Doug Aitken at Victoria Miro Mayfair
A constellation of five key works is what Doug Aitken has on show at Victoria Miro this month. The contemporary Mayfair gallery has turned into an oasis of tranquillity, hosting just a handful of pieces which prove to be more than enough to set the mood.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Eyes Closed, Wide Awake (Sonic Fountain II) – a free-standing sonic sculpture made of powder-coated steel and foam. At its core is a recirculating fountain with an audio system; four little microphones are hidden at its base, and as little drops of water fall, their sound manages to fill in the space of the hall with the same vitality as drops in hidden-away caves do. Due to the positions of the microphones and the uniqueness of each drop, every sound is marginally different to the one before it, in the most natural of ways. This, combined with the dimmed lights of the gallery, serves to create a very serene, earthy atmosphere.
This feeling of tranquility is further emphasised by the only two other works in the room: large-scale hand carved foam pieces that present a landscape without nature, one envisioned for the contemporary digital imagination. The two topographies are nothing short of beautiful, the light blue shimmering background is disturbed by white, crater-like holes. While the colours suggest the calm vitality of the sky or the shining waters, the craters – ripping through it – are what plays with the viewer’s mind a step further, hinting to a more earthly terrain.
Finally, there are two more works on show further in: wall-based text pieces that draw on the legacy of post-pop. END (Mirror) is clear, coloured mirror, resting on concrete, which boasts fiery orange colours, its 3D nature playing with the viewer’s reflection, suggesting different realities. Then there is NOW (Blue Mirror) which uses blueish mirrors to play with dimensions. The reflective nature to both of those pieces functions as a new means through which to experience the exhibition, provoking its audience to look at things differently, at a new angle.
Doug Aitken’s works in Victoria Miro are a breath of fresh air; they are beautiful contemporary pieces, playing with people’s perceptions through light, sound and reflectivity. This abstract zone, representing nature, seen through the prism of digital imagination, creates a certain feel of vitality that not a lot of galleries manage to form.
Photos: Erol Birsen
Doug Aitken is at Victoria Miro from 12th June until 31st July 2015, for further information visit here.