Nothing about Trees
On October 24, 2013, Cristina Bodgan
Probably the most exciting art shows I have seen recently were those I could relate to an experience – of light, of space; of environment in general. It seems as though single artworks – or even installations – are no longer efficient in producing aesthetic experiences for the viewer. With the omnipresence of what used to be called “new media”, the necessity for an experience to come from a state of immersion has risen. Contemplation is replaced by a more physical approach, the body becoming the subject of experience as much as the mind; in fact, art environments develop an organic approach to the human subject, proposing to reunite him with the world.
For such purposes, the landscape genre is an immediate solution. The show put together by 16 artists in a forgotten factory in North London, Nothing about Trees, regroups a variety of approaches to landscape, from paintings to object-based installations, to light shows using slides and transparent surfaces. The result is an open invitation to a walk into a place of mystery. Scenography is essential: after an initial open space, in which Pallas Citroen’s massive lighted sculpture of a fold bewilders the viewer, the show spreads into all directions, with pieces hidden around corners and under arches. Some are never what they seem to be – such as Mela Yerka’s mysterious moon painting or Dillan Marsh’s assemblages of too familiar objects. Others are built in time, only to break into perfect pieces – as in Giusy Pirrotta’s work. Light has the power to wake more than just the eye, and all of the works are constantly changed by beams of all shapes and sizes.
The figure of the landscape thus appears both in the individual works and in the show as a whole. One can fragment the space ad infinitum and still find himself in a liveable place. Immersion is the product of repetition and extension. The body is engaged and freed at the same time. This is a most beautiful attempt at defining the organic.
Artists: Carolina Ambida, Pallas Citroen, Eleanor Clare, Eleni Foundoukis, Tom Harrison, John Higgins, Iyvone Khoo, Tom Mason, Dillan Marsh, Bjorn Mortensen, Olivia Notaro, Elsa Philippe, Justin Piperger, Giusy Pirrotta, Ben Turner, Mela Yerka.
Nothing about Trees is at Unit 2C, Elthorne Road Studios, Boothby Road, London N19.
Opening times: 20th, 22nd-25th, 11am-6pm, with a closing afternoon on 26th from 4-8pm.