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Highjack by Lou Ros at Christopher Moller Gallery

by | Jan 30, 2017 | News | 0 comments

The second solo exhibition, entitled “Hijack” by internationally acclaimed artist, Lou Ros opened at Christopher Moller Gallery.

‘Post-Truth’ is the defining word for this day and age, a sign for moral crisis and the loss of credibility and believability.

Lou Ros’ paintings are symptomatic of this radical doubt. As an artist he is its inheritor. He well understands, in a sceptical and suspicious age, that ‘the moment where little is enough’ is also the boundary point between meaning and its disappearance. ‘The spectator’s imagination opens at the moment the scene is starting to appear’, he says. So while the artist is well able to complete the scene, it is its inchoate yet suggestive moment – a moment intimated and acutely sensed – which he must pull away from, as one pulls away from a horizon one cannot vault.

Ros’ art is centered around the de-structuring of form, rather than simply reproducing the original in perfection. He wishes to evoke the viewer’s interest and imagination, allowing them to picture the end of the painting, piecing together the story in a collage for themselves. He works without having a clear idea of the final result, and stops his work before it seems finished.

“To hijack is to seize in transit, hold to ransom, deflect agreed intent, to re-direct the focus” writes Ashraf Jamal.  See his article below

WHAT: “Hijack” solo exhibition by Lou Ros
WHEN: 26th January – 10 March 2017
WHERE: Christopher Moller Gallery – 7 Kloofnek Road, Gardens, Cape Town 8001.
Parking: Secure parking available at the Jan van Riebeeck School grounds – opposite the gallery.

HIJACK – Lou Ros by Ashraf Jamal

‘Post-Truth’ is the defining word for this day and age, a sign for moral crisis and the loss of credibility and believability. No one knows what to think anymore, what to feel. Divine arbitration died long ago. What irks us now is that empirical or secular truth – material fact – has equally been junked. Without a god, without credible consensus, we are left with viral uncertainties.

Hermes, the god of thieves, is an early mythological reminder that we have always messed with the Truth. In the 20th century – the age of deconstruction – this project became the new normal. No matter how desperately the moral amongst us rail against the death of truth, a death which we have consciously embraced, a death which has rendered us soulless and cruel, there is no escaping the treachery at the core of our social organisation, and the subsequent nature of our taste and value.

We no longer possess a default functionality. Computation, whether technical or psychological, has been hijacked. It is apt, therefore, that Lou Ros should reflect this current state of play in his solo exhibition. To hijack is to seize in transit, hold to ransom, deflect agreed intent, to re-direct the focus. In tech terminology it defines a piece of viral software or malware program that alters a computer’s browser setting. But of course hijacking comes in many guises, it shape-shifts many different default positions.

In painting Manet’s ‘Olympia’ could be regarded as a hacking. From the 19th century onwards we have innumerable examples of this rerouting of the supposed default functionality of painting. No longer a mirroring of the world but a peculiarly subjective upending of the lore of mimesis – the assumption that the world precedes the word – painting, like writing, has become a radically relative exercise that begged the question: Was there ever an a priori default position or predesigned value system?

Lou Ros’ paintings are symptomatic of this radical doubt. As an artist he is its inheritor. He well understands, in a sceptical and suspicious age, that ‘the moment where little is enough’ is also the boundary point between meaning and its disappearance. ‘The spectator’s imagination opens at the moment the scene is starting to appear’, he says. So while the artist is well able to complete the scene, it is its inchoate yet suggestive moment – a moment intimated and acutely sensed – which he must pull away from, as one pulls away from a horizon one cannot vault.

It is this withdrawal from a perceived insight, this hovering between clarity and its deliberate obfuscation, which is the moment that a scene is hijacked, or hacked. What we are left with is a residual trace, a gloaming, some piecemeal aggregation that forms the sum of a painting. That we like it like this – unfinished, tangential, prescient-yet-unclear – says everything about our zeitgeist. We cannot know the root of our desires, we cannot apportion absolute sense, we must allow for hobbled and imprecise existences, and embrace life as a damnably, erotically, exasperatingly unfinished text. A face, a body, a scene, defies forensic scrutiny.

We have been hijacked by an artist who has been hijacked in turn. The God Hermes kick-started this now inescapably dangerous game.

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