London Trip (5-6/5/17) Part 2


My next stop was not planned as I found myself running ahead of schedule, still in the Bethnal Green area I decided to pay a visit to the V&A Museum of Childhood. I’d had only been there previously for an opening whilst on a Uni trip, I had the good fortune to see Alan Rickman who opened the show. Yesterday I went into a space filled with nostalgia, plenty of toys that my sister and I played with, looking back further too. I also found an impressive model miniature of a tower block, architectural in aesthetic on the surface. Tower Block on Holly Street Estate (1998). A document and memorial for two tower blocks on Lomas and Cedar Court. Looking closer at the model I saw within some of the flats photographs of the residents who used to live there. Either seeing a residents or going into empty rooms.

The piece was made by three artists – James Mackinnon making the model itself, whilst the interior photographs of the residents and empty spaces were by Tom Hunter. And the exterior shots were captured by Mike Seaborne. The piece reminds me how both photography and model miniatures can be combined to create more authentic pieces.

I stayed a little longer at the museum before taking the Overground to Camden Arts Centre, home to one of my favorite spaces to see work. This time by Paul Johnson – Teardrop Centre who has filled the space with what appear to be relics of a future dystopia, of concrete and various structures.

“…work is anchored by an enquiry into the way objects and images can transition historically, mentally and physically when filtered through the hands of the artist. Gathering images and objects from diverse sources, he then creates small, labour-intensive sculptures, collages and large-scale installations that stimulate imaginary associations for the viewer to decode. Notions of the outsider, rituals and belief systems are often a point of intrigue in his work.”

The space split up into a few areas, I was first drawn to concrete coffee cup lids on A4 – A2 size paper that made up a concrete pavement, as if they lifted as artifacts freshly dug and starting to be arranged before. Behind that is Tower, a structure which runs almost the width of the space, plastic crates placed on-top of each other. In the window parallel Unselfishness an server rack that has been transformed into a totem, the cables have all be severed, so no connections can be made, no information can be stored. There’s a sense of real freedom in the work.

The next day I started over at Sadie Coles for a show in two parts for Jordan Wolfson’sRiverboat Song, which I went to as part of my research for violence. The first location being on Kingly Street where a short video on large screen built up from 16 smaller. It was the only piece in a room thickly pink carpeted space. We came in as an animated guy was displaying himself, urinating like a sprinkler and playing with it. There’s a real sense of freedom in the work that doesn’t fear to probe into the dangers of modern life. Just from the video

Promotional image from Sadie Coles

This was only the first half of the show that was still yet to come.

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