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Christmas Show

At the birth of Pinocchio the piece of wood shouts out, "Oh, you hurt me!" and finally, when the plane comes out, in a tiny voice cries, "Stop! You1re tickling me!". The log is a piece of wood brought by whatever means into culture. The tree is felled and then stripped of its branches and, although already a long log, it is best cut into smaller pieces. A log is no longer than a National Park bench and is preferably the sort of size that fits easily into a fireplace. If by some chance it has a few too many braches, often people forgive a piece of wood and it may still be called a log. But hewn too far, a log may quickly become a mere block.

By artfulness, the log is brought from nature through some activity into the social and then into our homes. It sits quietly in a basket or bucket or box waiting to be turned into fuel at the hearth, sometimes beneath bulging stockings, but rarely now. The artwork hanging above plays a similar role: somehow condensing something familiar from life and nature into a thing, a bit more distant but nevertheless more consumable. In the stockings, as I say again which rarely exist, the presents sit also.

The paintings and objects here today are gifts. The artists have made a gift of their work, trying so hard at this time of year to keep the prices down. The artists " gifts also mark the first year of the gallery in which they are housed and are thankful for, tacitly, all the work done by its directors, curators and friends. The works themselves may be bought as gifts and, thanks to the kindness of the gallery that has allowed these works to be seen for free, they can be a little more easily joined with others.

When we are giving a gift of something, brought from nature but not necessarily of it any more, while socialising, drinking and carrying on, then maybe, in that interaction of the passing of the thing, there is, at least in the social, a little birth. From tree to log to burning fuel that warms the room, by this time full of people, the wood has been totally reformed and perhaps reminds us, be it ever so briefly, of the birth of a god.

Recordings in Vinyl
Joe Scerri

The blackbox, the answering machine, the thermometer, the seismograph, the tape recorder, the brain and the camera, all perform as agents for recording information. The tree, (which over the course of its life span) records not only the temperament of the weather against its skin, but can unveil events in history. Recordings in vinyl? examines the act and art of recording. Through a repetition of painted loops, the works are painted from the inside out, like the growth of tree rings. The rings are executed in increments of various time measurements: seconds, minutes, hours, days and weeks. The end result depicts the cross section of a tree, cut to expose its rings at a length of time. The works have a permanency and a fixture, like that of a tree. The rings are inbedded with invisible but permanent qualities of various substances that surrounded the rings at that particular time: Noise, music, radio, thought, conversation, sight, and movement, not unparallel to a physical collection of letters, objects or photos placed in a time capsule.

Recordings in vinyl" sees Joe returning to painting as a medium since 1996, using references to audio. With a great interest in contemporary electronic music, Joe began working musically with audio under the name Lake Lustre in 2000, creating compositions using found sound with acoustic recordings.

Joe is currently living and working in Basel, Switzerland.

Image above: Joe Scerri

Joe Scerri