26 June – 30 July 2016

191 Southwark Park Road
SE16 3TX, London

All Images Courtesy: The Artist and Almanac, London/Turin.
All Photography: Oskar Proctor.

Almanac is delighted to present 5225 Figueroa Mountain Rd, a solo show by British artist Isaac Lythgoe.

The works band together to celebrate the birth of the cool, and resist its growing up – growing up poor, growing up man­aged, growing up in the art world.

Captured behind the screen, the protagonists of this world have become prisoner to a forbidden desire for simultaneous blackness and whiteness.

Impossible to consummate, their bodies are shielded by a transparent boundary of childhood ritual, an endless repetition of pillow talk and nursery rhymes.

Walking in the shadow of violence and luxury, the emotional labour of so many manager/agents produces an inventory of lines of flight (Egyptian cotton, filtered water, chupa chups and cola).

Sheltered by the innards of a commercial framework, me­ticulously curated, the glass ceiling of celebrity serves as an inverted mirror.

The cruelty of adolescence and the promise of the future become the greatest threat, the intimacy of the bed refined to the cerebral gaze, and freedom is nothing but choreography.

A necessary and known evil, these bodies are shaped by the seductive architectures of artifice, an empty sexuality reveling in sugar-pop culture, cheap tricks and magic.

The physical body is barely needed for this performance – the avatar of the female nude in painting morphed into the zombie-cyborg ancestor of the nineties white cube.

Andy Warhol would not have known what to do with this much space, let alone Titian.

Floating on air, walking on the moon.

Inflatable promises, inexistent supports.

Text: Astrid Korporaal


Late Saturday night we’ve only risk management. The spinning of our given moment’s scenarios. Hitting the bed and its dark, cold and we bugs reach for each other. Dumb and blind we fuck. Sharpened genitals penetrate body cavities, splitting lower abdomens and coming straight there. Punching holes in torsos, there’s traumas in the sheets. We men fuck all hopefully, fuck each other accidentally. Women evolved some small defence against this all, a mass of cells spawns up; swells around to seal their wounds. The sperm an antiseptic softens and soothes the blow some. For us men though its different, we die in those sheets, pathogens spread wild.

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life - to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we won’t land anymore.

It was not really Saturday night, at least it may have been, we had long lost count of the days; but always if we wanted to do anything special we said it’s Saturday night, and then we did it. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star, but he had already forgotten what it was. Coming up with mermaid scales still sticking to him, and yet not be able to to say for certain what had been happening. Everything in life is just for a while, but, often it was just like this.

When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind, and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.

We burn on recurrences, brand and obsession, snapshots, pangs. All the meanings change. We can’t stop. I’m trying in a way to tell you a dream - splurging a vain attempt, because no relation of my dream can convey its dream-sensation, that mingle of absurd­ity, surprise, and bewilderment. All tight in a tremor of struggling revolt, captured by the incredible; the very essence of a dream. Its impossibilities. It’s impossible to convey in-mo­ment-life-sensations, its meaning-its subtle and penetrating vapours. I guess the moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.