Saturday, 29 October 2011

Steven Shearer - 'Poem for Venice'

Steven Shearer - 'Poem for Venice'
2011, Venice Biennale 

Shearers nine meter high billboard was placed just out side of the Canadian Pavilion for this years Venice Biennale. The monumental poem written by Shearer draws its vocabulary from Black Metal music lyrics and weaves darkly visceral images of pain and ungodliness.

  The shed like structure acted as an entrance way to the pavilion where Shearer displayed a series of expressionaistic pastel drawings paintings of memebers of Black Meal bands.  

"Shearer's practice, which encompasses photographic displays, drawings and paintings, lies somewhere between the anthropological study and the obsessive archival trawl. His soft pastel renderings and collage assemblages of amateur images culled from the internet transform the would-be tough image of male metalheads into a delicate, quietly evocative ephebic melancholia. The classic conte-crayon-like earthy, oversaturated palette he employs in many of these portraits don a kind of antique art-school life drawing model glow and expressionistic framework (the fluid lines of, say, Toulouse-Lautrec's backstage homages or Munch's anxious compositions might come to mind) to his anonymous, beautifully tressed characters, whose often averted gaze emphasises their objectification as well as their own absorbed self-possession."
 -  Lupe Nunez-Fernandez. “Steven Shearer at Ikon, Birmingham.” Saatchi Gallery. 2007-05-29.