Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 57: ‘Internal Cyclic Self-portrayal’

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Tom Dale: ‘The City at Night’, 2000

Two striking works on current show seem to come via the same logic, what you might call ‘internal cyclic self-portrayal’, to the relationship between paper and trees… but from opposite ways round. First, the pages in a tree. The Copperfield gallery is Will Lunn’s welcome extension of the exhibition history of the characterful former church hall in Southwark, previously occupied by Poppy Sebire and Ceri Hand. Its interesting debut show ( ‘Obsessive Compulsive Order’, to 15 June) includes Tom Dale making the leaves of a ficus office plant resemble the leaves of a book by cutting them into rectangles. Over the run of the show, however, the plant will shed the grid imposed on it and regrow natural leaves: nature is not so easily controlled. Second, the tree in pages. Maddox Arts, in an echoic contrast, has Colombian Miler Lagos’ The Rings of Time (in ‘About Time’ to 31 May). Lagos constructed his own agreeably Heath Robinson machine in order to recycle a whole year, two kilometre run of The Times back into a log of similar size to the roll that blank paper comes in for the press. So the production process is reversed and the timeline of the news is drawn into the annual rings of a tree.

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Miler Lagos: ‘The Rings of Time’, 2014

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, traveling between his home in Southampton and his day job in Surrey. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

About Paul Carey-Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, Elephant, State, Photomonitor... and, of course, FAD.

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