The Atrocity Exhibition 75.09 Spell in Bone exhibited at Spacement Gallery in May 2006, derives its themes from J.G Ballard's classic underground writing on media reality and deconstructed history.

Lodged somewhere between fact and fiction: snippets of a narrative, created both in the minefield of 70's nuclear politics and in the recesses of Mangion's own  reconstruction. The work draws together strands of parallel narratives starting with the story of Karen Silkwood, 28 year old lab technician at the Cimarron River plutonium plant operated by Kerr-McGee Nuclear Corporation. It begins with her untimely death. She had something important to reveal, however the circumstances surrounding her suspicious  fatality in 1974 remains a mystery.


Simultaneously the work makes reference to David Bowie’s 1975 album Young Americans. Contextualised within the advent of the New Right  and Bowie’s own professed belief in the  rise of neo fascism, embodied in the 2005 appearance of teenage performers Lynx and Lamb Gaede.


The Atrocity Exhibition 75.09 Spell in Bone focuses on the paradox of mediating notions of self in a media-saturated reality. The work depicts how the  representation of lives in contemporary media are manifested.


Mangion explores how historical texts are reconsidered in the present moment. His work explores the margins of history, asking: at what point does an event become central in the collective conscious?  It characterises cycles of history and their resistance to closure when viewed through ideas of historical reverberation. Events  are depicted with the potential to move from the periphery to the historical center. Making the margins between cultural domains porous and dynamic sites, essential to  the operational process of history.


The Atrocity Exhibition 75.09 Spell in Bone continues Mangion’s investigation of installation as a trajectory between subject and object, abscence and presence. The viewer moves through the disparate components of the exhibition, which includes three suites of interrelated paintings, wall text, corner sculpture and video projection. The diverse elements in the work resemble a pattern, which threads the project together. 


Sanne Mestrom

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