Thursday, May 01, 2014

Weight of the World

Since the recent reports on Global Climate, and the not-coincidental Civilians show The Great Immensity at the Public, I've been thinking a lot about the Adrián Villar Rojas exhibition we caught at the Serpentine last year, Today, We Reboot the Planet.

The floor of the gallery consisted (for this exhibition) of bricks fabricated from native clay in the artist's home country of Argentina.  The bricks were laid without mortar, which meant that they clinked against the sub-floor and each other when people walked on them, creating a constant descant of sound, and conveying the shaky ground we all walk in this pivotal moment of high-stakes environmental poker.

Clay was his primary medium throughout, most prominently in the central image of an elephant bearing the weight of the building - and, as I read the sculpture, bearing up under the weight of development (another kind of 'building'), industry and imperialism with their interlocking versions of environmental effrontery.

A central studio with stained glass gable windows contained dozens of smaller sculptures, also mainly fired clay, with other media, including found objects, mixed in.

Maybe you'll forgive me if I admit that this one, even with its explicit connection to the earth in the form of farm and gardening implements, reminds me of Marvin the Martian.

Happy May Day.