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London
A Foundation Rochelle School - Club Row
Arnold Circus , London E2 7ES, United Kingdom
September 9, 2011 - October 7, 2011


"Air I Breathe": Multiplicity, differentiation and quality.

Gazelli Art House presents Air I Breathe, the fourth exhibition of
a series of five shows dedicated to the five elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Air
and Aether.

In the challenging space of the Rochelle
School, the exhibition brings together a selection of four artists very much in
different stages of their career: from the recent graduate Yoonjin Jung to the established
sound artist John Wynne, author of the first piece of sound art in Saatchi's
collection.

Focused on the element of air, but not
directly and straightforward, the artworks are mainly installation and
sculpture based.

Curated by Mila Askarova, appointed
curator of the Azerbaijani pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year, the
exhibition gives to the viewer the sense of a harmonic balance between the significance
of individual artworks and the experience of the exhibition as a whole.   

The Korean artist Yoonjin Jung presents
the mixed media installations Seeing the
Unseen
where optical illusions play around with the light, the shadows and
the gallery space. This creates an interesting counterpoise between the
different interventions on the walls. The light beams on a series of small
square-shaped shelves creating a controlled effect of shadows: what the viewer
perceives is the effect, not anymore the concrete presence of the shelves.

Following her interests and knowledge in
the Korean traditional painting, adding and framing different layers of
coloured silk, she creates sort of landscapes of different dimensions, where
layer upon layer, the white becomes an intense deep blue. In the words of the
artist “the media of the painting actually is the air itself, because
invisibility includes some natural element: for my pieces, air is the medium”.

 

Littlewhitehead (Craig Little and Blake
Whitehead) presents a series of pieces where experimentation and its results
demonstrate the variety of their body of works.

Coming from a design background, they
confess that one of the reasons for becoming artists is that they dislike the
idea of responding to briefs. That’s probably why they mostly use the language
of realism, which consent more easily to the audience to create a narrative
around the piece. It is with this intent that Littlewhitehead presents the
installation He, Himself, where a man
is crawling in the sand. An installation that perfectly follows the artist
statement “We want to bite you up visually”.

 Interested
in the process of destroying something, in order to create something new  from the resulting left-overs, Littlewhitehead
production consists also in choosing a series of objects, burning them, collecting
the ashes, mixing the ashes with resin and with this material create new
objects. This process was used to create Deadwood,
a sculpture for which the objects burnt were around sixty monographs of the
most famous and canonical  artists – all
of them already dead - of the last hundred years. Having burnt the books, they took
the ashes and cast them into the mould of a piece of a dead wood: the result is
a beautifully uncanny black sculpture.

 

On the first floor of the Rochelle
School, there is the interaction of two works: a sound piece and an
installation made of threads.

The sound piece of the German artist
John Wynne is based on very high and very low frequencies, sometimes almost inaudible.
The piece plays with the environmental sound and, generally, with the sound of
the space.

The work is trying to make the space
acoustically translucent. The place is ideal for that because the ceiling is
quite open: all the sound from outside comes in, filtered through the building.
The sound piece confuses the boundaries between the different origins of the
noise at times. And it may disappear, so that suddenly you realize that what
you are listening to is outside and not, as you may have thought, part of the
piece.

As Wynne states: “you are questioning
what is part of the work and what is part of the surrounding: it is quite
disorientating”.

 

It works also with Kate Terry's piece
installed in the same space. The viewer moves around the installation, looks at
the installation and perceives the sound in different way as it changes
depending on the viewer’s position in the gallery space.

In relation to the sound piece, also the
intervention of Kate Terry is quite visually disorientating.

Responding to the architecture of the space,
she creates an installation in threads, which is the thirty third installation
of that kind and the largest one of her production.

Navigating the space, the viewer creates
a sort of individual architecture within the architecture of the space. The piece
forces the audience to walk underneath the threads and open up to open the view
within the structure. 

She clarifies that “a title of my show
was Empty Voluminous and I think that
is a kind of description of my work: it occupies a lot of space but it is not
really there as well. It has his kind of presence but also almost nothing is
interfering in front of your eyes”.

Using small economic material, in the
sense of minimal, it often appears that there is nothing in the room at all.
The installation looks as if it is not solid.

The effective curatorial decision to
place together the two artists to interact in this peculiar space is
demonstrated from the experience: the sound piece slows down the view of the
threads installation, creating an interactive dynamic between the two works.

 

Being the fourth exhibition of the
series, Air I Breathe is an open
invitation to follow what will happen next at Gazelli Art House. The
multiplicity, differentiation and quality of the artworks selected plus the
pertinent choice in placing the works in relation into the space, give to the
public an intensive exhibition experience. 
A must see.

Michele Drascek



Posted by micheledrascek on 9/21/11 | tags: sculpture mixed-media installation

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