paintings linger in me like a portrait of a lover or of myself. I am captivated by them, gazing as if I could see around or past the subject, into its hands or mouth, or into shadows. Or maybe just a little further up its leg, down its blouse. Into a privately known place that the photographic portrait will not show. What was past my eyes. What turned me on and sent me to the photo in the first place.
For this exhibition I’ve made dripping, tumescent, over-stimulating paintings that at first horrify
away from themselves, toward the safe seduction of their portrait. But this printed flatness bores nearly as quickly as it is consumed, and once desirous of girth, weight and threat, one is drawn back to the painting in a lather - calm and collected after privately completing a seduction/consumption narrative, but quietly haunted by a relationship to the pornographic likeness - to be horrified, delighted and titillated again.
The paintings are named for anonymous ghosts. Titles function as clues to the forms taken by my spectral companions that just hung there as I paced from painting to portrait and back again.
I wish for paintings that send a viewer to flat portraits to swoon as I had, and to wish, as I did, for a return to the discomfort of their own grinning movements with the very real painting. I wish to share my own queezy seduction by ghosts by becoming myself a spectral seducer to others.
I wish to haunt and be haunted and wish again to haunt
back.

* image shown: "February Is An Annual Race To The Bottom Aroun Here" Mixed Media Collage, 7" X 12", 2009(click image for larger version)


1 comment:

JW Veldhoen said...

I Corinthians 6:19

This is wonderful Wil. Have you read Flannery O'Connor's story "A Temple of the Holy Spirit"?