Uri Aran: Doctor, Dog, Sandwich

“I’ve discovered,” claims the haughty voice-over of Uri Aran’s video Harry, 2007, “I can provoke just a bit, but with a certain charm or grace it will go unpunished.” This cheeky brinksmanship runs through the sculptures, drawings and videos in Aran’s exhibition Doctor, Dog, Sandwich [Mother’s Tankstation; 15 September – 30 October, 2010]. Works that are at times trying, dissipated, wilfully obscure or just plain absurd are balanced, or at least slightly reined in, by also being playfully open-ended and gently humorous. Cumulatively, they manage to construct a comprehensive, if unsettling, sort of non-sense. His repeated use of horses, dogs, and cookies throughout the show gives a heavy whiff of adolescence, like one of those innocuous posters of cute puppies found in a girl’s bedroom.  But in Aran’s work, it’s as if someone has snuck into the bedroom in the middle of night and replaced the ‘Hang in there!’ words of dainty encouragement on the poster with random gibberish, something like ‘Idiot boat turtle’, leaving us as witnesses to an indefinable crime and with a vague sense of violation.

Uri Aran, Untitled (D), 2010, computer drawing, inkjet print. Image courtesy Mother's Tankstation.

Uri Aran, Untitled (D), 2010, computer drawing, inkjet print. Image courtesy Mother’s Tankstation.

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