'FRIDGE', heating up the art world!
In mid-December 2017 a team of nine international artists from the Masters of Fine Arts program at Chelsea College of Arts...
... joined by a guest underground artist from the local community, took over a debilitated refrigeration unit and transformed it into an art exhibition. FRIDGE, opened for one night only in Seven Sisters, North London on the 12th of December, was a creative project within which the artists re-appropriated an abandoned building, bringing it back to life.
It all started when the group, consisting of British, European and International artists, came together to accomplish a “live project”, a project that would situate their practice in London, aimed at the city’s art scene audience. The space, fittingly nicked named FRIDGE and known for its illegal parties over the summer of 2017 within the London underground rave scene, was offered to the artists as an experiment to elevate the underlying ethos to something more intrinsically creative.
The vast, abandoned ice-cream fridge turned into exhibition space in North London wasn’t without its challenges. Already contained within the FRIDGE were a number of installation-based and decorative artworks from parties and festivals in the past. Each artist was free to interact with the artworks and the space as an extension of their own artwork, creating a new amalgamated fusion born of appropriation and spatial interaction.
Battling refuse, debris, the cold, the dark and the intermittent erratic electrical supply, each artist integrated their work creating unique, site specific, creative responses.
Irene Pouliassi, using an abandoned shadow dance booth, projected a video art piece that aimed to create awkward feelings as it illustrated a mouth being forced to eat and chewing human teeth, dealing with issues of identity and death.
Blair Zaye’s 'Insitu Series - Stream Of Consciousness #1’ video included a projection mapped into the corner, shrouded with a translucent tarpaulin imbued with words and symbols created during a live performance a few weeks prior. This provided an ephemeral, liminal space for the viewer to become immersed in. Contained within the video is a cross over among art forms - painting becomes installation, installation becomes ritual performance, performance becomes video, video becomes live stream. The words and text are set to enlighten and awaken the viewer, an attempt to instill a type of esoteric knowledge, shedding light on that which is contained within.
Weicung Lu displayed three sculptures of marine life, placed in used kitchenware with twinkling lights. It’s what people usually have in a fridge, transformed in a way to be more monumental by the artist.
Annabel Ludovici Gray, working towards a piece for this short-lived show in a unique setting, said that impact and quick installation were concerns, given a three-hour show with limited access. Site-specificity and spontaneity of location focused her energy and physical agility. The resulting ‘Tower’ was a one-time temporal piece measuring 8’, composed of discarded empty cardboard boxes stacked irregularly to the point of collapse, displaying instability. ‘Tower’ related to the local community in which the FRIDGE is housed, referencing homelessness and vulnerability - represented as a temporary shelter, lightweight and transportable to the point of impermeability.
Gardenia White stated that this exhibition was an excellent opportunity because, in addition to a display of collected works of art from different art styles and ideas in one single show, it turned an abandoned place into an art show. Gardenia showed a piece of work made of canvas burned strips. Each one of them had been burned from their edges, as well as from inside. This work is a manifestation of all innocent souls that are driven by violence or war. The white canvas presents the purity of innocence, while the hole made from burning shows the absence of these souls. The artist wanted to make this work as a memorial to the innocent lives of victims of the war in Iraq, as well as victims of the bombings in London, Paris, Manchester and any place around the world that has been hit by violence. This work ‘Purity’ hangs down loosely from wall to floor in strips 320cm long by 16cm width.
Esra Vazirally aimed to create a piece that seemed like it came with the FRIDGE. The materials that are used, canvas, pigmented inks and acrylics, are framed by ever‐changing L.E.D. lights. “The piece was created by throwing and moving the canvas whilst it was wet around the studio. The bright colors and pigments of the canvas came about in connection to my Indian roots, by bringing the traditions of Holi, the festival of color and spring, whilst also bringing a bit of consumerism by adding the LED lights.”
Robin Woodward: “Working on finding what it is to be human, how the body copes under stress and wether I, as a human, could self-institutionalize myself into a different state of being.” 'Clay Head' sees the artist fold and mold a block of terracotta clay around his head. He starts by leaving the clay to sit in position so as to mold itself. He then starts to manipulate the clay removing his ability to see and breath. The body reacts to these conditions to become something further, a fight or flight situation. The body is transformed into a being not represented as the artist. Themes appear within the atemporal sculpture such as self-harm, torture, and themes of horror, manipulation and play.