Condo, the brainchild of London art dealer Vanessa Carlos, co-founder of Carlos/Ishikawa gallery in Whitechapel, launched in January 2016. For the 2020 London edition, which runs from 11 January – 8 February 2020, 17 London galleries are working together to host over 36 out-of-towners, from cities as widespread as Mexico City, Jakarta, and Tokyo. The proposal offers an intelligent solution for galleries keen to platform their artists to a wider public, when the costs of participating in art fairs are immense and sales remain erratic. The idea involves local galleries lending their spaces for a month to foreign dealers to stage collaborative exhibitions, showcasing artists from both rosters. Something Curated highlights five of this year’s most exciting exhibits presented in London.
Zeinab Saleh || Château Shatto, at mother’s tankstation
London-based Zeinab Saleh’s practice takes the form of painting, drawing, video, sculpture and publishing, with these various working methods and materials sharing a fluid exchange. For Condo London, Château Shatto presents a small suite of Saleh’s paintings, hosted by mother’s tankstation and in concert with a grouping of sculptures by Yuko Mohri. Saleh’s paintings are often prompted by encounters with video. These source videos are drawn from the artist’s own recordings as well as an extensive family archive. Saleh lifts selected moments from their context and relocates their subtle operations onto the surface of her paintings. In doing so, she takes advantage of the enigmatic potential of these floating forms.
Nabuqi || Edouard Malingue Gallery, at Sadie Coles HQ
Edouard Malingue Gallery, hosted by Sadie Coles, presents the installation How to be “Good Life”, 2019 by Nabuqi. Hailing from Inner Mongolia, and based in Beijing, Nabuqi creates realms that prompt our understanding of the world around us and engage us in a play of spatial politics. A core notion permeating Nabuqi’s work is that of ‘presence’ as developed by Martin Heidegger in his writings about phenomenology, understood as the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. Nabuqi plays with the optics and spectrum of observation, the programming that we accept and also question. Through addressing the familiar, such as domesticity, the viewer is more deeply engaged in considering ‘presence’, how one perceives what is in front of them at present, what it was before and will be in the future.
Dickon Drury || Koppe Astner, at Carlos/Ishikawa
Challenging traditional notions of seeing, Dickon Drury injects comedy into his work to call into question how and what we choose to honour. Drury’s fascination with the potential of shadows creates warped and uncanny imagery which lead to playful compositions. These compositions while delightful to the eye, neither portray traditional images of beauty nor straightforward scenes, leaving the viewer with the responsibility to interpret his intentions. Drury often paints cherished objects behind cases and fences, allowing the viewer to see banal forms as artefacts worth documenting and preserving. The artist combats the often repetitive tradition of still-life and portraiture by injecting his work with slapstick tropes.
Judith Hopf || Deborah Schamoni Galerie, at Hollybush Gardens
Formal questions often translate into political and social ones in the work of German artist Judith Hopf. A tree branch growing out of an abandoned building’s window is a fleeting moment of grace amidst desolation. When cast in bronze, its fragility can exert a subtle authority, and can perhaps stand in the way of those who might want to replace an empty old building with a lavish new one. Consider it Hopf’s quiet act of protest – silence and stillness can also contain brute force. The artist’s concrete sheep, cast from standard moving boxes, get their strength from how little they move and how little they seem to tolerate movement.
Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen || Hot Wheels Athens, at Corvi Mora & greengrassi
Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen’s practice often involves the transformation of natural materials he seeks out and encounters: pine resin, melted on a fire of dried moose feces; hemp rope, measuring the distance between the exhibition space and the artist’s home, crocheted into a doormat; a tree, grafted onto another tree, surpassing the height of all neighbouring trees; reindeer hide, fashioned into boots for undertaking the 5.3 million steps between Yakutsk and Helsinki. It always involves time. Born in Helsinki, the artist currently lives and works in Skövde, Sweden; Laakkonen studied at Nordiska Konstkolan in Kokkola, Finland and Malmö Art Academy.
See below for the full list of participants in Condo London 2020:
Unit 4, Huntingdon Estate, Bethnal Green Road, E1 6JU
hosting COOPER COLE Toronto
THE SUNDAY PAINTER
117–119 South Lambeth Road; SW8 1XA
hosting LULU Mexico City
and SOPHIE TAPPEINER Vienna
Feature image: Installation view of Nabuqi’s The Doubtful Site (Engulfing and Radiating Shapes), 2018. Courtesy the artist; CLC Gallery Venture, Beijing; and Luhring Augustine, New York.