Simon Starling’s art often involves some form of recycling — his controversial ‘Shedboatshed’ won the 2005 Turner Prize – and his ‘new’ exhibition at Camden Arts Centre (until 20 February) is no different.
Simon Starling’s art often involves some form of recycling — his controversial ‘Shedboatshed’ won the 2005 Turner Prize – and his ‘new’ exhibition at Camden Arts Centre (until 20 February) is no different. Never The Same River (Possible Futures, Probable Pasts) is Starling’s selection of 30 artists’ works exhibited at the centre over the past 50 years, installed in the same positions they originally occupied, juxtaposed with three new pieces referencing time by Sean Lynch, Jeremy Millar and Michael Stevenson.
A Francis Bacon painting is modestly hung next to a striking Egyptian-style chair (c.1884) by Liberty & Co, while Francis Upritchard’s ‘Sloth Creature’ (2005), above, is contrasted with Lynch’s photographs of crabs that inhabit ruins of the DeLorean car – once the epitome of technological advancement. Time, space and cultures fluctuate throughout the galleries, forcefully cross-referenced with each other to push our understanding of a given linear (art) history and the increasing power of documentation – Starling freely admits that much of his research was based on word-of-mouth.
With so many curatorial permutations at hand, Starling must have struggled to jigsaw this exhibition together – the dialogue between the works of art is often confusing, if not cacophonic, but they are thoughtfully selected.
If nothing else, the stories and concepts drawn between the works displayed generate a kind of collective memory that celebrates the rich history of Camden Arts Centre and fruitful future to come.