this is rentnercollective?  
by B. Trychotomy, May 24, 2004  
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  When you attend an art show entitled 'This is something', you normally expect the something to be explained, especially if it contains a word that you don't understand. Various work by Joseph Ismail gave away clues in the form of documentation of past events which always included the corporate-style, bright red logo which he wanted to burn into the retina of the audience. This show may well be Rentner Collective, but what Rentner actually is or represents seemed to be not only the question of the curator (with his inclusion of a question mark) but also the question on the audience's lips.
the players
the curation
slide shows:
setting up
opening night
The individual artists' work began with Simeon Farrar's drawings and photos, collaged and stretched out across the wall of the church as the fragments reached for the beginning of Julien Thomasset's striking triptych. Or was it the end of his triptych? The narrative that could be read from these three paintings seemed to be working backwards by starting with the urban scene and ending with the landscape of Iceland. Maybe it was a reminder of how far (or not) mankind has come.
foreground: sonia estelle's work
  Questions about where Art begins and ends were also raised by the next three artists in three quite different forms of abstraction. They were also making comments on the display of artwork. Ben Crawford's paintings literally spilled off the canvas onto the walls of the gallery, bleeding into their surroundings. Ahmed Baradah appeared to be hiding an assortment of ready-mades (in the form of household containers) behind three reversed pictures, but the items were ripping through the back of the canvas (the front of the work) into view. It is as though he is ashamed of what Art is becoming by trying to hide the all too familiar objects that we now regularly see in contemporary Art shows. Sonia Estelle's work concluded the theme as her display case contained a canvas of drawing pins that seemed to be making an artefact of Modernism.  
  The latest edition of Rentner Collective's magazine R Review which is entirely the work of Rupert Jaeger, found its place quite comfortably as a piece of artwork on the walls of the gallery. Rupert displayed other objects that made the audience question Art and exhibition with the aid of the corporate logo. But if the logo was not stuck in your head by its constant static appearance, it was literally burnt into your retina in one of the video pieces by Adam Laurence, as images of Rentner activity and hell fire burnt in a dark recess of the church. Joseph Ismail's red rope that filled the gallery space enabled him to physically draw together all the work with the help of pulleys, tightening the collaboration which may not have been immediately apparent. But a brief consultation with the documentary Devine Definition by Adam Laurence summed up the show by attempting to find a definition for Rentner. It was unable to, which leads one to conclude that the more people try to explain what Rentner is, the more questions are raised.