REVIEW | Rashe ‘Digital Dilemma’ | SOMA Gallery Space


For all its positives, the digital world has its own weight in faults. Whether these positives outweigh the negatives is anyones guess, but even today, the online space is a particularly conflicting place to be around. Opinions, unlimited information and social interactions make it a key component in distracting us from the more important things in life. We’re all guilty of it and to coincide with that, we’ve all experienced the dilemma of ridding it all from our lifestyles, with few prevailing. With art being constantly influenced and imbalanced by the online world, it’s only natural for those creating it to present work that inherently was born from its infinite space. Melbourne-based artist, Rashe attempts to intertwine the hard and software we so greatly infuse ourselves with in his first solo show, Digital Dilemma.


The first thing worth noting when it comes to Digital Dilemma is its scale. Rashe has outdone himself with this large show, of at least 30 pieces, as it covers each wall and corner of SOMA’s open space. Sizes vary from the small to the large, with each piece given as much attention to detail as the last. A lot of artists attest their unstoppable flair for producing work, with fewer results being put on display, a trait I can’t find at fault with this show. While most of us are familiar with the styling’s of Rashe’s outdoor work, Digital Dilemma is a show set to a different path for the artist, exploring letterforms and cryptic landscapes from a variety of influences. The most obvious of said influences comes from the static confusion of endless compression found across the brainwaves of the screens your viewing this review from. Creating a mixture of vibrant neon energy, along with a composed use of monochrome texture, the works on display heighten to a simpler time for personal technology. A time where books were just as useful as computers, special effects consisted of clay, while art, travel and food were cultures given minuscule, but powerful influence on its participants. Analogue was named and a new wave of cultures, careers and lifestyles were altered for the rest of time. But deep within it all, we were being influenced by these soulless machines, as they slowly took us away from what was important, making the simple seem difficult. Rashe combats the influx of personal technology by breaking down the simplicity found within unseen sources. Seemingly subliminal code and disjointed canvases break down simplified conventions of the formal painting format, as we delve into a jilted view of reality. As a show, Digital Dilemma stands as a visual case of the overlapping worlds we currently inhabit, with one takes us out of the other and vice versa.


This mammoth of a show is open now until the 25th of March at SOMA Art Space in Brunswick. It’s an impressively colourful display of visual electricity, created on an analogue playing field.