Thursday, December 20, 2012

‘The Encampment of Eternal Hope’ and ‘The Rinse Cycle’

Housed in a landmark industrial structure on the banks of Tyne river located in Gateshead, BALTIC has come to be recognized as a renowned international centre for contemporary art. The venue is currently hosting two interesting solo shows – ‘The Encampment of Eternal Hope’ and ‘The Rinse Cycle’.

A nomadic social sculpture
A major new sculptural installation by Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich, extending their enquiry into the role of art as an active agent for transformation in society, takes apocalyptic predictions for 21 December 2012 – the end date for the Mayan Calendar – as an imaginative catalyst, the project envisages a post-apocalyptic utopian community, a kind of ‘garden of earthly delights’.

This ambitious participatory installation will evolve within the gallery space involving audiences in a program of events, which bring together experts in the fields of ecology, economy and the arts to explore hopes and fears for future survival. ‘The Encampment of Eternal Hope’ is a nomadic social sculpture, field laboratory and evolving community. Part-tent and part-garden, it seeks out positive strategies for future living at a time of global uncertainty. The collaborative duo is renowned for their large-scale participatory events and exhibitions that invite audiences to imagine better worlds.

As part of the show, visitors are invited to engage with this laboratory for future living. They can join a team of experts within the fields of ecology, economy and the arts and play their part in this live artwork. The program also includes expert speakers such as physicist David Korowicz and Dr. Geraldine Wright alongside survival exercise classes
Popular culture and the unconscious mind
Los Angeles-based Jim Shaw is one of America’s most important and prolific contemporary artists. Part of a ground-breaking group including Mike Kelley, John Miller and Tony Oursler that graduated from California Institute of the Arts in the late 1970s, he has one of the most distinctive visual imaginations of his generation. ‘The Rinse Cycle’ is the first ever full-scale survey of the renowned artist’s work internationally. It brings together over one hundred paintings, sculptures, drawings and videos done by him during the last twenty-five years.

Jim Shaw’s work is largely informed by his fascination with the popular culture imagery, and also art history, religion, myth and politics,, as well as his very own unconscious mind, so to say. Drawing heavily from these various different sources the artist makes work in distinct series format that take years to complete. They are all shown together in this exhibition for the first time.

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