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Take from The Contemporary Arts Review:



by Noel Kelly, Art Critic/Curator.

Contemporary society observes. The creation of a society where cameras follow our movements and personal space has been appropriated by governments and their agencies. This is not an era that cares for individualism. The pace of life is a frenetic chase for moments of clarity and permission to be. It would appear that we are all “locked in” to some larger plan; knowledge of which remains unknown to all except the detached social observers hailed as the great new chroniclers of the age.

It is as part of this moment that we can place the work of Lee Blanch. In his work Blanch articulates the anonymous and humble processes that create moments for deliberation, whilst maintaining an elegant friction that borders on the obsession of meditative repetition.

Blanch’s works occupy a space where words become futile and the feelings of a solitary man go beyond observation to “make / Breathings for incommunicable powers[i]“. For Blanch, these powers can be readily identified as the fight for the nobleness of a less cluttered mind. His adaptation of the roll of the flâneur is reflected in a “flow” that recurs as a motive in his work. The gentle movement of a tide; the soft brush of a breeze; the aimless passage of clouds combine with the chopped speed of passage to form moments of cyclic lull. Blanch does not seek to salve the contortions of a mind that seeks solace in a wondrous reality that may never have existed, instead his is a mental state of operation in which we become fully immersed in what we are doing with a feeling of animated focus, full connection, and potentiality for success in the process of the activity

It is for this reason that the viewer is brought to a moment during which they hear only their own mind’s voice. The familiarities of the soundtracks which Blanch has chosen become subservient to a trancelike state. It is this moment of revelation that lowers defences and yet heightens receptivity to the world that is a world of worlds. As Blanch notes about himself “I am a very honest person”, and it is in these moments of unfettered honesty that we have our own moments of desire for a long forgotten utopia.

[i] Wordsworth “Prelude”

Noel Kelly is a critic and curator based in Dublin, Ireland
This entry was posted on Saturday, February 7th, 2009 at 3:07 pm and is filed under Art Criticism, Features.

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