John Isaacs 'You said you would always be there'
12 January - 3 March 2007
Aeroplastics @ Rue Blanche Str., Brussels
"...and some certain significance lurks in all things, else all things are little worth, and the round world itself but an empty cipher..." Captain Ahab from Moby Dick by Herman Melville It is impossible to categorise or define the work of this mercurial British artist, and this is one of the properties of his work which John Isaacs consciously perpetrates, as if trying to conceal in a hall of mirrors the trail that leads back to himself. Isaacs produces such a wide range of work that many loose the sense of the individual identity behind it. However, whether it is directly in his titles, or in the physical manifestation of his work, Isaacs refers to previous artistic output, his own or others; from literature, music, science, film, and art, to guide the viewer through the labyrinth towards the door. In this his second solo exhibition at Aeroplastics, the central theme of the work stems from the position of the individual in time and space, both emotionally and physically. Whether it is a blank ceramic newspaper covered in cigarette butts, a skull dripping in stalagmites like a cave, or a half peeled potato in the shape of Rodin's thinker, one is confronted with images which are familiar, yet unsettling in their changed presentation. Isaacs's work, outwardly shocking and tragic at times, actually comes from a deeply felt romantic empathy. It is not the things that separate us from one another that he is focused on, but the things that we share but somehow loose along the way. Isaacs's work is filled with dreams of a world in which thought precludes action, in which the theme of protest melts away from the dialectical to form the everyday emotional landscape of the individual elevated to the societal. For Isaacs, art represents not the manifestation of an egotistical creative language or ability, lost in a self-reflective abstraction, but the root of a pre-lingual connection in which all mankind can find itself. Though there are many themes, many forms running through the works presented here, at their centre lies an unwavering exploration and investigation of the human psyche, of the place in which the body meets the mind, and finds in this communication that it is not alone. John Isaacs has exhibited extensively on an international level over the last 14 years.