Are You Meaning Company & James Gregory Atkinson
January 16 - February 4, 2012
In their second collaboration “Coconut” Are You Meaning Company and James Gregory Atkinson explore the phenomenon of escapism. Fleeing from reality—the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined—is a shared longing. Bound to society’s commitments the physical escape is most often impossible and it remains the mind only that has to wander in the pursuit of happiness.
A collective dream of escape can be found in the remote tropical island. A paradise finding it’s symbol in a palm tree. Symbolically charged throughout the centuries it has nowadays become the cliché image for escape from reality, civilization even. Forms of withdrawal through dreams and desires can lead to alien means of escape, which become physical and therefore part of reality. They are human attempts of creating paradise.
Ayumi Minemura and James Gregory Atkinson’s exploration leads them to such a tropical fantasy. It is a trip that results in a confrontation of expectation and truth. How deep is this world? Start digging and you will discover that it might be only 50 cm deep with wet concrete at the bottom. A created reality always adheres artificiality and therefore can be deconstructed.
A commercial sculpture is taken out of it’s usual context and transformed into an installation. The metal palm tree remains un-built in the exhibition space. It literally does not fit into reality. Thus the artists depict it’s status as a symbol for unfulfilled desire. In contrast they put a single coconut. By filling the gallery space with this deconstructed artificial tree, which is advertised “to create a positive and pleasant atmosphere”, and playing with symbolically charged objects Are You Meaning Company and James Gregory Atkinson break illusions and at the same time create new ones not intending to judge or give answers, but leaving it to the spectator’s own imagination. -Jasmin Villarroel