Simon Tyszko, The Unfun Fair, 2013,
mixed media Arch installation (detail),
image courtesy the artist and Beaconsfield
I am glad I can’t afford to go on holidays. London is sunny, super hot (not as I am posting this though) and I am humming Bananarama’s Cruel Summer... I know it’s bad but that’s the only tune my mind had decided to stick to for the day.
The 436 bus drops me by Tyers Street, SE11. I am on tour to Beaconsfield Gallery. Surrounded by industrial buildings, the Vauxhall City Farm stands firmly there along with private gardens. A quirky chalet lookalike stands out: A house for Nicaragua, built 1984-91 to celebrate the Nicaraguan revolution. Sold to support community projects in Nicaragua.
Beaconsfield has always had some interesting projects going ever since they opened in the 90’s. Today, I am visiting highly respected Norwegian Bodil Furu’s art-social video projects and Simon Tyszko’s The Unfun Fair Too.
Out of the five Bodil video art films presented in Beaconsfield, Opera reminds me of the excellent The Sound of Noise’s film. Left wing’s ghosts inscriptions like “The theatre should be in a working class area” or “Reconstruction is almost completed but there is still a long way to go” appear unexpectedly here and there followed by some hidden wall paintings (Hitler and the Nazi Swastika).
Bodil Furu’s interest reflects on effects of global economics on community dynamics. She travelled to China to shoot Misty Clouds soundtracked by the mighty Biosphere: a focus on the relationship between environmental issues and the individual experience of pollution and coal energy production. The film is shot in Taiyuan, one of the world’s most polluted cities, in the Shanxi province which Mao Tse-tung declared as the sacrificed province. It is now an ecological catastrophe similar to Chernobyl in Russia. Misty Clouds portrays environmental engineer students and people living in Taiyuan addressing the environmental challenges we are facing today. It presents individual’s reflections on coal production, urban planning and the economic structure and is a contribution to a broader reflection about environmental issues in a global context.
Fjell som Faller (Where Mountains Fall) tells the stories of Anna Stensholm and Anne Lånan, who were the last inhabitants that left when the Vega islands off the Helgeland coast was depopulated in the 1980s. The two experienced the local community differently: While Anna was born and grew up in the archipelago, Anne arrived there as an adult to run the post office. Their personal stories and reflections take us through nostalgia, gossips and the beauty of nature, offering an insight into the physical and psychical strategies of coping with rough weather as well as everyday life in a small community.
The Unfun Fair expands an unnerving composition of sound and light in the Arch Space as Simon Tyszko develops new pieces within the second half of his sonic sculpture exhibition.
Tyszko’s mixed media practice constructs narratives that originate in the joys and tragedies of his colourful personal life. The expression of poignant emotional experiences finds form through a variety of physical materials. Discarded machines and materials are rejuvenated and linked to other objects creating new hybrids animated by sound or light. Through its evolution, the original core impulse acquires gravitas as a reflection of the experience of the wider social body.
The composition of sound and light currently exhibited in the Arch is bound together by neon – a core symbol of consumer culture – and 10,000 volts.
Simon Tyszko is notorious for disrupting his domestic life by installing a full-scale Dakota aeroplane wing in his West London flat, in acknowledgement of the events of 9/11. He is a regular broadcaster on Resonance FM.
Only Bodil Furu is extended to the 30th of August. It is free.
Beaconsfield, 22 Newport St, Vauxhall, London SE11 6AY. phone: +44 (0) 207 582 6465. firstname.lastname@example.org