Disinformation’s ‘Origin of Painting’ exhibit

A darkroom and soothing music playing in the background. At first, you barely notice the music as it washes all over you like the first drops of rain. Then it engulfs you much like the heavier downpour with grey clouds in the sky that overwhelm you into darkness.

It sounds ethereal and eerie at the same time, peppered by random voices spewing words at intervals. It’s almost like the music is coming from beyond the grave.

Once you’ve adjusted to this strange sound your eyes turn to the incandescent images in front of you. The wall is full of graffiti and shadows of human figures. A flash of bright light, a click that sounds like a camera and the feeling is that you’re being watched.

This is at Joe Banks ‘Origin of Painting‘ exhibit at the Usurp Art Gallery, Harrow.  Inspired by a poem by William Hayley that talks of a woman who is enthralled by her lover’s sleeping form. By the light of a lamp his shadow appears on the wall and she traces his portrait.

This exhibit is a very interactive painting installation that was created using sound and light.

Art can be difficult to define, interpret and even more so to create. When an art exhibit gives visitors the unique opportunity to be a part of the art and help create it, the understanding follows.

It seems basic enough. You get a device that allows you to draw on the walls. You hear the camera click and position your body against the wall and in an instant your image is up there for everyone to see but in truth this exhibit is a delightful combination of science and art. The music is electromagnetic noise.

The soundtrack basically catches electromagnetic activity in the lighting that illuminates the exhibit. It consists of synthetically created radio chatter and even picks up stray radio voices that account for the words that come up in the soundtrack occasionally. They lead a ghostly air to the ambience.

The way that people’s images are captured on the wall is interesting as well.

Its not just about waiting for the flash to go off and positioning yourself against the wall, the mechanics of it are more complicated than that. It’s a live painting fashioned with 35,000-volt electric discharges.

The effect is disarming. The darkness overwhelms you and the power to create your own image even more so. It also brings you face to face with what would happen if you vanished, as visitors’ watch enthralled as their own images disappear in front of their very eyes. Watch a video here to get a taste of this exhibit.

‘Disinformation’ was first created in 1995 using electromagnetic noise as the basis for art and music installations and has been a part of more than 70 art exhibitions, 11 solo exhibits and played at numerous concerts.

Tucked away in a tiny lane of London, Usurp was launched in Harrow only in 2010 and prides itself on being an artist-led not for profit art collective. It specialises in supporting contemporary art endeavours and anything that challenges norms.

It’s for everyone and anyone that has a love for the arts.

Writers, sound artists, painters and anyone that calls themselves a creator has been showcased at this gallery.

Past exhibits include ‘Whispers in shallow window’ which was a combined effort of a live musician, photographer, video artist and writer. Usurp is anything but mainstream instead it’s a bit eccentric, modern and Disinformation fits right in.



Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 11:18 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. omg, C, this is amazing! and the pictures tooo.. wish i could’ve been there!

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