Andrei Molodkin stirs the blood with new commission for Derry-Londonderry's Void

By Mark Sheerin | 23 May 2013

Exhibition preview: Andrei Molodkin - Catholic Blood, Void, Derry-Londonderry, until  June 28 2013

Colour photo of an artist next to a glowing red piece of art
© Paola Bernardelli
Just as Derry-Londonderry achieves the necessary equilibrium to stage City of Culture 2013, along comes a controversial Russian. Like those compatriot collectives, Voina and Pussy Riot, Andrei Molodkin takes a direct approach to making art.

In a city which has seen a lot of this material spilled over the years, the former Russian soldier has created a kinetic sculpture with blood as its moving part. Two pumps draw it in and out of a fridge which keeps the red stuff fresh.

The body of the display is an architectural rose window and a facsimile of that found in the Houses of Parliament. But the show title informs us this is 'Catholic' blood, even if MPs of this faith are a minority - and a disadvantaged one at that.

Gallery notes elaborate. In the Catholic Relief Act of 1829, it is stated that no Catholic MP can advise the Sovereign on ecclesiastical matters. The implication, which has played out for nearly two centuries, is that Britain can never have a Catholic PM. Even Tony Blair had to wait for his historic conversion.

Molodkin’s grisly spectacular was created especially for Derry-Londonderry and the setting at Void. His new commission now sits alongside preparatory works on paper and an earlier installation, Direct from the Pipe, which features religious iconography.

This too is being pumped with blood, but also crude oil. Were you expecting anything more refined?

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm. Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @VoidDerry‎.

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