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Gülce Tulçalı Reviews Two London Exhibitions

Updated: Jul 1, 2023



British Espionage & Male Homosexuality: Ungentle

Huw Lemmey in collaboration with Onyeka Igwe


Studio Voltaire is a hidden oasis in busy Clapham Common. Renovated in 2021, the space functions as both artist studios and a gallery along with a limited edition shop: House of Voltaire.


As visitors navigate through the multifunctional space, the gallery presents a black curtain dividing work and outer reality. A gentle narrator’s voice is heard through the walls.

Ungentle is filmed entirely on 16mm and is on a continuous loop between 10am to 5 pm, Wednesday to Sunday, at Studio Voltaire’s Gallery space. Watching the film, the audience experiences a sense of ‘spying’ on busy streets, calm countryside picturesques and historically significant places of the espionage. The protagonist directs the entire film from outside the camera lens, making the camera itself a pair of binoculars. As the narrator softly continues, one gets the sense of an intimate conversation with someone about something not so secret.


The film preserves a conversational sincerity throughout ,despite the critical themes it touches on such as: imperialism and sex. As described by the gallery, “It moves from St James’s Park, a historical cruising ground at the center of British power, to Beaulieu, a historic country house in Hampshire that served as a Special Operations Executive training school, and its surrounding countryside.”

More information can be found here.

Ungentle can be seen in Studio Voltaire until January 8th 2023.

















Insomnia

by Leah Clements


Leah Clements’ new work INSOMNIA transports the viewer to 3 in the morning, no matter what time you visit the exhibition. Inspired by the artist’s own sleep paralysis and insomnia, South Kiosk hosts the artist’s first photographic solo exhibition. Curated by Marianna Lemos, visitors are placed in a setting with big linen sheets and a bright blue carpet serving like a body of water underneath. Purple and green lights come through the photos, and doors from the photos open to hallways with an uncomfortable sensation of stuckness. Objects are thrown out of time, stuck in a state between wakefulness and sleep, moving but not going anywhere. Clement’s work is informed by this in-between state, where mind and body exist in a parallel world. Her world resembles reality, but simultaneously, space, time and the body are compromised. The photographs suggest time that moves at an irregular pace, a space that appears disproportionate to its dimensions and a body stripped from its regular functions.


The exhibition is accompanied by a sound piece with image descriptions. The viewer is given gentle suggestions as to how to navigate the space. The installation is produced so as to be accessible. From the gallery brochure: “Leah Clements’ practice includes performance, installation, writing and film to develop a language of chronic illness and disability.”


The exhibition can be seen at South Kiosk until 29 January 2023. There is a public programme with talks, workshops and in-person live events.

More information here: https://southkiosk.com/Current

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