As we step back into the physical and social world after an enforced period of separation,
how might we have changed?
Who, or what, do we choose to present to others?
how might we have changed? Who, or what, do we choose to present to others?
This is the starting point for the latest exhibitions and projects on show at the London-based Zabludowicz Collection, a private art collection founded in the 1990s with the aim of producing a vibrant and sustainable ecology for art. In recent years this has been achieved by opening the collection to residencies, commissions and new acquisitions with focus on trans-disciplinarity. Works in the collection include photographs, paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and time-based works.
The group exhibition The Stand-Ins: Figurative Painting from the Collection examines the transformations of the self as it re-enters physical reality following this long period of isolation and it does by bringing together 19 artists from the collection, which also allows a comparison of different approaches and contaminations between generations. The body emerges as completely deconstructed and the idea of a defined identity or the existence of a single ego is sabotaged.
The study extends to digital spaces with exhibitions by Robert Cervera and the VR project by Chiara Passa.
Robert Cervera, whose research moves between sculpture, video and music, approaches materiality and the processes used to contain formless assets, such as air, water or data.
In a dark room lit only by film projections and small fans, Cervera’s works generate an experience similar to that of navigation.
In the projected film, To Vent (2021), garden snails try to pass through the holes of a ventilation panel, very similar to those used in early computers for coding software. The snails decide which hole to enter. Similarly, a panel built into the exhibition space obscures the film by showing how this is done through perforated lenses. The floor where visitors walk, moving around the sculpture, is made of a similar perforated panel. The combination of light and sound paths confuse the senses and become an experiential metaphor for the osmotic relationship between the real and the virtual.
Space returns in the journey inside the still lifes of Chiara Passa’s VR work, designed in such a way as to come to life and move through their own functionality in tune with Object Oriented Ontology. This is one of the latest studies pioneering the investigation of space and its transformations since the 1990s, and which now converge in the ontology of objects. Teapots, vases, sugar cans, and other objects from her mother’s house, faithfully reproduced down to their textures through the technique of photogrammetry, dominate the landscape and can be grasped, generating surprise. The physical landscape slips into the liminal sphere with all its objects and in an increasingly feverish contamination between the physical and the virtual, as in the AR ceramic sculpture now included in the exhibition Im)Material Matter, curated by Peggy Schoenegge – an investigation into the extensions of sculpture into virtual space.
These exhibitions explore current reality and its all-round transformations, an operation made possible thanks to the openness of a private collection, which is now among one of the most internationally recognised.
images: (cover 1) Chiara Passa, Still Life, 2019 – ongoing (2) Jamian Juliano-Villani, «Constructive Living», 2019. Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection, MASSIMODECARLO, and JTT. Photo- Todd-White Art Photography (3) Robert Cervera, «To Vent», 2021. Digital photograph. Courtesy the artist (4) Chiara Passa, «Still Life», 2019 – ongoing. Interactive VR experience. Installation view 360- Virtual Reality Room at Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2021. Photo- Tim Bowditch.