Sophie Jung’s Come Fresh Hell or Fresh High Water (29th November 2017 – 13th January 2018) is a small basement exhibition at Blain|Southern in London curated by Tom Morton. Without much beating about the bush, this is the most exhilarating assembly of sculptural pieces I have seen in a very long time. Sophie’s characteristically digressive, verbally slippery performance on the opening night was captivating and brilliant, too, making the visitors listen with a heightened sensitivity but not quite grasping the meaning of it all.
Sliding from readings and monologues to songs, saying something and then changing her mind mid-sentence, trailing off or questioning what she had just uttered created a strangely self-conscious, vulnerable, yet humorous atmosphere – she was there as a performer but also as a human, scatter-brained but determined, confounded but knowledgeable.
I went to see her sculptures again on another day and grappled with their descriptions. This was one mad collection that vaguely resembled household objects (tables, coat stands, book shelves, beds, maybe even an easel?) which also often had the attributes of theatrical props. The installation gave rise to notions of alternative reality, storytelling, even mania, attaching implausible, new stories to its objects. They seem to want to tell us that they can not be fully contained and that meanings of works, actions and things are endlessly unsettled. And yes, this is an old hat kind of realisation but then that hat cannot be put away on the usual coat stand any more because there are now papier mâché turds and gym weights hanging there instead. In this Dadaesque set up, come hell or high water, things are so fresh.