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Tuesday 16 November 2010

Re-visualising the cinematic: Angela Bulloch at Simon Lee Gallery

Angela Bulloch’s (b. 1966) Discrete Manifold Whatsoever opened early this autumn in London at Simon Lee Gallery, marking her first solo exhibition in the UK since 2005.

Angela Bulloch’s installations respond to the presence of the viewer and in doing so create a kind of separate world within the exhibition space. By encouraging physical interaction with the pieces, Bulloch effectively presents the viewer with a blank rule book (interestingly, Bulloch made a book Rule Book in 2010 which is comprised of an ongoing collection of rules that have been broken, subverted and altered). In this way, Bulloch allows the viewer to experience the notion that repeats itself throughout the body of her work; how background shapes who we are and how we experience the world.

This exhibition showcases an entirely new body of work that develops and de-constructs the “pixel box” sculptures that have become her signature. For two decades this modular, infinitely programmable light box with a wooden case and opaque plastic screen has been one of her primary media. At once sculptural units and carriers and transmitters of data, these boxes have until now remained consistent in form. From one work to the next they zoomed on the digital image and re-visualised the cinematic.

For this exhibition Bulloch turns her attention to the forms of the boxes themselves. In one work, consisting of a group of four such boxes fabricated in copper, the hard metallic sheen of the units clearly asserts their relation to Donald Judd and the modular language of minimalism. Mondrian Corian Pixel (Blue) is caught in a different kind of grid and hangs, suspended, abject, straps and wires trapping it and rupturing the purity of its form. Elsewhere boxes with solid faces are pierced so their light spills out and throws shifting patterns upon wall and floor. The configuration of their holes makes yet another reference to Bridget Riley’s White Discs (1964).

Alongside this re-imagined pixel box sculptures Bulloch will show wall pieces which suggest their conceptual concomitant, their texts elaborating and expanding the exhibition’s title, along with interactive spotlight installations. Pushing against the mill-stone of traditional gallery regulations this is a show not to be missed.

Continues until 27 November. www.simonleegallery.com

Image Courtesy Simon Lee Gallery, London.

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