Review: Latin American Art Lambasts US Foreign Policy At New South London Gallery

Under the Same Sun, South London Gallery ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 21 months ago

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Review: Latin American Art Lambasts US Foreign Policy At New South London Gallery Under the Same Sun, South London Gallery 4
The American anthem is played on Panamanian beer bottles, in a humorous commentary on the impact of US foreign policy.

The South London Gallery has just opened its second exhibition space, in an old fire station across the road from the main gallery.

To inaugurate this expansion they've pulled out all the stops with their most ambitious exhibition yet, working with Guggenheim to display a diverse collection of nearly 50 works by Latin American artists.  

Have a go on the cymbals, audience participation is encouraged and children love it.

The main gallery space comes alive with Amalia Pica's bright geometric shapes and Gabriel Serra's hanging fruit. In the centre is a Calder-like mobile made of cymbals. Viewers are invited to smash away at them — although this is such un-gallery like behaviour, most are hesitant. Boldly, we led the way after which the kids were all over it.

Fruit hangs from the wall as Gabriel Sierra compares the order of the manufactured world with the irregularities in the natural world.

There are works everywhere including upstairs, in the garden, the studio at the end of the garden and, of course, across the road in the new fire station building.

As we would expect from Latin American art there is a lot of political commentary, particularly referencing the impact of US foreign policy. A talented, humorous video has the American anthem played on Panamanian beer bottles, a Del Monte logo is re-purposed to reflect how natural resources are often exploited by multinational firms and a slide show is left blank to indicate how Latin American art is often not present in many Western collections.

Amalia Pica's colourful geometric shapes are an eye catching addition to this show.

This is a richly varied exhibition, and while not all the works stood out for us, there was plenty to keep us satisfied. What stood out most of all was how interactive many of the works are. Latin American art may not be familiar to most Londoners but by allowing visitors to get hands on, there's a firmer lasting impression.

Materialism meets colonialism as household linen is painted gold by Adriano Costa

Under the Same Sun is on at South London Gallery, 65-67 & 82 Peckham Road until 11 September. Entrance is free and the gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Last Updated 22 August 2016