Grant Stevens, Kiron Robinson
The titles of Robinson’s works Hello. You’ve made it 2015, Quiet Desperation 2018, I tried 2005 and Don’t forget me 2012 read like light bulb moments and point to an interest in the phenomenon of doubt. Often a crippling or destructive force that leads to procrastination and stagnation, the notion of doubt is rich and fertile terrain for Robinson – a generative multi-faceted theme that he expresses through illuminating statements, questions and proclamations. Finding security within insecurity, his works make public the highly internal experiences of anxiety and uncertainty — the joyful brightness of the neon undermined by the melancholic discomfort of the text. Whilst these works can be understood as announcements of failure, thwarted intention and unfulfilled potential, they can also be read as profound expressions of humility in a time when cliché abounds.
Through large scale projection, Stevens’ video works have an immersive quality that transforms the gallery space into an art house day spa. The treatment du jour? Exfoliation of the psyche! Whilst not necessarily critical of contemporary screen culture, Stevens’ work raises awareness of its pervasive influence. In the earliest of Stevens’ four works in this exhibition, Really Really (2007), the text of a love letter drifts in a universe to a sweeping score of luscious piano arpeggios. Propelling cliché to dizzying heights, the work is literally a romance written in the stars – tacky and beautiful — eternal love in all its glory.