Friday, May 21, 2010

Bunker dreams

There was a strong shock of recognition when we went down to the basement of Hauser & Wirth in Piccadilly. A set of narrow stairs in an ex-bank building took us into a gloomy gallery that was once the vault. Like OTN’s own exhibition space in Wellington On The Table, it was windowless, rough concrete and lit only by unshaded light bulbs. The assistant guarding the work was reading her book with a small torch which she politely switched off while we looked at Bharti Kher’s installation.

This all took us back to the early 1990s and our own experience of working in a safe when the Cubists (operating then as the Mutual Admiration Society) ran the Nat Mut Gallery in the Arcade between Victoria and Willis Streets. The safe in the National Mutual Building was used for art storage and a cramped office. Nat Mut exhibitions included an early solo outing by et al. exhibiting as Lillian Budd. The work was sent from Berlin in a suitcase and mostly installed on the floor as the exhibition Budd in Berlin.
Image: Bharti Kher installation at Hauser & Wirth