Mie Olise Kjærgaard and Mary Mattingly
The Ruins of the Future
October 24 – November 22 2008
Opening Thursday 23 October 6-9pm
Standpoint is pleased to bring together two internationally acclaimed young artists who explore remote places and create semi-architectural inventions, reflecting on failed human histories and possible futures.
Mie Olise Kjærgaard creates in painting and installations what she calls ‘porous constructions’. Like empty shells, her abandoned structures are left open for mutation, inhabitation, or penetration; be it transformative or entropic. They are reminiscent of cities or cargo ships, or constructions like watchtowers, houses and sheds.
In 2007 Kjærgaard travelled to the Russian abandoned city, The Pyramid, at the edge of the Arctic Circle, which was built as a communist utopia and abandoned in 1998. The architecture and remnants of mining construction in the ghost town form the basis for her ongoing project about the disintegration of utopian ideas - the spaces left by man to fall back into nature.
For Standpoint, Kjærgaard presents new work relating to a second research trip to the Pyramid City, this time accompanied by a professional film photographer, with funding from the Danish Art Council. Alongside the resulting film Kjærgaard will construct a site-specific intervention which re-interprets the gallery’s functioning open elevator in reference to constructions from the North Pole Coal Mine Structures, which transported the newly dug coal towards shipment in series of buckets. Kjærgaard will also show new paintings of mutated abandoned structures.
Kjærgaard was born in Denmark, and lives and works in London and New York. Graduating M.A. Central St. Martins 2007, she was one of the 4 finalists in Saatchi / Channel 4’s ‘4 New Sensations’ in 2007. She recently opened her first US solo show at Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston. Her installation ‘The Noisy Shed’ was included at the 10th Istanbul Biennale, with The Triangle Project. She is one of the selected artists for the John Moores Painting Prize 2009, Art Futures 08 and was nominated by Rebecca Wilson (Saatchi Gallery) for the Sovereign European Art Prize.
Mary Mattingly uses functional sculpture, photography and digital imaging techniques to create narrative scenes, which present the astonishing beauty of the wilderness against the need for human survival in a hostile climate. In 2001, Mattingly started building ‘wearable homes’, refining them through personal experience - living in them for weeks at a time in different deserts with little food or water. She added systems to them that purify water, provide a place to sleep, monitor the wearer’s temperature and general health, and provide floatation and storage for belongings.
The homes are a response to Mattingly’s personal experience of an urban nomadic lifestyle, coupled with the implications of climate change and increasing global pressures on future populations. ‘I was able to experience hardships from lack of water and difficulties communities face from changing climates first hand, to study floodgates and rising tides, and at times I was able to help in relief efforts. With the inclusion of sculptures, the images that I make border between fiction and real.’
Mattingly is also working on a new series of photographs of failed utopian structures (some real, some invented and constructed) for Standpoint, which developed from an installed environment made at Braziers International Artists Workshop in 2007.
Mary Mattingly lives and works in New York City. Recent solo exhibitions include: Frontier, Galerie Adler, Germany 2007; Fore Cast, White Box, NY2006; Second Nature, Robert Mann Gallery, NY 2006. Her work has featured internationally in many acclaimed shows and biennials. Mattingly is working on a project for 2009 called the Waterpod, a floating sculptural habitable structure that will showcase new technologies for water desalinization and purification, clean energies, and sustainable, autonomous living. She is shortlisted for the Prix Pictet, exhibition Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, October 2008, Dubai 2009.
Standpoint Gallery, 45 Coronet Street, London N1 6HD
Gallery Open: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm
Tube: Old Street, Exit 2 (Northern Line – Bank Branch)
Buses: 55, 67, 149, 242, 243
For images and further info contact curator Fiona MacDonald: firstname.lastname@example.org/0207 739 4921