Sue Tompkins: Apple

Sue Tompkins is widely known for her energetic performances and text-based works that fuse the fizzy confidence of pop music with the more tentative rhythms and repetitions of beat poetry. Often based on a single word or simple phrase, these works go through a rigorous process of repetition, editing and layering to build mesmerising, free-flowing texts that seem to follow closely and allow unlimited access to the artist’s thought patterns.

For Apple, Sue Tompkins presents a new installation of works that link the two distinct, triangular gallery spaces of The Showroom. Starting to the left of the gallery’s front door with the confident exclamation, ‘SHOWTIME!’, her casually formal groupings of large-scale text works on paper are arranged throughout The Showroom; occasionally they are enigmatically and intuitively punctuated by loosely tied, navy blue fabric neck ties. The sheets of newsprint play host to Tompkins’ tiny, fragile concrete poems, which cling and cascade their way across the surface; the scale and detail of the text necessitates that the audience read as well as look at the works. Some works give a sense of their structure being created by the artist’s free association; others suggest a loose narrative through their arrangement and the linking and repetition of words and text.

In addition, a series of tables – the proportions of which are half way between a pinball machine and a vitrine – contain tiny, jewel-like texts on paper the colour of sweetie wrappers. These provide further intimate fragments gleaned from snippets of conversations with friends, lines from pop songs and sound bites from magazines.


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