Disclosing the Uncanny is a new exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery in South West London with Norwegian textile artist Hanne Friis and Belgium-based Iraqi sculptor Athar.
It is a strange room of bodies you are entering – organic shapes seem to pulse with life on the walls, hanging in unctuous fleshy folds, like slow-dripping molasses. Ribbed like the undersides of mushrooms, like a coral reef, or like writhing heaps of worms, snakes, noodles, intestines, frozen in place, static yet moving. Nearby are perfect white marble heads, classical busts from the hallowed halls of antiquity. Except they are blasted, broken, noses bent, eyes gouged out, parts missing, sliced off, lopped off, blasted away into oblivion.
“I am interested in the body’s vulnerability and human mortality, but also the power and violence of life… I’m interested in the ambivalence and insecurity that the materials and their colours evoke” – Hanne Friis
Friis’ sculpture evades the walls, creating a space reminiscent perhaps of The Upside Down; somewhere fleshy, threateningly organic, pulsing with hidden life. Athar’s sculptures, while hard and cold stone, capture the visceral bloody violence of the human condition, of an ongoing battle with this too, too fragile flesh. There may only be velvet and stone here, yet, somehow, there is flesh everywhere.
31 March – 29 April, Tue-Sat 11am-6pm