Private View Thursday 27th January 2011: 7pm – 10pm
‘Sisyphus Happy’ is open Friday 28th Jan – Sunday 13th Feb 2011
Thurs – Sun 12pm – 5pm

Backlit presents ‘Sisyphus Happy’ a new exhibition featuring works by Robert Luzar and Rachel Maclean. In reference to these two diverse artists we have been exploring the Greek Myth of Sisyphus and Albert Camus’ collection of related essays which elaborate the philosophical consequences of the absurd.

In the Greek myth, Sisyphus rebelled against the gods by aspiring to break down the differentiation between the divine and the human and attempted to share their creative powers. His punishment was to be compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. In Camus’ collection of essays ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ he attempts to rescue Sisyphus, and with him all those who perceive their lives as futile and hopeless labour.

‘The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy!’ – Albert Camus

It is here in our daily struggle that we find a fulfilment within our subsistence.

“I said that the world was absurd but I was too hasty. This world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said. But what is absurd is the confrontation of the irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart. The absurd depends as much on man as on the world. For the moment it is all that links them together. It binds them one to the other as only hatred can weld two creatures together. This is all I can discern clearly in this measureless universe where my adventure take place. Let us pause here. “

In Robert Luzar’s performance works, we see him resist materials and objects in an attempt to record his physical investigations into mark making. Akin to Sisyphus’ journey up the mountain Robert refigures heroic human labour as a complex and interwoven physical, moral, and spiritual movement from the profane into the domain of the sacred, from earthly mutability to an immutable eternity.

Sisyphus’ rock burden not only symbolizes the monstrous weight of human existence, but also the primordial spirit of the world and all its cruel and mysterious powers.

‘Life will be more fully lived in so far as it has no meaning’ – Albert Camus

Rachel Maclean’s bold video works represent a radical individualism that parallels Sisyphus’ epic journey to become coequal with his idols. As we venture through her saturated worlds of iconic characters and mythological creatures we become absorbed by her efforts.

And thus the battle ends. Only to start again.