It's always the people utterly unconcerned with being cool that are the coolest. They are far too interested in what they are doing-which is usually something interesting-to notice the latest frenzy over shoes, sunglasses, or the hippest place to be seen. Their non-judgmental non-comprehension of our seasonal obsessions makes a mockery of all that is truly sacred. And there is only one thing to do when faced with such a situation: imitate. If we act like them, then maybe some of their cool will rub off on us, and voila, a style is born. You see, there is a little Prometheus in everyone, except cool people, for they are our Po-Mo gods.
Eline McGeorge, a Norwegian artist living and working in London, exudes this insouciance. In a city that has been undergoing a decade of Cool Britannia on all levels, fashion, design, trendy eateries (with mediocre food) not to mention the whole art thing, it is ironic that she would choose to make this her home, or maybe it isn't.
McGeorge's work is deeply rooted in drawing. Good drawing, as in, not stick figures, although there are a few of those in her repertoire. One can only imagine the frustration of her tutors at Goldsmiths, where she recently
completed an MA, when confronted with someone who knew how to draw. It's hard to define McGeorge's work because they are not drawing, per se. They could be videos, animations or objects. Starting from images she finds from the Internet, the media and so forth, she creates myriad tiny tragedies and triumphs. Through the animation of these images she presents a sort of fictitious reality. The impossible suddenly becomes possible, but it is not the impossibility of the spectacular, but rather the impossibility of the
mundane. Each starting point, a still image, is pared down to an elegant simplicity and then the story begins: a tiger walking a tightrope, a rocket lost in a whirl as it attempts to leave earth, a small doll that vomits. The animated works are presented on small flat screen monitors, bringing them back to their starting point as drawings, at least conceptually.
In her latest work, a trio of drawing/animation/thingys, the subject is a boxer in various stages of a match. He is fighting (and loosing) against two invisible opponents. The first opponent is revealed only by the blows that the boxer receives. The second opponent is a bit harder to define. An illusion, the final animation is mirrored like a Rorsach inkblot test that sucks the pugilist into its invisible gravitational force. He seems to struggle to get away from this force only to be knocked down again by his invisible opponent. Occasionally, the boxer disappears into his own image, rendering him an abstraction. There are plenty of inroads in this work for the spectator without the splashy notice-me devices that are becoming so abundant.
Standing out in an art market glutted with the sensational, there is nothing to offend in McGeorge's works, which just might render them offensive to the chorus of artists making Big Statements. Alternatively, McGeorge may well be leading a quite revolution. Naturally, she would too unconcerned to notice.
Lisa Prior writes for FlashArt
ŠLisa Prior 2001