Shane Bradford: Cult Event Volumes

PV: Friday 21 September, 2018, 6-9pm

22/09/2018 - 03/11/2018


Union Gallery is pleased to announce Cult Event Volumes, Shane Bradford’s third exhibition at the gallery. Curated by William Gustafsson.

Cult and Event Volumes are two parts of one exhibition running across the Union Gallery spaces. The shows are separate yet integrally related, each informing the other and extrapolating ideas around what it means to make paintings within the current
socio-political conditions. Borrowing from systems of creation and distribution native to fashion couture, the exhibition broadly covers topics such as the power of group belief, the cult of art, the significance of speed in society, and the agency of materials themselves.



“We ask that you join with us on this day to consider the extent to which you are the follower of a cult. In fact, probably more than one cult.

You are also, most likely, the leader of your own cult, intent on growing your number of followers.

The culture of cults pervades us, encapsulated in the dichotomy of brainwashing versus enlightenment, freedom versus conversion. At a time when truth is whatever you believe it to be, both are true. We offer this exhibition as an example of the new cultural mode, which you should follow.

The mantra goes like this: Painting has lost pace in the fast flowing info-stream of global creative production. Painting must accelerate to keep up. By borrowing tropes from the fashion industry; trend, look, season, and collection, we quicken the rate at which the product may be distributed and consumed. For the purpose of speed, the exhibition proposes that culture absorbs couture.

These pieces (sic) were made directly from drawings, bypassing the time-consuming anxiety of creative preference and decision-making. As such, there is no doubt, no hesitation, no such thing as a mistake. When your head is correct the rest will follow. This is the joy of knowing, the comfort of belonging, the security of the cult.

Furthermore, to assist your conversion, it is necessary to suspend expectations momentarily, and perceive the wall-objects as independent from the generic mode of painting as a whole. Consider the pictures akin to puppets, avatars, or khôra. The French word ‘fantoche’ gets close. Meaning ‘puppet’, not only in the sense of marionette but the idea of the object as a stand-in through which the wisdom of the invisible controller will flow.

And yet these Fantoche are autonomous users, just as you and I. The canvases hold hands, they gesticulate, pray. They become almost inhabited in the sense of the Latin cultus. The surfaces are raw, colourful, open. They return the gaze and express themselves via the vibrancy of their own material agency. They say ‘Join up! Experience a purer version of yourself, unhindered by convention, un-doctored in your self-presentation, walk the runway of culture with us!”

Sermon over