The objects, prosthetics, photographs and installations of British artist William Cobbing form a creepy parallel universe where people and things seem to merge with alien organic oddities (above, “Invisible City”, 2000). It is deliberately left unclear whether these are benevolent or malign. The contents of some petri-dish gone wild? There is a sense of biological mayhem unfolding in a place where Science Fiction meets Surrealism and normality has been rudely disrupted. Particularly creepy is the lifesize sculpture “Chang and Eng”, named after the famous Siamese twins in which two pairs of trousered legs support two horribly blobby lumps of pink painted plaster which merge at waist level in a creepy prosthetic arch. There is also a J.G. Ballardesque work involving car wrecks, joined by umbilical chords of shining metal. Although there is a lot of uncanniness abroad in today’s artworld, these manage to achieve an eerie authenticity that goes beyond theatrical special effects (23 May-18 July).
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'William Cobbing'