Simply Botiful is the new installation by Swiss artist Christoph Buchel and the cramped, creepy, unsettling work is an alternative reality where viewers can walk from room to room to find themselves climbing into the back of a lorry, squeezing around piles of obsolete cameras and tiptoeing through an abandoned sweat shop, filled with sewing machines that seem ot have only been humming and singing in unison moments before.What else are you likely to see? Well, you'll have to go along and experience it yourself. The scenarios and settings Buchel have created are intended to provoke deep, unsettling feelings in the viewer and you've got to bring your own paranoias, fears and prejudices to the exhibition.
Buchel likes to force his audience into an uneasy complicity with the sleaziness, discomfort and unsettling scenarios he creates - as a paying visitor, you are somehow responsible for what you are walking through. Sometimes you are a victim at the mercy of the environment Buchel puts up around you, sometimes you are a voyeur onto someone else's misery - and we can't say which is worse. The effect is to critique and encourage criticism of existing institutes and political agendas - whether walking around a pile of abandoned fridges can achieve that is up to the audience members resisting or allowing Buchel's experience to affect them.
The exhibition fills the Hauser & Wirth Coppermill gallery in Shoreditch, there is a second Hauser & Wirth gallery on Piccadilly, in a building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens - both are worth a look if you fancy a chance to see some Lutyens architecture and / or contemporary European art.
Simply Botiful at Hauser & Wirth Coppermill, from 12.00pm to 7.00pm, Thursdays to Sundays until March 2007. For more information, go to the exhibition website here.
Image courtesy of the Hauser & Wirth website here.