Something’s haunting Electric Avenue, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Megan Plunkett at Emalin. Like any good spectre, though, the one at 1 Holywell Lane keeps its identity just out of view. Instead, we’re left with a host of uncanny copies…
|“Join us today between 1-8pm for the opening day of Electric Avenue!”|
|Paranormal Forensics: Megan Plunkett’s Electric Avenue|
Text by Zachary Furste
|Here are some hammers and telephones.|
The hammer, what Heidegger often described as a “primordial” example of seamless subject-object fusion. A thing. Material icon of Zuhandenheit (translated as “readiness-to-hand,”) the hammer is used intuitively rather than intellectually analysed. Only when the hammer breaks is a subject aware of its separateness. No longer a thing, a broken hammer becomes an object.
The analog telephone handset, by contrast, is the quintessential fetish of 20th-century communications technology, and a perennial cinematic device. Emulating our silver screen heroes, we cradled it, twirled its cord in our fingers, and whispered our secrets into its mouthpiece. Rather than restructure our material environment, as we had done for ages with hammers, the telephone refigured social intimacy and our sense of presence in terms of electrical pulses.
Yet as the hammers and telephones in Electric Avenue invoke these tactile intuitions and haptic memories, just as soon as they suggest that we reach out a familiar hand, an uncanny surplus emerges. We count more handsets than phone cradles, more hammers than can be wielded at once. The images are split, doubled, shot through with the unreal. Our embodied desire for connection runs up against uncanny leftovers. We feel something like interdimensional vertigo.
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Emalin is now at 1 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A 3ET so don’t be heading to the pre-covid space down by that Boxpark nightmare, this is te new almost normal. Emalin is always interesting, sometimes annoying, occasionally frustrating, often rewarding, now and again brilliant…
Previously on these fractured pages