Alice Anderson Wraps Everything In Copper Wire ... And We Mean Everything
The word mummification brings to mind images of ancient Egypt or B-movie zombies wrapped up in bandages. But what would modern mummification look like?
Artist Alice Anderson has chosen copper wire as her material of choice and has proceeded to use it to wrap several objects — including a telescope, a flatscreen TV and even a set of stairs. The process is delicately handled so even details like the knobs on an electric guitar are visible through the copper thread.
The most ambitious project is a 1967 Ford Mustang and as we watch it being wrapped, this calm and methodical process feels ritualistic, as though it may provide some spiritual release. The best part is that visitors will also be able to take part alongside the artist and her volunteers, either wrapping the car or other smaller objects that have been donated to the exhibition.
The end results in this dramatically-lit exhibition shimmer like the jewelled and gold objects that are found in museums.
As the exhibition progresses it becomes more challenging and ventures into the abstract. A jumble of rope snakes in one room and eight panels arranged in a circle feel like a modern day Stonehenge.
But the panoply of copper wire is not just an aesthetic gimmick, it asks deeper questions about what will be remembered from our age and how it will be recalled. It seems fitting to use copper wire to denote the communication age, and there's a certain irony about objects like a telephone and a camcorder being wrapped in a substance they may also have inside them.
As much as we love the usual information heavy exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection, this is a welcomed change of direction. It's fun, visually arresting and will leave you wondering what other things would look like wrapped in copper wire — Big Ben or a London bus perhaps?
Alice Anderson: Memory Movement Memory Objects is on at Wellcome Collection until 18 October. Entrance is free.
Nearby is the excellent Magna Carta exhibition at The British Library and glittering treasures, Aboriginal art and Napoleonic propaganda at The British Museum. For more art see July's major openings and most talked about art exhibitions.
Last Updated 29 July 2015