With its summer group exhibition, Space Invader, Aicon Gallery brings together seven international artists from the United Kingdom, Scotland, India and Pakistan—in an exploration of one of philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s most favorite points of discussion—space. The exhibition asks viewers to reflect on the ways in which the spaces around us are constantly changing, warping internally and externally in a digital age. It suffers from a lack of cohesion, with two floors of seemingly disparate works, but these disparities do their part to bring to light the multitude of ways in which the artists have examined the exceptionally broad topic at hand.
Muzzumil Ruheel presents Images and Art (2009), an installation that uses cut-up gossip magazines and adverts to re-represent the way in which the public is inundated with images that disregard both the personal space of viewers and that of the celebrities whose photographs are repeatedly captured. Ruheel's two-part work, a small print collage on the wall and a larger one placed on the floor, physically traverses space much like media aggregates—as the images of Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss, Brad Pitt, and hundreds of others, expand with synthetic smiles from wall to floor.
Photographer Dan Holdsworth presents two stunning C-Type prints that capture both the devastating and inconsequential effects that humans have on the environment. In one, the beams from a partly constructed motorway cut viciously through rolling jungle hills, as construction debris scatters the forest floor. Dirt roadways crisscross the scene, changing lush green to brown, and predicting the future of the forest environment. With Untitled (2006), Holdsworth captures one simple but effective image of how the populace alters the landscape it populates.
Space, broadly defined, is a nearly impossible undertaking but the artists of Aicon do well in their attempt. Touching on digital evolution, environmentalist theory, psychological boundaries and urban sprawl, Space Invader is exactly that—a righteous assailant on an inevitable woe.
-- Ashley Vaughan
(Images from top-bottom: Muzzumil Ruheel, IMAGES AND ART, 2009, Print media images, inkjet archival print on canvas; Dan Holdsworth, ARRAY, 2006, C-Type Print, Ed 5/5, 60 x 48 in. All images Courtesy the Artists and Aicon Gallery, London)