Everything Wants to Run at Block 336

Everything Wants to Run is the latest exhibition by the gallery team at Block 336, and features nine international artists exploring the concept of materiality in contemporary art practice, Lizzie Kaye reports. 

The exhibition opens with the interactive installation by Charlotte Webb called Flickr Nude or Noodle Descending a Staircase. The piece comprises a projector, a screen and a search engine, into which visitors can type their own search term. Images are then pulled from Flickr and descend across the projector screen creating a hypnotic themed image that can then be added to an online archive, allowing the viewer to contribute to the final piece.

Nude_Noodle image 1_mark
Charlotte Webb Nude or Noodle Descending the staircase, 2013.
Web application. Archive image capture


At the back of the gallery space is another interactive space, presented by the collaborative pair MSHR (Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper). Nightscape Navigator uses another projector screen to show a world that the viewer can move around in like a simplified video game, exploring the spaces and sounds the artists have created. The ambient music changes depending on how the viewer is interacting with what’s on screen, and it’s easy to get lost in the surreal landscape, watching snowflakes fall from the ceiling, or wandering round the rotating objects.

MSHR. Nightscape Navigator. 2013
Variable installation


The main gallery space houses a variety of works by Nathaniel Stern, Mark Jackson, Gabriel Hartley, Kate Owens, Bruce Ingram and Daniel Silver.

Dominating the room is the matching pair of cast aluminum statues by Daniel Silver, entitled The Artist his Father and his Son. Standing at least ten feet tall, the sculptures show rough, abstract faces reminiscent of renaissance imagery emerging from the organic column of metal. The surface of the sculptures is incredibly tempting to touch, which you should never do, but I did because I couldn’t help myself and have no impulse control. The rough, hand-hewn texture conflicts pleasantly with the material, adding an extra dimension to the already beautiful piece.

Set on the wall, visually book-ended by Silver’s work, is The Giverny Series by Nathaniel Stern. These pieces are created by the artist attaching a desktop scanner, laptop and custom made battery pack to his body, and allowing his movements to “perform images into existence”. Conceptually, this is genius. Practically speaking, this is genius. And luckily, the pieces created by this artist are lovely, their dark moody colours providing a nice contrast with the lighter pieces in the show.

Installation shot 1.  Left to right: Nathaniel Stern, Daniel Silver, Mark Jackson, Gabriel Hartley
Installation shot 1.
Left to right: Nathaniel Stern, Daniel Silver, Mark Jackson, Gabriel Hartley

Gabriel Hartley supplied one of those lighter pieces, and while the palette is gentle, the size and scope of Sheet is not. Leaning against one of the industrial pillars that are dotted around the gallery, Sheet is a large scale piece that draws the viewer in and provides a gentle visual break from the more imposing pieces on display.

 Mark Jackson, who must be congratulated on the coherence and subtlety of the show, expertly curates the entire exhibition. The show will be supplemented by a performance of Ambit, a sound installation event by Erik Nystrom and Peiman Khosravi on 18 October.

With nine artists on display, Everything Wants to Run is a wonderful exhibition, which really must be seen, as I’ve only managed to touch on a few of the pieces here. The exhibition runs until 16 November.

All images courtesy of Block 336.

More information can be found at www.block336.com


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