Artists explore the area surrounding the Pump House Gallery for the space's latest show

By Ruth Hazard | 03 April 2012
A picture of the artist dressed as a soldier in army uniform walking through the park
The artist Baptist Coelho in a performative piece where he pretended to be a soldier in Battersea Park to see reactions© Miranda Sharp
Exhibition: Social States, Baptist Coelho and Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Pump House Gallery, London, until May 20 2012

This new display at the Pump House Gallery brings together two very different bodies of work to look at the ways in which we approach and understand psychological experiences.

Baptist Coelho (Mumbai, India) and Nadia Kaabi- Linke (born in Tunisia, works in Berlin) were awarded 12-week residencies at Delfina foundation during which they were invited to respond to the environment surrounding the gallery, engaging with the people in the local borough of Wandsworth.

Faced with the same task, the two artists took radically different approaches. Through his exploration of the history of Battersea Park, Coelho’s work relates to the role it played during World War II as a collective resource, made available to the public as allotments, and its function as a support structure for the war campaign.

A picture of a scar that has been imposed onto a pane of glass
One of the pieces from the Impunities collection© Courtesy the artist and Delfina Foundation
He produced work at the specific sites where bombs fell, using incident report forms that were published and stored within local archives.

Coelho engaged in a series of performative acts in the park during which he would interact with members of the public whilst dressed as a British soldier.

These interactions evolved into a series of installations where the artist draws on conflicting representations of the soldier as both an individual as well as a symbol of force and authority, to gather responses, recollections and ephemera that comprise his artworks.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke spent her time in residency working in close collaboration with several shelter organisations to make visible acts of physical and psychological domestic violence.

The resulting display, Impunities, presents a series of glass panes that have suspended within them the impressions of scars obtained through acts of domestic abuse, a form of violence commonly hidden behind a wall of silence.

Kaabi-Linke used forensic processes to present these physical and emotional scars, creating an archive of latent crimes.

Social States reflects the depth of engagement and exploration in the practices of these two international artists during their residencies, producing two different and deeply engaging series of work.

  • Open Wednesday-Sunday. Admission free.
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