Slater Bradley, curator of ‘I, Assassin’, reproduces lengthy extracts from Michel Houellebecq’s novel Atomised (1999) and Henry Miller’s The Time of the Assassins (1946). Both pieces of writing describe the collapse of dominant ideologies; in Houellebecq these paradigm shifts come about through the unpredictable appearance of ‘metaphysical mutations’‚ while for Miller it is the poet who must accept responsibility for societal trans-formation. Bradley himself puts the hit man’s pistol in the hands of the art world, suggesting that when artists, curators, collectors, critics and dealers happen to train their sights on the same targets, some real damage can be done. ‘Their world blindly begins its downfall’‚ he writes, in emulation of Miller, ‘as they pull the trigger, one by one.’ Only time will tell whether ‘I, Assassin’ truly represents such a moment of deadly convergence - certainly, my world still seemed to be there last time I looked - but Bradley’s aim feels true none the less. Wallspace is a small gallery, and this looks at first glance like an unassuming exhibition, but the selection of work is more complex and demanding than its modest scale and calm arrangement might imply.
Words by Michael Wilson