Tunnel

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Tunnel
Ketuta Alexi Meskhishvili in Tunnel at Ancient & Modern

Evidently Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 gothic novella 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is setting curators' Kindles alight these days: this is the third London show built around it this year, following one at the Cob Gallery and another, touring, by the Crafts Council. Here, though, the American author's proto-feminist take on hysteria – the confined wife of a physician hallucinating women behind her wallpaper – is merely nodded to for disquieting tone via an extract in the press release and in the yellow-painted gallery walls.

The specific shade, now produced in Ralph Lauren's paint range, was Thomas Jefferson's favourite, and the associations don't end there. The show's title points to Dorothy Richardson's 1919 novel, 'The Tunnel', about a lone woman in London. Disappearing into one's thoughts, questionable realities: all of this suits Benedicte Sehested's small black-and-white photographs – pale, life-size, sculpted bearlike figures embracing in shadowy domestic rooms. Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili's photographs, meanwhile, are endpoints of multiple stages of production: a spread of food photographed, the image slashed and rephotographed; objects combined into resolved abstract assemblies, then photographed.

Linking the whole, perhaps, is a suggestion that content can be transformed or even obscured altogether within all these clashing references, textures and forms, and that what one makes of it may be as capricious and partial as the inner realities of Gilman and Richardson's solitaries.

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