Riflemaker is an incredible converted Georgian gunsmiths' workshop on a once seedy backstreet in Soho. Liliane Lijn, an artist who works on the often uneasy yet fascinating ground between art and science, is currently installed in the basement (with a compulsory ''nasty bump on the head" style low ceilinged doorway on the way down - you have been warned).
The press release had primed us to expect 'fragile' installations. They were not exaggerating. On the ground floor was a landscape of conical structures (or koans), some seemingly composed of precariously perched materials, some spinning round, some using letters, some using light.
But this didn't prepare us for what was upstairs. A darkened room with three pillars and a glass box at about waist height. Enclosed within were beautiful, ethereal structures, including more cones. On first look they seem holographic. On closer inspection, and after reading the blurb, you discover they are actually composed of Aerogel; an incredibly light foam-like substance designed by NASA to capture particles from comets, and general space dust.
The artist's films are projected through them creating constantly changing colour. This was wonderful; delicately entrancing, especially set in the context of Riflemaker's darkened 18th century room. This is an otherworldly and beautiful exploration of cosmic structures housed in a slab of Soho heritage. You must go.
By Oliver Gili
Liliane Lijn "Stardust" is at Riflemaker, 79 Beak Street, W1F 9SU,
From Tuesday 15 April to Saturday 5 July.
Image courtesy of Riflemaker