Neither insurgent nor collaborator, Picasso kept painting in occupied Paris. He wrote Desire Captured by the Tail, a play staged in an apartment and directed by Albert Camus. Damiano Bertoli's Continuous Moment: Anxiety Villa at Artspace draws inspiration from the play, its art splayed across an abstract moment. Thick cross-hatched lines occupy the floor of the piece, a picnic is unwrapped in one corner and a slender dummy stands with a thin mirror for leg. In the background images play untethered from their sound. It feels like a dreamspace from a surreal movie of the sixties; a drawing exercise sprung to life on an infinite plane.
At the other end of the gallery, Justene Williams Hot Air Hillbilly Weekend Workshop features a wall of TVs, looping scenes of a paper-covered yellow-pink creature ambling around a papered room. The creature makes a cacophany of light and colour to go with the dazzle and sound of ethereal tv-glow, which dominates the room. The theme of the work is anti-consumerist, but the work itself grabs your eye with a short Gruen all its own.
Meiro Koizumi's Voice of a dead hero draws on a letter from Toshio Anazawa — a Kamikaze Pilot — to his one-time fiancé Chieko, full of love and regret. From rough focused images of pedestrians, Meiro's Toshio emerges in an out-of-focus world clutching his face, like a soldier slipping out from a fog. His frantic, laboured breathing covers all other sounds on the streets and subways of Tokyo, as he walks to a shrine for the war dead. He calls for Cheiko. Meiro's Theatre Dreams Again of a Beautiful Afternoon features two screens showing either side of the inside of a Tokyo train carriage. A man in a business suit breaks down one one side, a woman watches him from the other. There is only one problem: each side of the train is going in opposite directions.
Still image from Voice of a Dead Hero by Meiro Koizumi.