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British artist Mark Leckey here once again proves his skill at weaving sound and image together, breathing life into objects beyond their market value. Leckey became internationally known for his video work “Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore” (1999), which portrayed various music and dance styles from British youth and underground culture from the 1970s to the 1990s, and he was awarded the Turner Prize for his exhibition “Industrial Light and Magic” in 2008.
“Pearl Vision” shows a high-gloss steel snare drum from the renowned Pearl brand set against a pitch-black background. Interestingly, the convex curvature of the drum here does not reflect the photographer who shoots the picture, but instead a drummer in red pants who sits with another snare between his legs. Leckey’s edition was created during the production of his video “Pearl Vision” (2012) and in this work, as in Leckey’s “Made in ’Eaven” (2004), in which Jeff Koons’s shiny silver rabbit is circled and fetishized by the camera as an object and computer avatar, everything circulates around the Pearl drum as reflective surface, which reflects neither camera nor artist, but only the drummer. Again and again, Leckey’s camera zooms on and into the holes and screws of the snare drum, with occasional close-ups of drumsticks, while the performer moves his sticks just barely above the snare head. In line with others’ descriptions of Leckey’s unique version of commodity fetishism, where objects seem to take on a dysfunctional and narcissistic life of their own, the sight of the snare drum triggers a vague, somehow satisfying shiver of uncertainty.