Creating sculptures from the cabinets that are used to exhibit artworks, Darling subverts the conventions of museum display. Their approach questions how we perceive objects, and how meaning and value...
Creating sculptures from the cabinets that are used to exhibit artworks, Darling subverts the conventions of museum display. Their approach questions how we perceive objects, and how meaning and value are assigned through the authority of institutions. Drawing up on Darling's interest for the myth of Saint Jerome, a motif of a lion as a logo with the name Aslan coronates the white plinth. Aslan is a major character in C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles of Narnia" series. He is the only character to appear in all seven books of the series. C.S. Lewis often capitalises the word lion in reference to Aslan since he parallels Jesus Christ. Aslan is depicted as a talking lion, and is described as the King of Beasts, the son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea, and the King above all High Kings in Narnia. Aslan is Turkish for "lion". Jesse Darling’s sculptures, drawings and objects reflect the vulnerability of the human body and express the desire to resist the constraints imposed on our lives by social and political forces. The new works presented in The Ballad of Saint Jerome, revisit the story of Saint Jerome and the lion. Jerome was a fourth-century Christian scholar best known for having translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. According to popular legend, Jerome was confronted by a ferocious lion. Instead of reacting in fear, he recognised that the animal was injured and removed a thorn from its paw. Now tamed, the lion became his lifelong companion. The story was a familiar subject for artists in the Renaissance period, with the lion representing the taming of wild nature and Jerome representing knowledge and restraint. For Darling, the fable is about power as well as healing, raising questions about control, captivity and the subjugation of otherness.
Dissonant Healing, curated by Balthazar Lovay, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich, Switzerland, 7 June - 26 July 2019.