Liverpool Biennial 2010: (space between) at The International Gallery, Slater Street.

The International Gallery

Art Before I put my feet up for the evening, I did just want point you towards this exhibition at The International Gallery, largely because it closes this Saturday, 2nd October so you'll have to be quick. One of those small spaces which comes into its own during the Biennial, it's also very energy conscious -- someone had to turn the projectors on for the video pieces when I blundered in.

Investigating the ever widening space between man and the natural world (space between) includes one of my highlights of the Biennial so far, David Nash's Wooden Boulder. When a two hundred year old tree was felled in the Ffestiniog Valley in 1978, Nash fashioned from it a wooden boulder which he generally left in situ and whose progress through the natural world he followed on at least a bi-annual basis.

Human metaphorics abound. Having created the boulder, he initially nurtured it, helping it to move now and then, but soon let it out into the world, only assisting when absolutely necessary -- using a crane to lift it from being wedged below a bridge. But eventually he just left it to its own devices and sometimes it excelled moving down stream nine times unaided or otherwise remaining static and settled.

The video consists of photographs and footage he recorded on each of these re-visits though a variety of formats from 16mmm to VHS now transferred to dvd. There's an in built curiosity in seeing just how far this apparently fragile but ultimately very strong object moved in the intervening years and how, despite beginning as a smooth carving, the rigours of ageing took their toll on the surface, leaving it pitted, chipped and cracked.

Throughout we wonder how this oak rock actually moves, not quite able to imagine how it might travel. Then in the closing moments, Nash shows us the boulder in flight, or rather float, as a river carries it at speed and it's impossible, knowing its history, not to will this inanimate object along to keep going, especially since we know, that like Nash and us it will have an expiry date. It's just a case of when.

Until 2nd October.

1 comment:

  1. Deep thought on my expiry date.... I was at the opening of Space Between and have to agree that David Nash's video is very powerful and definitely my favourite work in the show.