Black & White

Artvehicle 13/Recommended

23rd March 2007 — 15th April 2007

Being a fan of the 'black and white' approach to life I was looking forward to seeing IBID's show on this subject. They have gathered a great group of international artists and given them this simple theme to address. The artists have interpreted it in different ways. Some, like Alex Heim and Cyprien Gaillard, have seen the chance to deconstruct binary oppositions, examining 'man-made' versus 'nature' and the slippages between the two. Heim shows his beautiful film Grand Walk in its perfect setting as the canal it is filmed on runs behind the gallery wall. He records the family of swans nesting amongst rusted beer cans and Styrofoam fast food boxes in Regent's Canal. Heim is constantly alive to the sights and sounds of the city around him, the precarious balance between lingering nature and the aggression of the urban condition. With an acute sensibility he seeks out beauty in the detritus of the everyday and documents its narrative. Cyprien Gaillard blends designs from early modernist buildings into landscapes from Rembrandt creating unlocatable, yet familiar sci-fi hybrids.

Harold Offeh and Jamie Shovlin have taken 'black and white' to mean race and have re-examined pivotal moments in race relations in the USA in the late 60s and early 70s. Although both British-based, they seem to have found more to go on in American history than British, or perhaps it is just more iconic, or safer? Harold Offeh explores the media-response to a series of killings in San Francisco in the early 1970s, known as the Zebra Murders. These executions were carried out by a group of black supremacists, the so-called 'Death Angels' and resulted in the Police's profiling of black men. Jamie Shovlin's drawing remembers the American runner Lee Evans who won two gold medals at the 1968 Olympic Games. His achievement was perhaps over shadowed by his protest against the unfair treatment of his team-mates who were punished after making the Black Power salute on the podium after their victories.

Mauricio Guillen has taken the brief more literally. He has reconfigured illustrations from Josef Albers 1963 book Interactions of Colour so that it is seen only in black and white, and red and green, two colours that are indistinguishable to dogs. The exhibition also includes works by Becky Beasley, Michael Bundy, Harvard Homstvedt, Vlatka Horvat, August Kunnapu, Mindaugas Lukosaitis and Jannis Verelas.


IBID Projects
21 Vyner Street
London E2 9DG

Wednesday-Sunday 12pm-6pm