Moments of Confusion

A series of paintings by artist Michael Chanarin, going on show at Eleven Spitalfields in London this week, have fused images from instruction manuals and text from daily horoscope readings to highlight ‘humour and displacement’.

The Illustrated Guide for the Confused exhibition aims to combine ‘images that give focus to the movement of the body in space’ with ‘readings that give rise to abstract and less definable applications of thought’.

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Intentionally or not, the text and images play off each other in the individual pieces, so an image of two judo fighters is accompanied by text saying ‘don’t be put off by what looks like hard work’, while the caption ‘suddenly, feelings of worthlessness haunt your waking hours’, give poignancy to a bizarre image of a frogman swimming underneath a table.

The gallery blurb invokes philosopher Immanuel Kant, suggesting that he proposed two approaches to viewing art, one based on feeling and one based on logic.

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This exhibition proposes a third way, as it were, based around ‘the pleasure to be found in the incongruous’ and ‘small pockets of resistance, not large enough to bring us to a halt, but large enough to give pause for thought’.

To experience this feeling in the flesh, visit the Illustrated Guide to the Confused exhibition at Eleven Spitalfields, from 8-28 July.

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