A Tour with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art MA Class
On 11 October 2018, the students of Chelsea College of Art were invited to join the Sotheby’s Institute of Art gallery tour in London. One of the most captivating exhibitions of the day was Michael Landy’s work seen at the Thomas Dane Gallery.
Michael Landy is consumed by the aesthetics and mechanisms of industrial waste disposal. Interestingly enough, he made the compacted trash cubes featured in his Scaled Down exhibition from his previous artworks. He views this process of destruction as one of “transmogrification and renewal” as his drawings and sculptures take on a new form.
At Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, the Swiss Passport Office exhibition offered visitors a chance to receive a (fake) Swiss Passport. This work raised discussions around the artificiality of borders and caused reflection upon the fate of those who did not have the ability to move freely between nations.
For one 24-hour period during Frieze Week, visitors could receive their own passport.This installation is part of the artist’s imagining how he would like the world to be, rather than how it is, and is particularly relevant when reflecting on the immigrants in Syria and those trapped at the U.S. border.
My greatest impression from the day was an observation made by the group of SIA students who were particularly sensitive to the environments we stood in. While in the White Cube Mason’s Yard Gallery viewing the Julie Mehretu “Sextant” exhibition, they felt that the works shown on the upper level had a completely different “feel” than the ones in the lower level. I had felt the same way, but it was because of a change in medium from etchings to paintings, that I had noticed. Their perception of all the architectural details within a room really made me look more closely as we moved through the tour, and I continue to take notice when on my own personal gallery explorations.