Simon Preston Gallery is delighted to present On The Passage of a Few, an exhibition of works by Alexandre da Cunha, Terence Gower, Luis Molina-Pantin and Lisa Tan. The exhibition opens on 19th June and runs until 4th August, 2013.
Borrowing its title from Guy Debord’s 1959 film, On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time, the exhibition explores the relationship between citizen and environment, while it simultaneously critiques and pays homage to decaying modernist ideologies. Each artist dismantles the structure of modernist systems by exploiting and transforming the materiality of cultural and architectural tropes in order to make way for new narratives.
Terence Gower’s installation The Red Wall (El Muro rojo) dominates the gallery space. An enormous red wall frames a black and white restaged photo of Armando Salas Portugal’s famous 1953 image of Casa Barragán. By reducing Luis Barragán’s exuberant colours to grey tones, the work highlights Barragan’s aesthetical concerns with emotional experience and architecture.
Known for playful appropriation of everyday objects such as plungers, mops, fans or bottles, Alexandre da Cunha uses critical wit to topple hierarchical modernist language. With Full Catastrophe (drum XIV), the simple gesture of liberating a rusted industrial cement mixer from its original function raises complex questions of trade and labor.
Luis Molina-Pantin is an obsessive chronicler. Whether using photography, books, everyday objects or postcards, Luis creates inventories of our over-looked cultural landscapes. Non-fiction reviews, is an installation consisting of sixteen fictional vintage books, each cover depicting an airplane disaster. Objectifying the book through the lens of the archive, the series becomes a strategy of representing failed ideologies – the imagery of flight, a classic modern aspiration displayed as a dystopian failure.
Lisa Tan incorporates personal and collective histories in order to explore her long-standing preoccupation with the indefinable. In this instance, Alter Nordfriedhof casually documents a cemetery in Munich on a spring day. Overgrown vines and flowers obscure the tombstones into abstract shapes. Through the use of repetition and the apparatus of archival structures, an elegant ontological study transforms into a poetic meditation on mortality.