Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

David Lynch’s biggest UK exhibition to date makes for an expectedly dark, unsettling encounter.

My Head Is Disconnected by David Lynch -

Curated by Sarah Perks & Omar Kholeif , HOME - Manchester, , July-06-19
My Head Is Disconnected by David Lynch - by Curated by Sarah Perks & Omar Kholeif After a perfect weekend of of David Lynch presents concerts at HOME, his exhibition, ‘My head is disconnected’ continued to attract fascinated visitors. We all know Lynch thanks to his exceptional filmography of The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks and more, though fine art was always his original goal.

I knew what to expect here. Anyone who’s seen The Art Life will get a clear scope on his painting and sculpture atheistic, not too far away from the darkness of his film work. The work is mangy and messy, as if left out in the woods for months. Maybe it was the mental space I was in at the time but I found it all a bit much. It dawned on this huge Lynch fan that I prefer his films to his art, though some pieces are more stimulating than others. The use of oil on the canvass is bold, thicks wads, with morbid imagery and funny remarks linger above the people’s bodies. You get flickers of Francis Bacon and Dada/Surrealism throughout, though the bizarre work can only ever be dubbed Lynchian.

Even minuscule matchbooks drawings from the 1970s are little delights, as if drawn when bored. Strange lamps he’s made would not look out of place on stage and some lithographs are monochromatic fever dream of manic scribbles. I’m glad some humour is seen here, though some the light and joy we see in certain moments of his films would have also helped cleanse the pallet here. Maybe it was all just too dark and gloomy from a man who continues to find inner peace from Transcendental Meditation. “Show the darkness on screen, not in your life” he informed us via live link the day prior, a telling remark concerning his subject matter for certain works of his. The disgusting quality of the work has roots in his online works such the hilariously crude Dumbland or the numerous polished adverts for TV.

Upon entering this exhibition you might think it was the work of a mental deranged person. Not so. David Lynch has even used live lightbulbs, dice and what appears to be a mould, infected texture, with telling results. Take on painting entitled Philadelphia, an amusing and triggering paining. The Art Life details his hate for that city and here we appear to get a local in all his vulgar animation. A lanky figure who swears and has art of his face all over the canvass. It is and odd, yet brilliant creation. What would have really finished the show with a flurry would be some of the famous sound design that features in his filmography, or as it has been more amusingly dubbed “ethereal whooshing”. This little touch could have made the exhibit even more special.

Crucial viewing, though when looking at his work, consider Lynch’s motto:
“Fix your hearts or die”.

Rating: 3 stars

David Lynch’s ‘My Head is Disconnected’ exhibition continues till 29th July 2019 at HOME, Manchester. Free admission. A season of Lynch films will also feature.

Reviewed by: James Ellis

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