United Visual Artists: Momentum at the Curve Gallery
The Barbican’s Curve Gallery is used to best effect when the exhibition gradually reveals itself, allowing the viewer a feeling of exploration into the unknown. Gently swaying lights overhead break up the darkness in slow, mesmerising sequences, altering through time from light pods to spotlights. Walls seem to sway, shafts of light sweep down and away, and the imagination is immediately engaged.
It’s harder to distinguish the patterns behind the sounds: there are strange sounds, but they are easily overwhelmed by conversations in the gallery. The exhibition will be a completely different experience depending on how many other people are in there with you. Less populated, it’s more about the lights and the space: with people, their presence is sporadically illuminated, making it a work just as much about the audience, and that it is the audience who both witness and are part of the art.
Art collective United Visual Artists work on manifesting interesting scientific concepts into non-confrontational immersive experiences. Perhaps unlikely to make such a big splash into the public consciousness as last year’s Rain Room at the Curve, this show is nonetheless pleasantly disorientating, and investigates big notions about space and scale in a poetic way. Although the ideas also reference scrutiny and interrogation techniques, the overall effect is like a soft architecture, and ultimately benign.
United Visual Artists: Momentum is at the Curve Gallery, Barbican from 13th February until 1st June 2014. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.