READER RANDALL SENDS THE INFO FOR THIS ‘SHOW’ THAT JUST TOOK PLACE IN LONDON. WTF? AND I MEAN…WTF? …ENJOY:
‘The Fresh Air Collection is an exhibition of artworks featuring houseplants and artist owned houseplants.
A response to the often-made observation that there are too many plants appearing in contemporary art of late, the Collection is the result of a general concern with how ‘common objects’ – though imposed by canon, reinforced by culture and glued by social relations – also retain the capacity to profoundly traumatise us through their very ubiquity.
For while it would seem that the bourgeois ‘cult of the original’ has had its pre-eminence compromised by the snare of endless simulations offered by our contemporary ‘version’ culture – it still only takes a houseplant (or a colour gradient, or an energy drink or the word ‘precarity’ used repeatedly in relation to the prevalent experience of the post-fordist worker) to send many of us reeling.
This specific context – satirical, but also earnest – though central to the show is joined by a number of other concerns to provide a general backdrop for theCollection. Paramount here is the rich history of plants within the historical display models of both modern and contemporary art. From their existence as ‘dressing’ in major museum displays (discreet plastic art – AbEx or geometric modernism – accompanied by one or two well positioned Boston Ferns, for example) during the 40s and 50s to their incorporation into exemplary works of early installation art by Hans Haacke, Nam June Paik, Marcel Broodthaers – to name just a few.
The Collection is also an opportunity to consider the socio-symbolic and pragmatic function of houseplants, both in and out of art. A fetish in the most traditional sense of the word, we endow our domestic plants with myriad capacities: seeing them as interior design, convenient and no-doubt misleading symbols for clean, green ‘nature’, anti-depressants, spirit and wellbeing guides; even as musical instruments (represented in the collection by John Cage’s Child of Tree (1975), a composition for amplified cacti).
The Fresh Air Collection features artworks and contributions from the following artists:
Aaron Angell / Roy Ascott / Jonathan Allen / Umi Baden-Powell / John Cage / Ryan Gander / Sam Griffin / Tim Ivison & Julia Tcharfas, Rachel Pimm, George Moustakas (in collaboration with Auto Italia South East) / Alan Kane / Paul Kneale / Ian Law / Sophie Lee / Hannah Lees / George Henry Longly / Marie Lund / Jimmy Merris / Beatriz Olabarrieta / Berry Patten / Damien Roach / Will Robinson / Megan Rooney / David Rudnick / Samara Scott / Emma Sheridan / Jack Strange / Chooc Ly Tan / Julie Verhoeven / Holly White / Jesse Wine / Jonny JJ Winter
129—131 MARE STREET
LONDON E8 3RH
020 8525 4330′
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