"Horst is a sixty year old 18 stone drag queen whose idiosyncratic response to Nikola Irmer’s habit of advertising for models in the personal column of the local paper initiated a three year collaboration. The resulting paintings depict Horst’s creation of a spectacular drag persona; the domestic context of Apartment facilitating an intriguing intimacy to this encounter with a series of works that delves into a usually elusive transformative process.
The cosiness of an art show taking place in the domestic setting of Apartment is of course somewhat disingenuous and deceptive; the gallery and its location always complicit in its playful ambiguity and sense of the absurd, and in this show in particular the traditional 'frame' of paint and canvas adds to the queerness and confusion often accompanying a visit to the tower block. A 60’s modernist design, it has the feel of a clean white cube but is also a fully functioning home, and one too cramped, too snug to be either an impersonal temple to art or the festival circuit’s fashionably industrial temporary ‘unlikely space’. Its proportions are simply too tight for the customary ‘long view’, a convention imposed to appreciate displayed work in the prescribed tradition with which we are encouraged to look at Art; from afar and with due reverence. At Apartment art is almost uncomfortably close; we cannot escape it or the cosy ephemera that disturbs and confronts our contemplation." Read on: