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“I hope you like animals cause I’m a beast”, “I don’t design clothes I design dreams”, “there are no mistakes, only happy accidents”
Whether it’s the business sector, the fashion industry, the art world or even on the tennis pitch, the one thing every profession has in common is their own vernacular when describing their achievements. They’re utilised in almost a territorial manner; if you know our slang, you’re one of us. There are even entire articles dedicated to this content, usually under similar titles to, "how to impress your boss" or "do you want to get a raise at work?" However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s appropriate or even that it makes sense.
This language is something that confuses and frustrates Campbell McConnell; he finds that the sincerity is wholly transparent and the specificity isolating. This frustration has given birth to 'catch phrase worlds', its seven parts filled to the brim with these meaningless blocks of text consisting of inaccurate metaphors and awful puns. At first glance the models appear well produced, each with distinct, recognisable features such as an easel, pigs and the Eiffel Tower. Yet, when the omnipotent camera allows the viewer a closer inspection, it is revealed that there’s an individual within the model who has been constructed without any of the precision displayed in the rest of the model. They too, like the environment, have discernible features that distinguish them such a tennis racket or a beret but they are poorly rendered and are merely referential in comparison to the skillfully executed structures within which they reside.
Perhaps this is McConnell’s point; from afar the overall appearance of this vague and exclusive language makes perfect sense. It uses all the same characters, and even the same words, nevertheless if one was to actually employ it themselves, they would struggle to understand what was coming out of their own mouth.
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Campbell McConnell works in a variety a methods including mixed media and performance. His performances regularly question notions of consumerism and the relationship between art and entertainment. Humor is an important aspect of his work, a tool that he uses to provide a different perspective on some of the more serious ideas he explores. Language, communication, and absurdity are themes that run throughout his practice. Some of the works create a lie within themselves, or a false vision, these works use many different truths to create a new, combined truth.
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