Spaceship of the Mind, 2015
Hugo Michell Gallery
‘Spaceship of the Mind’ takes its title from the opening sequence of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, in which viewers are asked to imagine their minds floating above the earth, to be ready to see ourselves as if from the outside.
Ghostpatrol floats above his most familiar and formative spaces, as if in a video game. And while the drawings are structured strict, isometric grids they are also composed from memory, becoming hugely distorted. Small, important objects and knick-knacks dominate the works, while mundane details are forgotten altogether. Arrows float in the spaces, like a guide for a video game protagonist – a little reminder that while the rooms seem like shelters from the outside world, that the character is always walking in and out of them, part of a bigger quest.
The spaces featured in the drawings are always the spaces we come back to in dreams or meditations; domestic environments, childhood bedrooms, friends’ spaces, routine streets. The feature works of the exhibition show a scroll-like Tokyo landscape – a home for Ghostpatrol in recent years. The drawings are rendered entirely from totemic objects and tiny queues, almost devoid of any of the landmarks we would use to recognise a city. This heavy emphasis on memory has the effect of looking at a city through an almost synaesthetic or hallucinogenic filter – where Shibuya’s life-size Hachiko dog statue becomes a giant, looming over the neighbourhood like a protector.
These separate environments combine in the installation Spaceship One; an intimate room to be occupied by one person at a time, shoes off, kneeling. It has the feeling of a Japanese temple, crossed with the private world of a childhood bedroom and an artists’ studio, a warren arranged with gathered relics and imaginative objects. It becomes a way to process this history of private worlds, to sit and contemplate and see it as if from the outside – for the artist and viewer alike.