Michael Joaquin Grey condenses space and time into Carroll Fletcher London

By Mark Sheerin | 08 January 2013
Colour film still of a series of concentric red and orange circles
Michael Joaquin Grey, So What 2012 (2005-2012), film still© Michael Joaquin Grey

Exhibition Preview: Michael Joaquin Grey - Orange Between Orange and Orange, Carroll Fletcher, London, January 11 – February 16 2013

Never mind what he has done to a range of historic technical appliances; it is hard to put Grey in a box. Unlike the radios, cameras, TVs and telephones in the vitrines on show in Fitzrovia, this artist is much too lively to be embalmed.

But along with artist, this New York based polymath might be described as an educator, an inventor and most surprising of all a toy designer. The latter activity is also reflected at Carroll Fletcher by the installation of a children’s sandpit complete with building blocks.

In this case, however, it is the fully grown gallery visitor who may want to free up their imagination. A cursory glance at the press release reveals that the blocks are modelled according to the aspect ratios of cinema, TV, computer and mobile phone screens.

It makes you wonder why more attention is not directed towards the culture of the kindergarten. Grey appears to suggest our earliest and most fundamental experiences of schooling are overlooked in favour of later formative, cultural experiences.

So this exhibition takes a step back from the technologies and media which format our lives. Just take his So What 2012, a computational video which takes the visitor on a journey from the centre of the sun to the outer reaches of the solar system. Miles Davis is among the diverse voices on the soundtrack.

If all the planets can fit into a gallery, perhaps Grey can too. But this artist still looks set to challenge the limits of what you might expect from an art show.

  • Open 11am-7pm (6pm Saturday, closed Sunday). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @carrollfletcher.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

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