Gallery Transformed Into A Hoarder's Squat
Londonist Rating: ★★★★★
A Soho gallery has been transformed into the residence of a hoarder, seemingly obsessed with economic and natural crises. Until the end of July, the three gallery rooms moonlight as a living room, bedroom and a kitchen/workshop — inhabited by a fictional character with a dark past.
Artist Fiona Tan's attention to detail is astute: a chessboard frozen midway through a game, stacks of well-thumbed magazines (as if they've been read then stacked a long time ago), and slippers next to the bed.
Each room features a video projected onto a wall, screen or sheet — depicting desolation of some sort. We see Detroit, which suffered from its loss of industry, and the half-built luxury developments in Cork that were abandoned when the financial crisis hit. The most haunting is a video of Fukushima; the viewer follows a car with the ominous clicking of a Geiger counter chattering away and building to a crescendo.
Ghost Dwellings is a brilliant intersection of the wider impacts of decline, but also the impact on the mysterious resident of this apartment; it will trigger visitors to think who this person might be and what their personal stake was in any one of these three regions of the world.
By choosing not to lay explicit blame, Tan distinguishes herself from other artists who try to find people or organisations to hold culpable for a crisis. It's this subtlety that makes this immersive exhibition so poignant.
Fiona Tan: Ghost Dwellings is on at Frith Street Gallery, 60 Frith street, W1D 3JJ until 31 July. There is a companion exhibition by Tan in Golden Square, but it is not as effective. Admission to both exhibitions is free.
Last Updated 02 June 2015