“take a look at yourself you piece of shit”
Samara’s second show at the gallery, BRIM, presents a new horizontal installation alongside an archive of over 10 years of photographic work.
First encountered through the gallery’s storefront window is a low flush of gridded decking which appears to float. This secondary cosmetic ceiling has been contaminated with banked detritus; seizured layers of plastic bags, sprawled objects, spooring dust, smashed glass and lurid pooling liquids. At this slipped pendant level it is errant: neither performing as a floor or a ceiling. A surface atrophied from an architectural body instead slouches as a squatting miasma hoarded with sticky swatches of leftovers.
Stock ceilings are a standardised and cheap masking device, used as a censure of apparently unsightly industrial hatchings - wiring, plumbing, ventilations and safety equipment. Designed to bury the veins of infrastructures that piously feed and dispose, here its familiar landscape becomes riddled with squalid dis-compositions, bundled still lives of meddles, upsets, agitations, spoils. Bottles, sandwich bags, cables, sheets of paper and phone chargers dissolve and thaw in a squirming rigor mortis. Both desolate and indulgent, the arrangements invoke a Pompeii hedonism alongside basement grot - a bulging, gorging and burping tragedy, riddled with after sweat and bodyslick. The tableau are confessional, read as crime scenes bloated with human milkiness, vulnerability, chaos, guilt, infection and selfishness.
Downstairs the underside of the ceiling transmutes into a suffocating screen, punctured with glazed portals of geological wonder. strewn with materials connected to the human, the flashes of colour gush with ruminative prompts; but the human is absent, incarnating instead something stale and numb.
The tiles, seen from below, work in damp negative, haunted by the residue of action. Above our heads, they sit squat, stubborn, brittle, lonely and tense, holding on to themselves in ripening composition.
“I realised this week that everything everything i make is maybe about skin - skin as a 2 way double sided surface - that stains and scars are double sided things that ‘express’: leak, sweat, cough, salivate. The gore in you, the gore outside” explains Samara.
The same spoils and bruises ripple across the clustered bloggy bodies of image clusters. The screen as skin has affinities with the medium of photography too - as a double-sided surface, exposed to light, developing during the duration of the exhibition
In the upper gallery, photographs from Samara’s archive have been edited from down from thousands into new narratives and formations by Berry Patten, a close friend and artist. Shot on an automatic point & shoot, tThe images document crevices, gutters, causeways, transient non-places and reflective landscapes; the ‘seams’ within our increasingly saturated environment. Landscapes seen through smashed windows, flowers shrouded under blue polythene, the melted car windscreen of an abandoned car, tire marks etching through earth, a green tarpaulin floating down a river. Arranged as notational samples – footnotes even – here we find the same hybrid of swirling consumer objects and sensory experiences in flux. These images speak of a suspension or perversion of everyday surfaces and depths, but also of the saturation of images, sounds, and textures in this overexposed era. In these images there is the same conflict taking place between the natural and un-natural as things fight for space, clambering, polluting and leaking into one another on shifting entropic verges.
Samara Scott (b. 1985, London, UK) lives and works in Dover. Recent solo exhibitions include The Doldrums, CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France (2020); Belt and Road, Tramway, Glasgow (2018). Silks, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, (2015); Recent group exhibitions include Soft Water Hard Stone: 2021 Triennial, New Museum, New York (2021) Mixing it Up, The Hayward Gallery, 2021; The Happy Fact, curated by Tania Pardo, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, (2019); Day Tripper, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, UK (2019); Days are Dogs, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017).