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Todd Fuller, 'Tense'

The Thousands
10 August 2011
Bethany Small

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Tense is Todd Fuller's first major solo show and features drawn and film work, as well as the tutued and bunny-suited chubby little ceramic blokes (named things like Damo, Dave, and A God for the Gays III) by which he was represented in last year's NAS grad show and a couple of group exhibitions. Created specifically for this gallery space, the works in Tense refer to one another in very literal ways: a group of seated figures are plonked on benches and astroturf, as viewers for one of the hand-drawn animations. And those animations star the same cast of characters. And the drawings on the walls are images that are part of the progression of the video works.

The characters in the show, whose charm Fuller attributes to schadenfreude and sympathy in equal proportions, explore and perform 'untraditional masculinity'. The bunnies grimace contortedly in poses from high tragedy (fists clenched toward the heavens, etc.); the bodies of the ballet dancers in their Degas postures are forced into an appearance of clumsiness by the very precision of stances designed for bodies so different to their own. I hate to use the word poignancy, but such real sense of effort is communicated, of this Beckettian difficulty and inevitability of having a body, that it's hard not to. Also, there is a chase scene and a robot. No, seriously, there is.

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