(After) Matta Clark
2009 by Zoë Mendelson
Mendelson’s work is surreal yet appears as a thoughtful construct. There is randomness and unreality in her compositions yet method is evident in the crisp lines, the architectural angles, in a clear presence of design. It is no wonder that she says her work looks to interpret the relationship between “architecture, anxiety and storage” – these clinical and boxed-in ideas become entwined forms in her collages, drawings and installations. Often, as in (After) Matta Clark, there is a distinct sense of history in her works. Taking symbols of the past, such as old electronic devices, and reproducing them in wonderfully dated photographic images Mendelson fuels her work with the tropes of Post-Modernism. Her work celebrates old design as well as presenting it as if it were new. Here we have the singing funnel of a possible megaphone, determined to protrude as it enters top left, the material betraying a dated age in its medium of black and white photography. Luminous yellow then humorously juxtaposes this in the wonderful plastic and pulled texture of the shiny cylinders – curved like gymnast cushions they are invitingly playful. The internal possibilities of this image lie in its windows of other worlds – the rolling vision of buildings under blue sky and the impossible hole in the lower background that surreptitiously suggests a downward flight of stairs. Even the mouth of the funnel implies sound that cannot be heard. Mendelson’s compositions are impossible and inevitably curious, yet they appear so carefully considering they do not border on the ridiculous but the clinically surreal.