You're A Women, I'm A Machine

You're A Woman, I'm A Machine - Shaun Thatcher and Ross Vaughan - No Vacancy Gallery - 13th - 22nd June 2013

Thought you would fulfil your human-on-robot fantasies didn’t you? Think you may be titillated by the digital and flesh combined? Saw the title – You're a Woman, I'm a Machine[1] and found yourself hoping to find the type of android/human depictions that would make your mother blush? You sick fuck.[2] 

Well, let’s see if amongst this cacophony of nostalgia and digital mind bending we cannot find you something to whet your appetite.

Mr Thatcher seems to have something for you here. What appears to be your generic run of the mill still life and portraiture has distorted itself into something else. This should work for any young beings with twisted sensibilities. It is this digital flirtation with traditional representation that would be sure to get even the old masters hot and bothered.[3] Though initially you can be forgiven for thinking these are at once a pointillist’s nightmare and a cubist’s wet dream, consider again.[4] Much like the anamorphosis of yore, you first find yourself drawn into decoding these perfect shapes and their overall design. Back it up. Let yourself be forced backwards by Thatcher from the pixelated details and get some perspective. Your mind will naturally reconstitute and make sense of this madness with every step.

Mr Vaughan on the other hand conjures images of a mechanical workshop in George Jetson’s robotic future.[5]Whether it's the hyper colour used or the fixation with the artificial subject matter, he appears to be artistically toying with my childhood playthings.[6] There is a feeling of being confronted by depictions lingering in my innocent mind without permission. What right have you to appropriate the images of my youth, sir? That said, like a post-war Japanese cartoon there is something more than just ‘boys and their robots’ about his work. These artificial agents build a narrative of entering into battle when you meet them exhibited canvas to canvas.[7] They are mostly familiar faces in some mechanical stand off with the spectator – but perhaps not in the fashion that the title suggested.

Two artists brought together by inevitability and proximity have created what can only by described as an exhibition of the artificial. So why don’t you invest in some artifice? 

[1] Or you are a lost Death From Above 1979 fan. Sorry to disappoint but it’s not my fault they named their damned exhibition after an album title.(Albeit a great one)

[2] Hopefully you will soon come to the same realisation as Sam Treadwell in Cherry 2000 that sexy android lovers are not what they’re cracked up to be.

[3] Consider the way 1533 would have received Hans Holbein’s The Ambassadors.

[4] Though I do not claim to have an intimate knowledge of the Cubist mind I always presumed Braque was thinking perverted thoughts under those silver locks of his.

[5] In other words nothing like the first automaton designed in the 12 century by Al-Jazari -  that’s right, this is not a new subject matter.

[6] Though I admit that is I guess what their sole purpose is. I, myself, cut all the hair off my Barbie making it into a Ken with breasts. Freud would.

[7] “Come with me if you want to live”.

Joanna Gould