Thursday, 25 September 2014
So another day and another city, Friday morning saw me board the Thalys from Centraal station to arrive in Brussels to start the install, and gave me a few hours to rest up before the next stage!
I arrived before midday and was soon at the gallery, admiring the incredible space and starting to unpack and look through all the shipments that had arrived for Lunar Caustic. Galerie Paris-Beijing's exhibition space in Brussels is quite extraordinary, a former Hotel; the swapping staircases, parquet flooring and wooden framing is truly stunning and provided a perfect backdrop to the exhibited series, let alone the roster of artists they hold like Wang Bing and Martin Parr!
The opening was a great success with packed rooms filled with viewers wanting to hear the tales of the mine, exploring the differing levels of the project. The ground floor provided the context, a space where the original images could be seen in all their glory. Intermixed with these were documentaries of the journey and an opportunity to delve into 5 kg's of negatives as well as Sauvin's latest idea - Beijing Silvermine beach towels!
Lunar Caustic took hold of much of the second floor, with three rooms providing a process based context right through to the final pieces. A Nitrate stained tray hovered over a plinth, a concrete slab removed from the testing area, showed the corrosive nature of the materials used and created from this tale/series and vibrant test strips start to show how the materials interact with the photographic paper.
Then onto the next room, where three plinths display objects from the process, stained acid gloves, a bottle and in between the material compound itself - Silver Nitrate. As the sun rises and the light pours into the gallery space, the compound changes, it starts to evolve, from a clean white powder to a darkening black. As the time ticks on, so too will the Nitrate, until only black is left.
In the final room, a clean, bright space displays 12 pieces, full framed photographic prints. Each one is vibrant and saturated, the acid burns shining through and the nitrate granules dirty brown and thick. As the exhibition continues, so shall the works, as they all twist and turn from the light that pours through the windows.
The exhibition runs until the 1st November and more can be seen here: http://www.galerieparisbeijing.com/exhibitions/pr_pages/beijing_silvermine_2014.html
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Thursday, September 25, 2014
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