Transient Space at Parafin, London

The ‘Transient Space’ exhibition held at Parafin explores different approaches to urban spaces, using bright and unique pieces of artwork by various artists, Mike Ballard, Nathan Coley, Keith Coventry, Tim Head, Melanie Manchot and Abigail Reynolds.

The exhibition has an underlying theme of freedom, and how modern life and landscapes are always changing. This exhibitions suggests a new relationship with urban landscapes, and almost creates a new urban language, made from history and urban art and architecture.

The exhibition starts with a light room, with paintings and prints inspired by urban culture. In the middle of the room there is a television screen showing a short film of a man climbing across a river crossing bridge while it moves around. This symbolises people having to keep up with the changes happening in modern life and the obligation to run with them. 

There are also small-scale architectural models of buildings that have been partially destroyed by war and terrorism. The artist, Nathan Coley,has said that the sculptures ‘refer to a state of being, architectures subjected to a physical shift and partially destroyed due to an act of conflict.’ The buildings are placed on clear poles, to represent placards carried at protests. 

The lower level of the exhibition is a darker room, displaying collages by Abigail Reynolds. These collages are images of urban spaces from books which have been cut and folded to show the passing of time by layering new and old versions of the same buildings and spaces. The purpose of these collages is to show the changing and unchanging nature of urban space.

On the far side of the room there is a video projected across an entire wall. The video shows parkour runners passing through urban spaces. The video shows choreography of alternative movement cameras, giving the viewer a personal look at these landscapes. 

The use of parkour shows a passive engagement between humans and the textures of the city, showing a reconnection with the surroundings. The use of slow, distant views used to create this video installation reminds the viewer of the ever present position of surveillance cameras and enforces the point that while there is much to observe around our urban surroundings, somebody is always observing us. 

'Transient Space' is open until 16th September 2017.  More information may be found here.