Oh Vienna
Zoë Mendelson and Joel Tomlin

22 March - 20 April 2008
Private View Friday 21 March, 6-9pm

Late Opening - Thursday 3 April, 6-9pm
including artists' talk at 7pm

Just over a century ago Freud wrote of his 'Interpretation of Dreams' that psychoanalysis 'did not spring up out of the earth or fall from the sky; it follows out of older ideas, which it builds upon; it emerges from impulses that it then processes further.'

This awakening is allegorical to the processes of Zoë Mendelson and Joel Tomlin. There are tenuous sensual and illusory links between their works: The low key materials; a sense of time slowed; the overlap of histories; the dawn of psychoanalysis; the rawness of ground. They are both concerned with ushering seductive images into temporal view through processes of elaboration and subtraction.

Joel Tomlin 's recent works take some long looking and separation from one another. Images emerge from within the paint and linen weave, slowly coming into conscious view but then seeming to slip away allowing a tidal edging into memory and back again. There's slow ebb of exchange here between willing the pictorial and the eroticising of the stuff and luminescence of paint. Tomlin loosely cites the novel 'Dream Story' as a trigger, and these opiate works recall Arthur Schnitzler's conjuring of a dissolute Belle Époque as it seeps into conscious thought through its protagonists.

Zoë Mendelson presents 'Scheherazade's Sideboard' a 1920s (German or Austrian) kitchen cabinet soon-to-be interactive Wunderkammer or hideout for a mini-museum. Slideshow, painted eggs, panoramas, drawing and painting are all packed into this thing. With drawers and cupboards shut this is a domestic object lurking sullenly in gallery space. Opened it comes to life and reinvents its functionality. The piece plays with museological truth and acts as homage to a fictitious medical condition. Mendelson also looks to early twentieth century Vienna and Freud's research into hysteria as well as Adolf Loos' proposals for an end to embellishment. ('Ornament and Crime', 1908)

In Oh Vienna , paintings and lumpen object will have to be coerced out of hiding and lured into being looked at. Both artists wander anecdotally into history, pilfering (and dislocating) fictions and making seemingly romantic - perhaps delusional - material connections.

Read Oh Vienna preview on Flavorpill

Oh Vienna has been generously supported by Arts Council England