I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn’t find the proof. It was just a kind of feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force–a wild pain and decay–also accompanies everything.”― David Lynch
I feel woozy and disoriented. No, I haven’t been drinking, nor have I over indulged in Easter chocolate. I’ve just visited the Gallery of Modern Art here in Brisbane.
For weeks now I’ve heard and read about the David Lynch exhibition at GOMA. I didn’t realise he was an artist as well as a film maker so I was keen to see what all the hype was about.
Now, call me naive but I had no idea how dark his work would be. The Elephant Man was one of my favourite films as an adolescent and I saw Mullholand Drive and an episode or two of Twin Peaks. The later were quite surreal and art house-ish but my goodness I was in for a shock. I simply wasn’t prepared for the mind twisting, emotional roller coaster I would experience.
The moment one enters the lofty space of the gallery, a dire, dread invoking sound invades the psyche. The lights are dimmed and the work, mixed media, pen and ink, video and photography are dark. Literally devoid of colour. Oh, there are small hints of yellow and red here and there but the predominant colours are black, earthy tones and interesting uses of void.
The work is noir. It is provocative and unsettling. There are strong links to industry and industrial waste, disease and corrosion. Much of the work was described as subconscious musings. I feel like I met a tortured mind and was tortured by the depths of depravity, bleakness and despair I found there. Don’t get me wrong. It was a thoughtfully put together exhibition. The dim lighting, the haunting, grating sound track and the sheer volume of pieces was collectively engaging and it evoked a strong response in me, which I will continue to reflect on over time.
Between Two Worlds. An apt title, I certainly felt like I’d stepped into another world and that I’d lost my footing and attachment to the one I left behind when I entered the building.