Rostan Tavasiev, Ghost (2008)

There is a highlight of the current show at Grey Area. That word is used because the rest of the works are in darkness. Visitors are provided with torches. A lightbulb forms part of Tavasiev’s sculpture.

So what it seems to illuminate is the arbitrary way we give a personality to the spirit of the dead and not yet buried. It would be shapeless white smoke were it not for those two cartoon eyes.

These eyes are comic and two dimensional, as if beneath the glare of enlightenment thinking, we cannot allow our ghosts to have any depth of character.

Likewise, any memory of the departed may now just be a thing to clutch in the night like a soft toy. The overhanging bulb is a discouragement to too much grief or pathos.

This was just a toy bear, so his granite monument is absurd. But he would have more dignity, surely, if the cloud of his being was allowed to dissolve into the shadows which consume all the other works in the show.

Ghost can be seen in Their Wonderlands at Grey Area, Brighton, until December 19. Visit gallery website for directions and opening times.

You can also read more about the context of this piece in a blog post by the curator of Their Wonderlands, Harun Morrison. And/or check out the artist’s uncanny yet colourful website.

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