Tue Greenfort: Rococo Eco

Artvehicle 4/Review

17th November 2006 — 13th January 2007

Rococo Eco, is billed as an exhibition which questions 'the function of luxury accessories… the meaning of wealth and who benefits from their consumption'. The exhibition wanders between the general and the specific and never quite manages to settle down and make a coherent statement. We are told it that responds to the other businesses that run the length of the street. To my mind, however, the pieces which work best are those which remain on a more general level; Flushing 0.5 Litre Less (the cistern lid has been removed from the gallery's toilet and placed in the exhibition space, the lowered water level is thus rendered visible; the toilet is no less functional), and A Chicken Has 120 Bones (the juxtaposition of a Fried Chicken container and the bones of an organic chicken) are both thought provoking and eloquent. More, they work because they are able to make the jump from micro to macro convincingly; statements through a small gesture serve to make forceful analogies about the ways in which we consume and waste. On the other hand, where Greenfort tries his hand at more context specific critique, the analogies break down; Diamond Watch and Fur no Fur certainly point to New Bond Street's historical and current luxury market but the work's messages are closed, boxed in, and do not seem to actually pertain to anything outside of the gallery itself.

Focusing on ideas about nature, eco-systems, raw materials, the (mis-) use of natural resources, and the environment within a larger socio-political field; Tue Greenfort's practice fits neatly under the 'arts and ecology' banner. Greenfort's cross-medium practice focuses on both the micro and the macro; on specific localities of exhibitions and on larger, global eco-issues. For example in the recent Momentum exhibition, Oslo, Norway, his piece centred around the factory next door to the museum, where as in the piece BONAQUA, Condensation Cube, the work of Hans Haake is formally revived using bottled water made by Coca-cola. In the age of an heightened sense of urgency surrounding environmental issues, on both a local and global scale; organic vegetables and carbon footprints , it is no wonder that a practice such as Greenfort's should come to the fore. Timely issues certainly, but, not only does this exhibition fail to deal the theoretical heavyweight blow it might given the context.

In the outside world, however, Greenfort, is about to launch a project in association with the RSA's Arts and Ecology programme. The programme also features artists such as Jeremy Deller, who is building a Bat House at Barnes Wetland Centre and Heather and Ivan Morrison working with environmental agencies in Bristol. There is also an upcoming anthology; LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook, edited by Max Andrews. Moreover, the RSA is piloting a series of education programmes and organising an Arts and Ecology conference. Taking place at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the enquiry No Way Back? will bring together artists, geographers, ecologists, economists, sociologists, architects, philosophers, anthropologists and others to look at local and global projects that attempt to communicate, challenge and sometimes propose solutions to pollution, waste and loss of natural habitats.


Max Wigram Gallery
99 New Bond Street
London W1S 1SW

Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm
Saturday, 1pm-5pm

Tue Greenfort: Rococo Eco —  Tue Greenfort, Fur No Fur, 2006, installation shot at Max Wigram Gallery, image courtesy of the artist and Max Wigram Gallery

Tue Greenfort,
Fur No Fur, 2006,
installation shot at Max Wigram Gallery,
image courtesy of the artist and Max Wigram Gallery