Juul Hondius - Busfront 1Bound

Open Eye Gallery
10th August - 20th October 2007

Reviewed by Alison Cornmell

'Bound' is the new exhibition showing at the Open Eye Gallery from 10th August to 20th October. The aim of the show is to 'explore slavery from historical manifestations to modern day bondage… and the physical and psychological impact of slavery on humanity'.

The exhibition is not a collection of one person's, work but showcases many different contemporary artists. Despite this array of different voices, there is not a battle between the pieces. Each piece is individual to the artist and tells its own story, but each compliments the others.

As soon as I entered the gallery, I was faced with large scale photographs, and surrounded by sounds from the many short films being played. The television screens are at waist height and the smaller photographs on display are hung high up on the wall. The positioning of the works disorientates, and took me out of my physical comfort zone. If I wasn't craning my neck, my eyes were darting between three short films all playing in the same small area of the room. The pieces are wonderfully interwoven to bombard the gallerygoer with images and sound, to force some kind of interaction with the pieces. Because of this interaction with the viewer, the spirit of 'physical and psychological impact' is felt.

The exhibition was engaging and passionate, however it was quite an alienating and ambiguous and other visitors in the gallery did not stick around long, perhaps feeling intimidated by the barrage to their senses. But this paradoxically is where the beauty lay.

Bound is an intriguing exhibition that is on the whole well put together. It demands attention and challenges its audience, the question is whether the audience are challenged too much and the meaningful purpose of the display is lost.

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