Journal at the ICA
This summer the Institute of Contemporary Arts is offering the art equivalent of Glastonbury inside its walls and on its website. With a line-up of talks, events, exhibitions, online commissions, walking tours and screenings from a multitude of artists, curators and film makers, Journal is set to be a season of gradual reveal.
Responses from the five contributing artists in the gallery space are centred around their encounters with widely reported events and the ways in which people and place are variously connected. Tackling topics such as the recycling of Lithuanian nuclear plant materials to the recent London riots, the works range from film, to video installation, and from sculpture from Rossella Biscotti to a series of photographs by Edson Chagas.
Koki Tanaka’s Precarious Tasks #8, presented on five television screens, examines the effect of the London riots and 2011 Japanese earthquakes on routes taken by participants from work to home. Focusing on the behavior displayed when disaster strikes, the most intriguing element is the second part of Tanaka’s contribution, a 24-hour participatory event inside the ICA from 27th to 28th June. Although ostensibly not to be a reconstruction of a particular disaster situation (visitors at the ICA will be free to come and go, the art will make for an interesting experiment about the limits of what can be achieved with imposed proximity.
Noticias de America (News from America) by Paulo Nazareth is a performance presented as a sum of the ephemera from encounters that punctuated his vast five-year walk from his home in Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa. Nazareth’s work in the gallery is a more passive but also perhaps a more sincere form of performance art, not about showmanship or direct engagement with an audience prepared for art in a closed space, but about unfeigned people in real-time.
Artefacts by Cyprien Gaillard is the highlight; an echoing and repetitious soundtrack combined with stunning sun gilt shots of a post-war Iraq. A moving juxtaposition of beautiful scenic views and militant presence, recorded on an iPhone and translated to 35mm film, the piece will loop itself into a state of decay; Gaillard draws a cogent metaphorical relationship between his subject, the ancient city of Babylon, and the strip of film.
There is undoubtedly a varied array of things to see, watch and listen to. With components of a very live nature, inclusive gallery culture is being reinvigorated at the ICA.
Journal is at the Institute of Contemporary Arts until 7th September 2014. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.