All Systems Go

26 Jun
I attended the opening of All Systems Go at Departure Gallery tonight and would recommend a visit, though it’s a bit of a trek for most London art goers.  The exhibition’s in a very large warehouse allowing lots of artists to experiment with large work, that is still arranged in a spacious manner to allow you to view all the works for their own merits.

My particular highlight of the show is Rich White’s False Flag Operation (pictured).  The success of this work probably lies within the simplicity of its intervention in the space.  White has simply wrapped black plastic, which is industrially used for wrapping pallets, around the central section of the steel mezzanine floor structure, creating a sculptural piece somewhat akin to Anish Kapoor’s Marsyas, but more fragile and temporary in nature.  The material use refers to the space as an industrial building in which goods have likely been produced, packed and palletised and the end section even somewhat resembles a packed pallet.  Given the existing layout of the space the work also forms a barrier across the centre of the space much like Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc but in a way that someone could force entry through the work without a series of JCBs, etc. 

The work really makes you envisage the performative act of unrolling the plastic and stretching it around the building, repeatedly walking around and up and down stairs to locate the material and likely untangle it.  I also like the way it doesn’t create a totally minimal form and the plastic reflects the light (particularly the halogen lamps that have been set up in the space) creating light and dark lines along the ridges where the cling film type material has contracted when unrolled, giving the piece texture like fabric drapery in a well executed painting or classical sculpture.


The exhibition is on at 7 Trident Way, The International Trading Estate, Southall, UB2 5LF until 4th July.


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