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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Behind the Shutters – muTATE Britain

Written by Amy Knight

©muTATE Britain

As the shutters were drawn open for the private view of muTATE, we were at once standing amidst an array of monstrous, deformed figures made from discarded industrial parts, lurking in the enhanced shadows of a low-lit room. The gallery, a four-storey warehouse in the midst of Shoreditch, could not be any more surprising in terms of the context of its location; barren and austere, the atmosphere was refreshingly devoid of pretentious decor, and even the labels for the artwork were penned directly onto the plinths with black marker. The artwork itself varied greatly in quality. Giant black gloves on a wheel in situ and a roadrunner made of polished steel and pheasant feathers were amongst some of the more magnificent contributions, which stood out amongst some dubiously sketched cartoons on cardboard. Mr Wim’s Victorian portrait photographs inscribed with tribal markings were also quite formidable. But with the overall concept of the exhibition, the artwork worked together well. While some was finished to perfection, other pieces were apparently works in progress, which added to the raw, ‘studio’ feeling of the gallery.

©muTATE Britain

©muTATE Britain

The message that belied this collection, it seemed, was of a slightly sinister nature, inviting the viewer to consider the darker side of human nature and to question our rapidly accelerating reliance upon – and obsession with – technology. The mutation, it seemed, was not so much in the disjointed, hybrid sculptures of birds with human legs and caged monsters, but in the technological evolution we are experiencing in this century. On the upper floor, two feminine robots with CCTV cameras where their heads should be danced provocatively beside a masculine robot DJ. This performance, although unequivocally funny, seemed to encapsulate this sense of inexorable doom; of a humanity so advanced it is on the brink of absurdity.


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