T1 and T2 Gallery is directly adjacent to Paradise Row on the converted first floor of what was once St Matthews Church Hall on Hereford Street, off Cheshire Street, Brick Lane. They run joint and/or parallel shows which literally run into each other - sharing the same roof space - which makes for an interesting arrangement by the curators. Stylised documentary and investigation run through the current exhibitions, with surprisingly stimulating results.
'Moths To/From A Flame' is a grand scale, ambitiously high-concept project directed by artist/curator Makiko Nagaya (who co-directed the 'Redux Projects', London). Although grand and illogical assertions are made about the work in its puff, it is essentially a series of spontaneous paintings in bold autumnal colours based on Rorschach tests, which are striking, fun and beautiful, a wall full of documentary photo-montage and two new video works hardily plagiarising Martin Scorsese's adaption of 'The Age of Innocence' by hot, just graduated 'visual-sculptor' Jim Early. These were really good and probably quite a sound investment in the current economic downturn (certainly safer than houses).
'The Day That Nobody Died' presents a series of enormous, long-exposure photographic prints that are reminiscent of random abstract expressionist watercolour paintings. This is the latest work from artistic super-duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. These two take high concept photography into the world's most dangerous zones of conflict. Here, the photographs come from being 'embedded with British Army units on the front line of Helmand province'. The unfolding story of their experiences which they document (in a fashion) with these enormous photographs, makes what at first seemed to be incredibly pretentious titles ('The Fixer's Execution', 'The Day of a Hundred Dead' and the title of the exhibition itself, 'The Day That Nobody Died') take on a wholly different, more thought provoking spin.
Always up for a bargain, this is two for the price of one. In fact, they're both free. Fine reasons to drop by.
Words by Charles Fulford. Image by Carolyn Butler.