The Approach

Phillip Allen

11 Feb - 13 Mar 2011

© Philli Allen
Blind Corridors (Stick Version), 2011
oil on board
61x51 cm
Capital P
11th February – 13th March 2011

New material is demanded from the comedian.
Old material is demanded from the musician.

But what exactly are the demands made of the painter?
On their “The Approach gallery is proud to present Phillip Allen’s 5th solo London exhibition”.

Painting is more akin to a joke; something that gets told again and again, by newer and newer people enjoying something old which is new to them thus new to the world. Because a joke told by a new mouth is a new joke, because, as we know, it is no longer about the joke it is all about........................... the timing.

I know Phil Allen, I have spent endless hours in a studio with him while he paints and I will let you in on a secret about him; he is paranoid that painting is hated. Personally I enjoy hearing Phil’s neurosis on the subject, it excites me, makes me wish I was a painter with a capital P.

Because... As we have been told it over and over again by the priests and undertakers of the art world who have put coins over the eyes of the corpse of painting, declared it dead while maintaining faith in the vitality of film, video, performance lectures. Well that’s just plain stupid and naïve. Still thinking that because it is not the old thing but the “new thing” and that being the “new thing” means it has life. But the way I see it is: it is all fucked. By enacting the dead/alive binary what you are doing is a subterfuge, trying to keep the machine alive by the ritual declaration of death of painting to keep “Junk Assemblage” alive by tying it to the old binary. When in fact the binary in itself is redundant and the machine is long broken.

The game is up, so let me not pretend like the fools over there who in their press releases talk of artistic “exploring and investigating” and always tell of the artist’s “obsession” with such and such obscurity. When we know that the only obsession artists have these days is Googling themselves. Painters with a capital P are the ones on the only path outside of the binary; they are like the zombie (a third position creature, the UN-REANIMATED). The Zombie is who, as artists, we should all be identifying with not those still clinging to life or wishing for death like the junk/scatter, film, photo, performance, sound, etc crowd. The P painter occupies the un-re-animated position, and so like the zombie forever walking the world looking for the brains of the living to eat, to remove the ration, the logical and the theoretical. They go to the studio every day, do this thing unquestioning and will repeat forever. There is nothing more to do in the post-infected landscape, thanks Marcel. The endgame has been played but the end never comes, and never will come. P-painters know and are right in knowing that the apocalypse is the wait for the apocalypse because the apocalypse never comes.... ever.

The views expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect the views of Phil Allen or the Approach Gallery or any employee of the Approach Gallery.

Alastair MacKinven

Tags: Phillip Allen