AboutLondon based artist Ian Kiaer has been commissioned to create a new body of work which meets the dominance of the vertiginous front gallery at Bloomberg SPACE with a gesture of frailty. From everyday found or discarded objects and materials Kiaer creates installations that recall architectural models, painterly compositions and run down domestic spaces. His work draws on differing modes of abstraction and narration through an emphasis on the quality of presence. Transient and precarious, Kiaer's interventions present meticulously composed spaces that open and unfold fragmented narratives.
For his COMMA commission at Bloomberg SPACE, Kiaer questions the confident and corporate tone of the gallery through an arrangement of works that both embrace the scale of the space while also undermining it by conveying a sense of instability, informality and precariousness. He will install a triple high gridded aluminium frame and a body of smaller melancholic works based around the motif of Alexander Dumas' The Black Tulip. Through the careful placement of the works Kiaer subtly outlines a space within a space in which viewers become engaged in a new set of relationships.
Kiaer has consistently articulated a complex artistic practice through both his forms and ideas. His commission for Bloomberg SPACE demonstrates his acute sense of composition and a sensibility for the narrative potential of objects and materials, developed through his interest in the research of Utopian thinkers, philosophers, architects and artists whose common concern has been the resistance and critique of dominant ideologies while providing possible alternatives for thought.
Dorothy Cross is a prominent international artist whose work amalgamates found and constructed objects. For her COMMA commission at Bloomberg SPACE Cross has brought together video and sculpture to represent the notion of the pearl in terms of both accepted monetary and aesthetic value but also to explore its creation and formation in nature.
The central work* for the commission Pearl Bones documents Cross' trip, several months ago, to a pearl farm in Tahiti where she worked with a pearl farmer to insert five finger-tip bones into five black-lipped oysters in the hope that the animals will create pearl around the irritant. If the animals accept them it will take up to two years for a pearl to form as the oysters incrementally secrete nacre to coat and create a natural reliquary around the bone. The experiment will be ongoing throughout the duration of the exhibition, with the oysters checked for progress periodically as they rest in racks in the Rangirao lagoon.
This ongoing interest in mapping a particular animal's accumulated wealth of symbolic associations is further underpinned in the exhibition by the presentation of a shark skin. In a small darkened room in the rear gallery Cross will hang the grey, shriveled skin of a lone shark, gilded inside with 21carat yellow gold. Elsewhere in the gallery a small video projection will show a pair of hands overflowing with hundreds of swarming Hermit crabs crawling out in a continuous flow. Even on this scale and in fluid motion the individuality of each architectural shell can be considered from within the mass.
Cross' exhibition is the convergence of a broad approach to nature, information and time juxtaposing the photographic evidence of a long-term project against the remains of some thing once alive transformed laboriously by the artist.