Review: Suspension Point, South London Gallery

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 121 months ago
Review: Suspension Point, South London Gallery
0710_suspension.jpgRivane Neuenschwander, 'Suspension Point', 2008, drilled holes, dust, installation view. Photo by Andy Keate

Walking into Rivane Neuenschwander's Suspension Point, the South London Gallery's bright, spacious interior is obscured by gloom. Allowing your eyes to adjust to the murk, the reason becomes clear: a wooden mezzanine has been constructed at roughly the midway point of the gallery's height, covering the entire space, with the only illumination coming through a staircase that leads up to the temporary level.

Brazilian artist Neuenschwander's installation draws together a number of key works and motifs from her career. Patching them together into a single piece is a brave gamble, but one that doesn't entirely pay off. The lower half of the gallery comprises two visual works - one video, "Inventory of Small Deaths (Blow)", shows a bubble floating delicately over a series of terrains, and is the finest individual piece in the show; the other, 'Arabian Moons', consists of 1,001 holes punched through a roll of 16mm film, projecting a flickering lunar surface onto the wall. The hint of Sheherazade continues upstairs: a similar number of holes are drilled into a false wall that surrounds the gallery's temporary level, with the resultant dust piled into a 'mountain range' in the corner, near to a metal bucket into which water drips as the sound is magnified across the entire space. A conceptual representation of the lands traversed by the filmed bubble, perhaps, though it doesn't entirely convince. The platform does, however, offer a rare chance to inspect the skylight on the gallery's roof.

To the curator's blurb for a helping hand, then: Neuenschwander has created "a perpetual dialogue between additive and reductive processes is established, a dialogue which permeates the exhibition, each work within it and the relationships between them." Maybe, but in less bombastic eyes, it's a series of attractive gewgaws that promise more than they can deliver: a symphony without a conductor, and somewhat less than the sum of its more interesting parts.

Suspension Point, at South London Gallery, SE5 8UH (map). Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle, then bus. The show runs until 30th November, and is free.

Last Updated 07 October 2008