...AT London Newcastle Space with BORONDO | ANIMAL Friday 27th February 2015
The floor's covered in wood shipping and you immediately feel like you've entered another world. I drag my feet across, like I would in autumn. Surrounded by Spaniards, the artists themselves, a dog stands beneath a table, used for the minute as a picnic table. Drinks and sandwiches spread across, catalogues and ANIMAL leaflets amongst other things. Later on, this will be where BORONDO signs copies of his catalogue...which I purchase.
They're getting ready for the closing of the show. I've just stumbled across this place, and end up spending 3 hours here.
I am promised a talk round 7 or maybe 8, signed catalogues and drinks so I stick around.
The backdrop noise of beer bottles knocking against each other in cardboard boxes is constant. Someone transports a hay bail wrapped in black plastic - like the ones you find in summer, he brings it through and to the left, disappears round a doorway with his hay bale, small child following.
According to Rom Levy, who'd come across BORONDO's work in Paris and had pitched the London idea to the artist, 'walls, canal boats, hay bales and tunnels' were painted in the lead up to ANIMAL and were somewhat an inspiration.
Room 1 PROLOGOS with Carmen Maín
You walk in, a darkened room. Bark chippings.
We barely left the city behind us when on the other side of the door,
the damp smell of the branches covering the ground pours into us.
Inside the first room we hear the sounds of cracking the wood beneath
our feet, mixed with the chirp of the crickets...
A flickering super-8 cine projection triptych. A dog flashes in one, and appears in another a few seconds later.
Dogs assume the cycle, lick the bones of other dogs, walk over the remains of their dead...
Room 2 THE PASSAGE with Dèspina Charitonìdi
Power. Authority. Trophies. Life. Death. Sorry.
I met Dèspina Charitonìdi. She was walking through the passage; a forest of antlers made up of 102 wooden plaques, branches and wax. It's clever and you don't notice the foraged material at first. They spread from floor to ceiling.
A mystical corridor of entangled shadows.
The idea behind this work is the power that antlers have, power being the significant word. Power for the animal and proof of power for the human once ANIMAL is dead.
The home of British gentry.
Charitonìdi explains how in collaborating, the artists, including herself, have tried to create different worlds. This is successful. BORONDO's conversion of the space yields a series of zones which we journey through. Success.
From the entrails of THE PASSAGE we continue through to the world of the machine. The mechanical sound of seven working projectors is satisfying and entrancing. According to some reviewers and visitors, this is the highlight of the show; ten scratched and painted windows hang from chains. As the projector flickers, a darker image reveals itself, portraits become trees and hanging meat.
Human vs. Animal
Paint vs. Shadow
Morals vs. Massacre
Room 5 LA CARNE with Carmen Maín
A naked woman
crawls, prowling in circles to a repetitive drumming. The accuracy of her
movement to the sound is satisfying. Another hay bale. You can sit and observe.
To the left a decomposed assemblage of this animation, meat. pose. animal. A
stained glass window or an altar piece. You observe with uncomfortable guilt.
Room 6 ETERNAL
Real grass and fake grass
cover the left and right
walls respectively. As time
passes the organic materials
decay and the scent of turf
intensifies contrasting with
the artificiality of the space.
The installation is united by a
single wreath, half comprised
of fake flowers, half of real
flowers. The installation
examines the human desire to
leave a legacy, represented
through the passage of time
and the opposition of natural
and artificial materials.
There is nothing permanent except change
'An incongruous quote'
You can tell a huge amount of time and consideration has gone into this project. The show is captivating. It's street art brought indoors. Viewers should be left to interpret the work as they please.