Breathe In This

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 22nd, 2010

I’m urging all people in London to go check out Antony Gormley‘s exhibition at White Cube Mason’s Yard and specifically to experience his work Breathing Room III and there’s no excuse about time or money as the exhibition is free and if you’re succinct with your experience, it will only really take ten minutes of your time.

Breathing Room III is a spacial awareness installation that artist Gormley has constructed within a gallery space, specific to that space. It is the largest in the series yet as within the interconnecting photo luminescent space frames, the volume is equal to that of the internal gallery space at White Cube.

The work encourages viewers to interact with it, moving around within the frames, observing how depth of field and perspective is completely altered because the frames resemble lines of laser light in the dark. Add to that, there are unexpected jolts of light as well as a dimming and lighting up of the frames to shake up the experience even more.

Gormley admits to wanting to scare people and whilst I wasn’t frightened per se, I was disturbed. There was something very claustrophobic about being trapped inside those frames even though you knew it was just a gallery space with powers to free you. At the same time, you feel an eerie sense of peace when you’re looking at the lines, following them as they seem to go beyond the room, into a dark hole.

It’s trapping and freeing you at the same time. I’m definitely checking it out a few more times before it ends in July.

All photography by David Levene for The Guardian

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 Dictionary of Dress

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 5th, 2010

There aren’t that many ‘quiet’ fashion-related exhibitions in London. We’re lucky that we have institutions that curate some amazing exhibitions to do with fashion but of course the media love to make a big noise about everything resulting in queues, sold out tickets and packed-out exhibitions.

However, I think I’ve come across the QUIETEST exhibition there is and it’s very very hidden away. Well actually it’s more like a walk than an exhibition. Famed fashion curator Judith Clark and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips have come together to create a series of definitions with accompanying installations entitled The Concise Dictionary of Dress.
These installations have been set up in Blythe House which was originally the Post Office Savings Bank and now houses V&A’s Archive of Art and Design.

These definitions are supposed to re-describe clothing in terms of anxiety, wish and desire and so it isn’t a conventional ‘dictionary of dress’ as you would expect and along with the installations, it really explores the psyche of how we as human beings relate to dress and all its codes of conduct.

For example, to illustrated the term ‘Armoured’, there is this resin sculpture sitting on top of Blythe House

A series of images and pieces illustrated the term ‘Essential’… mostly depicting Grecian draped pieces and the classicism of those lines…

Then to illustrate the term “Pretentious” you get a collection of antique gowns (Chanel, Vionnet, Madame Gres…) from the early part of the 20th century and across from it is a plaster impression of the dresses…a comment on the ‘hollowness’ of fashion perhaps?

You’re taken through a derelict Blythe House up through industrial goods lift and through staircases, eerily silent corridors and so I deem this the quietest exhibition I have ever encountered which of course gives you the opportunity to think and reflect.

Here is a video trailer of the exhibition to give you a better idea…

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