Premiums: Interim Projects (13th February -11th March) REVIEW

Premiums: Interim Projects (13th February -11th March)

“Premiums” being an interim project featuring the work of artists in their second year at the Royal Academy Schools, consists of a large body of varying works, spanning over the  seven rooms of Burlington Gardens. The Exhibition includes a wide range of media from photography, painting and sculpture to video, installation and performance.

In the relatively small first room, you are met with the work of Molly Palmer. Her work “In Addition to Everything Real”(2015) starts the exhibition off with a “bang”. The video piece is projected onto the far wall of the dimly lit room, in front of a viewing bench. By viewing from this angle and with the comfort of a seat you are inclined to relax more and let yourself become immersed in the work, not that this is necessary. Molly Palmers work is engaging and immersive from the moment  you walk into the room. The bold colours and high contrast of the video, make the video surreal and at times quite haunting. The sound to the video feels synthesised and otherworldly, distant and dreamlike. Layers of edited voices and typical relaxation music. The subject of the video, I am assuming Molly herself draws the viewer in by directing some of her comments outwards to the audience, giving the video a personal feel and allowing you to interact. The video consists of many layers and scenes, fragments edited together to for a bitty narrative. These fragments are in fact a series of recounted facts, some philosophical others more every day, “…lifts, they go up and down. That is what lifts do.” The point to the narrative is not very clear, the transitions and editing between the individual “facts” is consistent and regular, thus creating a futuristic scene that becomes entrancing aided by the dim lighting and the surround sound.

In addition to everything else - Molly Palmer

Molly Palmer “In Addition to Everything Real”(2015)

Moving through to the third room another video stands out. Claire Undy’s “Notwithstanding” (2014) a documentary of a performance. You become entranced with the  action, willing her to succeed , feeling her struggle, making you watch on to the end. The performance consists of the artist trying without success at getting to her feet whist wearing large, clown like shoes on her feet, that inhibit and restrict the simple action of getting up. You can really see the effort she is exerting in this pointless action, she could simply slip the shoes off her feet, however the sheer determination she puts in is enough to keep the audience watching. You find yourself thinking how you would attempt the challenge if presented with the opportunity. Performance art is a form of postmodernist art, artists using what is readily available to them as materials, whether it be objects or the artist themselves.

Notwithstanding - Claire Undy

Claire Undy “Notwithstanding” (2014)

In contrast to the two video based pieces in the final room of the exhibition the material based work of Wander Wieser stands out. Her work has hints of Marlie Mul’s “Puddle” (2013) about it, in terms of shape, size and material. Both works consider material, industrial material. Mul’s floor based sculptures made using sand, resin and plastic, Wieser wall based sculptures “Slice I”, “Slice II” and “Slice III” are made using cement fond, polyester resin and marble powder. The 75cm in diameter circles, look delicate, intricate and fragile but at the same time industrial.

Slice 1 - Wander Wieser

Wander Wieser “Slice I” (2014)

The exhibition as whole was well curated, with a number of stand out pieces. The work was well spaced and the rooms worked well together nothing seemed to jar. The progression through the space seemed logical and fluid, there was a sense of unity throughout the work. Although there were large numbers of works dealing with different and juxtaposing ideas and themes, no work seemed lost or to be fighting to be see and appreciated.

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