He is a stranger in a strange land...
Daniel Mudie Cunningham, On The World Stage, Art Collector, page 80 - 81, January 2014
Adam Norton is an artist not so much on the world stage as his work is bounced back to Earth from outer space. Science-fiction (sci-fi) themes feature prominently in a compelling body of work including painting, performance, video and installation. “It’s become quite well accepted a meme in art as a method of talking about possibilities,” says Norton of his interest in sci-fi and space. “It’s a method of fixing your imagination on an understandable metaphor. Without making it too complicated you can play the roles of imagined people in imagined places.”
Norton was recently curated into The Hope of Wrecks at St Albans Museum in the United Kingdom.
Through the work of several artists including David Shrigley and Martin Kippenberger, the exhibition used the romanticism of Caspar David Friedrich’s The Wreck of Hope as a starting point to examine how certain artists produce works that have an inherent optimism when the world or its inhabitants have seemingly hit rock bottom.
Fittingly, a video created while in residence at Broken Hill Regional Gallery called The Mars Project was shown at St Albans. Garbed in orange spaceman suit Norton appears in the video surveying a rocky – rock bottom? – desert terrain. Australian artists have long been preoccupied with the menacing otherness of the remote landscape.
For Norton – who was originally from the UK but spent his early childhood in Africa – the otherness of the landscape is amplified by the lone determined figure occupying it. He is a stranger in a strange land whose journey has no discernible narrative arc; he simply exists within it and in doing so evokes an entire library of recognisable twentieth century sci-fi tropes.
ArtCollector - On The World Stage PDF