Continent Cloud, 2007-08,
Installation View, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London 2008
RIVANE NEUENSCHWANDER: SUSPENSION POINT
South London Gallery
65 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UH
Phone: +44 (0)20 7703 6120
Contact: South London Gallery
3 October- 30 November 2008
Internationally acclaimed Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander completely transforms the gallery space with a site-specific installation. Monumental in scale, yet incorporating minimalist elements including drilled holes, the residual dust and tiny perforations in every frame of a 16mm film, this major new work encompasses a number of discrete but inter-related components.
Born of the artist's unique sensitivity to space, Neuenschwander's installation takes as its starting point the full height of the SLG's impressive main exhibition hall, the beautiful glass ceiling lantern and the horizontal line which notionally divides the space in two. A visually elaborate but essentially simple wooden structure supports a new floor punctuated by a staircase leading visitors to the level above and an entirely fresh perspective on the upper area of the gallery. Here a line of circular holes circumnavigates the space, dividing it in half again but also highlighting the continuity of the walls' surfaces in the absence of doors. A perpetual dialogue between additive and reductive processes is established, a dialogue which permeates the exhibition, each work within it and the relationships between them.
The temporary floor equally transforms the lower half of the gallery, populating it with supporting struts and obscuring the daylight which would otherwise flood the space. The floor is also a ceiling, emphasising the interior nature of lower space and setting up a contrast to the light-filled area above. Three works on the upper level make counter references to exterior landscape. A miniature mountain range is formed from the dust generated by the drilled holes in the walls and a droplet of water periodically falls into a pool of water, a 'lake', below, triggering a sound piece mimicking rainfall. In a third work a flickering spot of light is created by 1001 tiny holes in a 16mm film as it threads through a projector. Its title, 'Arabian Moons', makes reference to 'Arabian Nights' and lends the spot of light a celestial quality, introducing yet another cycle, that of night and day, in an exhibition where every interpretative direction leads to another and ultimately back to its starting point.