Animated Environments and toilet bowl projections: Steven Pippin at Siobhan Davies

By Ben Miller | 17 October 2012
A close-up photo of the lens of a complicated black camera
Steven Pippin, Nature's Penci © Steven Pippin
Exhibition Preview: Animated Environments – Steven Pippin, Siobhan Davies Studios, London, until November 24 2012

In a toilet bowl on the ground floor of the Studios, artist Steven Pippin has projected a video of the earth rotating.

A nod to his “geo-stationary” works of a decade ago, when he would show the planet spinning on suspended or rotating screens so that it didn’t seem to be moving at all, Pippin’s latest take on orbit aims to pass provocative comment on the state of global play.

But it’s got arresting competition in this show, the third in the Animated Environments series. Non Event, his ongoing series, destroys cameras in the process of making new images, with the “final image” made when a bullet fired from a gun hits the camera and its film, which are then added to a vitrine of these “modified” snappers.

Elsewhere (more precisely, on the first floor), a diptych photo has been split in two by the building’s large glass window, with the first half analogue and the second section digital.

And two further works, Ozone Hole and Midlife Crisis, compare a hole in the atmospheric layer with the back of Pippin’s head.

For an artist previously known to turn bathtubs, wardrobes and washing machines into cameras, perhaps this more destructive trail – turning the entire venue into a “playground” on the brink of collapse – is to be expected.

His subversive approach, though, remains full of playful surprises.

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