COMMA, the successful series of fast paced exhibitions, continues at Bloomberg SPACE with two newly commissioned installations by artists Bernd Behr and Charlotte Moth which explore the performative nature of the built environment.
For COMMA, Bernd Behr will present a constellation of loosely connected works exploring the space between relic and utility, fragment and the modular. A large-scale video projection depicts pristine white housing cubes amidst piles of dug-up earth in scenes shot on the construction site of a Bauhaus-themed gated community in China, part of a recent New Town development designed by Albert Speer Jr. The documentary feel of the video soon gives way to a more ambiguous space where distinctions between the new and archaic are suspended.
Bernd Behr's practice operates an associative archaeology on the fringes of architectural modernisms, inserting itself into a set of historical relations through research and fiction. A series of sculptural works in concrete extend the archaeological motif of the video into the gallery. Hovering in a state between unearthed relics and prototype fixtures for as yet to be realised structures, a collection of individual panels of varying shapes and sizes lean against the wall, their presentation underlining the precarious condition prior to museological incorporation and historical narration. A further set of freestanding sculptures consist of crystalline cast concrete shapes supported by modernist Arne Jacobsen tubular chair legs. Their formal language is informed as much by 'Brutalist' architecture as the tradition of Chinese scholars' rocks.
For her COMMA commission at Bloomberg SPACE Charlotte Moth will developed two separate works in sculptural dialogue with one another.
The first work consists of placing a shimmering blue sequined curtain to envelop the balcony space. This piece follows a conceptual trail that responds to the specifics of a site and the development of a work through its own process of making and being re-made in a number of situations. Thus enabling the work to develop a narrative and life span of its own that goes beyond the temporary framework of a specific exhibition.
Installed in the rear gallery at Bloomberg SPACE the curtain's excessive folds and the vast surface area of the fabric display the material nature of colour itself and act as a means to distract attention from the vertiginous architecture of the central atrium. At a certain moment the curtain becomes an architectural threshold that must be physically passed through in order to gain access to a second, more intimate, space.
In this contained space Moth will place a slide show that slowly reveals, through various angles and positions of the camera, an event performed solely for the purpose of being photographed. A large net filled with multi-coloured balloons is suspended in an otherwise empty hall. Flung high into the air, the balloons create various spatial configurations as they fall. Moth uses the construction of space and the site of display as a mirroring device to re-activate the event through the viewer's experience of seeing this slide show. The theatrical nature of the photographed space, empty of human presence, echoes the architecture of Bloomberg SPACE's towering atrium.
Moth's COMMA commission extends her ongoing research-based practice which investigates how landscape, architecture, furniture, objects, and social and economic milieu work together to create a context that determines our relationship to place. Within Moth's work, experience of space often leads to the invention of narratives, which can take form either in the mind of the viewer or be told by the artist through monologues or interior dialogues in the context of the installation.