Michael Bilsborough: Austerity MeasuresExhibition |
Of human bondage.
At first glance Michael Bilsborough's second solo exhibition at Invisible-Exports is remote to a fault. Held up against his sprawling aerial views of pansexual orgies, his graphic depictions of gymnasium dismemberments and his cottaging frenzies, the show is downright chilly. But the conceptual core is there: the work is hyper-tense, mapping is still his wheelhouse, and even without his freeze-frame motifs of the id slipping out of control, the drawings are schematics of violence, in this case, the violence of confinement. There is also impalement, if you crave a reminder that cruelty lurks everywhere, or hints of physiognomy, in case your mind strays from race. All this might be enough, but the artist's reluctance to abandon his love of Grand-Guignol leaves us with perspective studies that are dripping with blood, and have names like Painful Reforms and Eat Thy Neighbor. Sometimes, however, it's enough simply knowing that there can be hell to pay for the things we construct. These drawings would still maintain their quiet perversity with less of the spoon-feeding, and might stand on their own if they were allowed to.