Michael Lindeman’s new exhibition titled 'Studio Chatter' takes form as the next step in a practice that follows an unwritten rule of misregistration, a type of idiosyncratic disruption that is out of sync with any fashionable genres. The exhibition gives voice to the conflicting thoughts of an artist, mapping an inner dialogue. The works presented in Lindeman’s 'Studio Chatter' act as objects arranged on his mental mantelpiece in a mode grounded in conceptual processes.
While employing various strategies in presenting intellectual wit, the thread that links Lindeman’s 'Studio Chatter' together is his use of text and satire. Text holds sway in Lindeman’s show, almost as a type of moral positioning that seeks to minimise the capacity for images to manipulate the viewer. Although, the suite of replica paintings in the exhibition titled 'Great Ideas', contain some imagery, it is the stream of consciousness text within the notepad format paintings that sets up a comedic hum, which is then carried throughout the rest of the exhibition.
Lindeman’s practice has long included a kind of self-reflexive humour as a strategic tool with which to analyse cultural production, a humour that aims to gain empathy from an audience through the wit of a victim. This brand of black humour, an externalising of our doubts and fears, is at the forefront of Lindeman’s 'Studio Chatter'.
The multi-panel installation of text paintings titled 'The Source of Magic and Problems', which also features in Lindeman’s exhibition, is located at the intersection of art and humour. With content taken from conversations, poetry, chance operations, literature and other disparate areas, 'The Source of Magic and Problems' is a type of collage, a mash up of text paintings that apply a concoction of moody satire and deadpan humour. As with the rest of Lindeman’s show, 'The Source of Magic and Problems' is a pastiche intended to activate repressed impulses, embody alienation, disrupt convention and examine the relations surrounding class, taste and cultural identity.
Michael Lindeman’s 'Studio Chatter' is a complex and open-ended exhibition, an assembly of ambiguous moments, and other flashes of amusing institutional critiques that juggle ideas and play with language. While steering viewers into appraising their own experiences, Lindeman’s 'Studio Chatter' also confronts the realism of his own position as an artist.