One hundred and thirty six

Same room, same bed, another night

2009 by Marko Maetamm
Nettie Horn Gallery until 2nd May

Love, fear and warning signs is Estonian Marko Maetamm’s first UK solo, a varied exhibition made up of animation, installation, wall-writing, drawings, photography and collage. Small animal hutches hang throughout the exhibition, their coloured plastic caging scenes of everyday life, acted out by little dolls. This feeling of monotonous entrapment, the banality of everyday life, is rife throughout the exhibition. Escapism too, is then paired against this brutal reality through the images of dreams — photographed reality covered in the doodles of imagination. Same room, same bed, another night is a still from one of two large animations that play opposite one another in the centre of the gallery.  Same room… shows a bored, slightly glum but amusing, Maetamm in bed alone night after night, with little company but the ceiling fan and his thoughts. These thoughts, witty and blunt, flash into the screen in the style of a silent film; the ceiling fan, whose tedious turning is cut to the sound of an annoying whirring, accompanies them. Simplicity, as is with most of Maetamm’s work, is the key here; nothing is overstated and with the summoning of pictures, words and sound effects we are completely transported to Maetamm’s frame of mind. The graphic line drawings, this outlining of reality in black and white, create the perfect atmosphere in these short films. Everything is a cutout, an abstraction of reality, a banal object plucked and shown for its tedious two-dimensionality, including Maetamm himself. The movement of these animated cutouts is then flawlessly executed; Maetamm’s attention to detail never fails. Maetamm’s exhibition absorbs us, taking us into the workings of his mind by consuming our thoughts with the visuality of his own.

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