Cosmo's Levels

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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'I'm getting rid of all my furniture. All of it,' says Cosmo Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld's fictional neighbour in episode two, season two of the comedian's hugely successful, eponymous TV sitcom (1989-1998). 'And I'm going to build these different levels, with steps, and it'll all be carpeted with a lot of pillows. You know, like ancient Egypt.' This absurdist approach to interior design forms the conceptual framework for this group show centred on the slippery nature of perception.

After pushing through recent grad Loz Chalk's heavy rusted chain curtain – a cumbersome physical manifestation of the unwelcoming awkwardness of this makeshift apartment – the viewer is confronted by a room gone awry. Leo Fitzmaurice's 'Intervention' extends the floor to the wall, allowing it to bend up to greet you like a parquet nightmare, tilting the space on its axis. There's a disemboweled Nike jacket on the floor, and Piotr Lakomy's 'Fluffy Shell', acts as a grubby mutant mattress. Then Suzanne Mooney's twin prints, 'Equilateral Coercion III & IV', hung at knee height, force you to crouch and crawl until you notice Fitzmaurice's 'Good Grief'; a vanitas in briefs, with death's spectre peering out at you through a stained, starched jockstap.

The rest of the works in the show act as decoration for a misfit's twisted apartment. Lee Marshall's 'Bee-Yoo-Tee' painting comes across like a melted Hawaiian shirt draped across a stark tropical De Chirico landscape, whilst Jack Newling's 'After Hours', with its dark pixelated ripples, is a subdued digital dream on plywood.

Although the show isn't as outlandish in its confrontation of interior architecture as Kramer's original concept, the subtly awkward subversiveness of the works leads to a quietly unsettling experience where nothing makes as much sense as it should.



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