Bona To Vada Your Dolly Bold Eek by assume vivid astro focus

11 February - 1 April 2022
LAMB is pleased to present Bona to Vada Your Dolly Bold Eek, a show by French and Brazilian duo assume vivid astro focus (avaf). Christophe Hamaide-Pierson and Eli Sudbrack have worked under the alias avaf since the early 2000’s, oscillating between collaboration and their autonomous productions. This show celebrates the duos’ first joint exhibition in six years, where each work presented results from their interwoven studio practises. In fact, through the rigorous use of the pseudonym, avaf challenges the notion of authorship in their work. The immersive quality of avaf’s installations encourages the viewer to become actively engaged with their surroundings, thus assuming personal ownership over the experience of the work.
For the exhibition Bona to Vada Your Dolly Bold Eek at LAMB, avaf references the British polari slang, originally used as a means of undercover communication in a time when homosexuality was criminalized in the UK. The show takes as a point of departure a single architectural element found in the gallery’s space: the round window which separates the gallery and the building’s stairwell. This pattern is repeated multiple times throughout the show, creating a constant duality between outside and inside, extending into a dialogue of tensions between the undercover and the overt, the grotesque and the enticing.
An erotic charge runs through the display. Inviting peepholes reinforce the viewer's position as a foreign observer, whilst intentionally directing the gaze towards the artwork behind it. Cartoonish paper-clay fingers holding paintings on cardboard peek through the circular frames. The viewer is invited to move around and engage in an exploration of the space as though wandering amongst forbidden rooms. Upon entering the enclosed space, one is faced with a private and solitary experience, in contrast with avaf’s large-scale public projects. Behind each partition exists a self- contained ecosystem where sculptures sprout from the walls as vigorous wines. Shimmering faded
tones resembling glazed ceramic, further pull the viewer away from any familiarity with the sculptures, be it to the material or the form. These anthropomorphic branches interrupt the familiar domestic wallpaper. The floral backdrop explores an environmental notion of the relentless effort to contain the natural world. Flowers of absurdly bright colours and twisted shapes, represent a desire for appropriation and control.
Paintings on cardboard are a recurring medium in avaf’s practice. The variable material qualities of the cardboard offer the possibility to explore textural layers which are peeled back and re-surface, resulting in a sculptural painterly work. Through a painstakingly detailed process of carving, cleaning and painting the cardboard, these intricate works command from the viewer, concentration and proximity, drawing one into a universe of minute scale. Images which evoke intertwined body parts, plants morphed into geometric landscapes of textures and tones are gradually revealed upon closer inspection. In fact, this is contrasted with the boldness of their supporting sculptures, which echo broad strokes and an intuitive process. Jointly with the paper-clay hands, these pleasure vessels, as described by the artists, encompass the chaos of unruly desire and uninhibited expression.
In fact, a strong energy emanates from avaf’s installations. The vibrant colours and large scale in their presentations intensify the viewer’s engagement, creating a rhythm and pathway of discovery to which one invariably reacts. One is energised upon encountering the work. avaf’s Gesamtkunstwerk explores, through a bold expressiveness, a practice which is democratised and expansive in its reach.