Caught in the Net – Erub Arts

You will have to have been stranded on a remote desert island over the past couple of years not to be aware of the danger to our planet and to our wildlife of plastic pollution. TV programmes such as Blue Planet have regaled us with shocking images of how plastic is choking the life out of sea creatures, and the food industry is almost falling over itself now to reduce plastic bags and packaging to help reduce our dependence on the material.

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Esther Teichmann – On Sleeping and Drowning

Esther Teichmann’s world is a mystical one of caves, swamps and underground lakes that exist somewhere between the real and the imagined, between autobiography and fiction. They are fragments of memory informed by the landscape of the Rhine Valley and the valleys of the Black Forest where she grew up and reimagined as mysterious, womb-like spaces where women sometimes sleep and dream. 

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Peter Gronquist – Shape Shifter

American artist Peter Gronquist draws on a wide range of media for his works – fabric, metal, ceramics, frosted glass, mirrors, even taxidermy. Working from his barn by a lake near Portland, Oregon, his oeuvre is multi-disciplinary – sculpture, painting and installation.

In whatever medium, his themes have revolved chiefly around American obsessions with material wealth, consumerism, guns, and religion. He once said, “Our culture puts money and violence on way too high a pedestal. I think these days people no longer see the line between entertainment and reality.” 

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Recycle Group – Nature of Non-Existence

As the latest in a series of artists who use Virtual and Augmented Reality as part of their working practice, the Gazelli Art House, London features a new exhibition by Russian duo, The Recycle Group, named because they use both recycled imagery and materials. The pair have won awards for their pioneering use of technologies and the way they bridge incompatible subjects such as the classic and the contemporary. They represented Russia at the 57th Venice biennale. Now they examine the relationship between man and machine.

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Chiharu Shiota/Jonas Burgert

Me Somewhere Else is the latest installation by Berlin-based Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota to use thread as its medium. It forms part of a two-handed exhibition with Jonas Burgert’s Schlagen und Bleiben. A billowing cloud of blood-red thread hovers over the ground floor gallery, anchored by a pair of bronze feet. These are casts of the artist’s own feet and their solid, weighted nature contrasts with the ethereal quality of the rest of the work. 

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Elmgreen and Dragset – This is how we bite our tongue

A few days ago I was sitting in a café in the east end of London when a couple of students came in and asked me some pre-prepared questions about how the area had changed over the past decades.

Without having to say anything, I pointed to my flavoured latte and to the vegan cakes on offer. We soon got on to the subject of gentrification, the high price of rents , the erosion of public amenities and the dominance of service industries. Continue reading “Elmgreen and Dragset – This is how we bite our tongue”

Desmatamento – David Elia

As you turn from the corridor of Somerset House’s West Wing into Room 12, you’re in for something of a surprise. It’s quite dark, for a start, with the only light emanating from the film of a tropical rainforest being projected on to a woodpile structure in the centre. Around it are stools created from cylindrical branches of wood on which you can sit and watch the film. And you’re enveloped by a soundtrack of the forest – the birds, insects and rainfall.  Continue reading “Desmatamento – David Elia”

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