The Quiet Of Not Listening
An exhibition by Geoff McFetridge

My work is about a belief in images. Though mundane the images do much of the work in the paintings. It is with images that I go places. I am recently interested in my relationship with ideas. Specifically my past misunderstanding of images as ideas. I was under the impression that what I was seeking out, or creating were ideas… or that I had an idea to draw the image. Although they are often intangible, I feel that most ideas exist as tangibly things do; ideas like images, are often interesting because they are found not new. So what in the past I have described as ideas are actually something else, connections between ideas, possibly, but not really ideas in any sort of true sense. Possibly a definition of an idea is broad enough to contain them, but I think not. Whatever the case, in creating images I seek something deep but also, more importantly, familiar. If Dickies are an idea; then that is the kind of idea I am interested in.

A subject of some of my new paintings is the folding chair. A folding chair is ubiquitous and specific to my culture. I am literate in folding chairs. In fact, when I am drawing folding chairs I am drawing them from memory.

I am resistant to give it away, but in it’s telling, this detail of how I drew these chairs illuminates something that I feel happens very often in my work. In the middle of working on this show I saw some actual folding chairs and realized that all the chairs I had been drawing and painting were incorrect.

I was drawing from my memory, and my memory was wrong (Ironically the chairs that I saw and made me realize this were in Joshua Tree at the Noah Purifoy outdoor Art Museum as part of his sprawling found object installation. So the chairs I saw were not “real” chairs they were art chairs. Yet, of course, they were real chairs.) For me this was a common occurrence and a advantageous misunderstanding. I was happy to see how I had drawn my chairs as I see them. My understanding was both pure and wrong, and by sharing these images I was detuning our literacy of this image. I was pulling an image away from its source… a bit farther away from the vanishing point of understanding.

So for me the imagery of these paintings has some connection to moving away from ideas. Everything that seems to matter in the work appears to be formal. The clean finish of the images has a single mindedness to it that is almost physical. They are the American Psycho of painting, I am like the guys that go to the gym and only work on their chest and arms… painting for me is isolated to a very particular musculature.

There are two pieces in the show that are of people walking in a circle. The figures are not only moving in a circle, they are spinning on axis. What I am depicting is a Moebius strip stretched out, untied. I imagine that if you were to walk along a Moebius sidewalk, you would never be conscious of how you moved through space only that there was not an obvious place to stop. It would be an infinite wander. This continuousness, ending up in the same place as where you started, is recurring in what I do.

In a similar way I am drawn to flatness, linear language and binary organizations. For me there is a relationship between flatness and binary oppositional relationships. Physical examples might be; night and day, a good logo and a bad logo, dancing and not dancing. I see an opportunity in finding the moment between these things. To seek the moment where when dusk becomes day… the impossible subtlety of this, it is beyond-language yet tangible, it is both mundane but hard to quantify, we feel it easily but might find it very hard to describe. It is the experience of walking along the Moebius strip… there is no easy place to rest.

I trade in imagery as a non-believer in any empirical organization or value system… yet it interests me, this relationship to images that we have.

Geoff McFetridge, Los Angeles May 2016*

The Quiet Of Not Listening consists of 9 paintings on canvas and 5 large drawings.
Geoff McFetridge, (b. Calgary 1971, Canada) is a Los Angeles based artist and multidisciplinary auteur. Instinctively ignoring creative boundaries, McFetridge has created everything from poetry to animation, from graphics to ceramics, from movies (Virgin Suicides, Adaptation, Where The Wild Things Are and HER) to wallpaper. He has exhibited widely throughout Europe, America and Japan. This is McFetridge’s third solo exhibition with V1 Gallery.

*Text edited by Jesper Elg from correspondence with Geoff McFetridge.