Yesterday I went to see some exhibitions:
Ryan Gander and Pedro Reyes at Lisson Gallery, Lorna Simpson and Matthew Day Jackson at Hauser&Wirth, Miho Kajioka and Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize at the Photographer’s Gallery. Afterwards I also went to the Imperial War Museum to see Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 and Syria: A Conflict Explored as well parts of their permanent exhibitions.
Probably works which affected me more than some others, were Ryan Gander’s works at Lisson (volcanic sand overtaking the space, combined with classical, modern sculpture) and Lorna Simpson’s glass sculptures, installations and photo-collages (ice and snow as the key elements, glass sculptures mimicking massive, clear ice cubes, gigantic plaster “snow ball” and photo-collages combining self-portraits and found images of icebergs and snow) at Hauser&Wirth. The artists showcasing at the Photographer’s Gallery’s Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition dealt with a lot of similar subjects as I do – nature and collecting, archives, politics, Post-Soviet urban life in former Soviet countries (such as Belarus) and government surveillance as well as current geological, social and political problems in the West (such as effects of Monsanto).
Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 and Syria: A Conflict Explored were both powerful exhibitions, dealing with the ongoing wars (US and the ‘War on Terror’) and the aftermath of these crisis’s; destruction, ruins, rebuilding and mourning. Lida Abdul’s film work White House (2005) was one of the most memorable works, the film following Abdul herself wandering at ruins of a bombed house and painting the debris with white paint. It reminded me a lot of Marina Abramovic’s performance Balkan Baroque (1997), where she sat on a pile of cow bones, washing them clean of blood and meat – lonely, repeating, almost ritualistic or meditative, focused, one-dimensional action, dealing with trauma and loss through the comfort of repetition and routine.