In our “Me, Myself and Art” series, in collaboration with Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Sleek takes an immersive approach to the art world. Via the medium of writer and stylist Ella Plevin, and her shiny new Samsung Galaxy Alpha, we bring the art world to you in a uniquely personalised way, utilising performance, selfies and video to present new perspectives on the art scene. Check out #SleekAlphaSelfie to win a phone for yourself.
The decline in my attention span at any gallery opening tends to correlate with the number of attendees. So upon finding myself inside a seething Tanya Leighton (with substantial overflow gathered outside) during Oliver Laric’s latest solo opening at the space, I dismissed any hopes of serious reflection to some quiet future afternoon (which I found last week).
Without the distractions of small talk and weak smiles under bright fluorescents I was able to take in details more carefully. Initially I had imagined the sculptural centrepiece had been made with a 3D printer but the three prone men and beasts now appeared to be made from marbled, mould-poured resin, lending the classically masculine composites an air of rich, decorative obsolescence. The original form has been taken from a 19th century work of a hunter and his dog by sculptor John Gibson, as part of a collaboration between the artist and the Usher Gallery and Collection in Lincoln in which Laric produced 3D scans of objects from their historic archive.
The piece is presented with a new video work depicting an ephemeral parade of constantly mutating creatures in stark contrast to the rigid three-figure sculpture: woman, animal, house, monster and child all slip from one form to another as a hollow piano rendition of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” plods along with the metamorphosis. If the cartoonish piece seems paradoxically flat and cheerless it reflects the opening observations made by contemporary philosopher Rosi Braidotti in the press release supporting the exhibition: the patriarchy’s “othering” of such non-male, non-white, non-hetero, urbanised or able-bodied beings serves as a method of both structural control and self-fortification for the dominant patriarchal figure. The nine-page document is a complex and valuable read, as is Laric’s impressive new work.
On the same night Tanya Leighton threw upon its doors, Gillmeier Rech previewed group show “Grids” with new work from artists Eva Berendes, Lindsay Lawson, Hayley Silverman, Santiago Taccetti, Alex Turgeon, Brent Wadden and Eric Winkler. Despite the two galleries’ close proximity I managed to just miss the reading from Alex Turgeon, but did manage a #SleekAlphaSelfie with his work in between glasses of sekt.
I also caught up with curator and writer Gareth Bell-Jones, buoyant at having recently moved from London to Berlin (aren’t we all?). He told me about a colour specialist friend working in “Costume Breakdown”: a field within film ,television or theatre production requiring the impressive ability to accurately synthesize the colour tones of fluids like blood or sweat on fabrics for their use in costume design. I thought of his friend later that evening at twinkling Schöneberg haunt Kumpelnest 3000, as I attempted to leave without being showered in booze flung from the enthusiastic hands of a small but crowded dance floor.
Text by Ella Plevin
Check out previous entries here on our #SleekAlphaSelfie Tumblr