23 MAR – 16 APR 2011
Other-worldly experiences are at the centre of Matthew Hopkins’ third solo exhibition at Gallery 9 which incorporates three series of works featuring discombobulated and tortured heads. Hopkins’ practice exists where the absurd, the grotesque and the uncanny intersect, offering a comically haunting account of the confused (ill)logic we use to rationalise personal and collective existential crises.
'Ascending Heads' is a series of paintings depicting sickly heads severed at the neck. With furrowed brows and frowns, they float reluctantly upwards. These reluctant ascenders characterise Hopkins’ uncertainties about his own mystical and psychedelic experiences. In the sculptural sound installation People coming together through a shared object, a mass of sculpted heads are arranged in pairs on columns, a deformed monument of cartoon philosophers. Each pair share a pencil – they are connected through the most basic of artists instruments. Facing each other as
if in conversation, one has the ability to write history, while the other erases, alluding to the nature of existence and creation.
Hypnagogia is the experience of waking dreams or lucid dreaming and the sound/video work 'Hypnagogic Reconstruction #1 - Heads' recreates the artist’s personal experience with hypnagogic phenomena. It features a projected video with a soundtrack composed by Hopkins and long time musical collaborator Jonathan Hochman. The pair perform under the moniker Hochman & Hopkins. With synthesizers, clunking percussive samples, and dramatically pitch-shifted vocals, Hochman & Hopkins produce music that is part video game, part industrial noise, and part mantra.
Matthew Hopkins and his band, Naked on the Vague, are performing at the New Museum, New York as part of the ‘Get Weird’ monthly sound series held in conjunction with the exhibition George Condo: Mental States.