Mariele Neudecker – Heterotopias and Other Domestic Landscapes at the Brighton Festival

By Mary Stevens | 29 April 2013

Exhibition preview: Mariele Neudecker – Heterotopias and Other Domestic Landscapes, Regency Town House, Brighton, May 4-26 2013

A photo of a sculpture resembling two blocks of Arctic ice on the floor of an art gallery
© Michael Habes
Renowned for her mixed media work melding human interest with landscapes, German-born Mariele Neudecker is the lead artist for Brighton’s HOUSE 2013, a festival developed from the established open house exhibitions in the city, where artists and makers open their own homes to display their work.

The concept is to create a dynamic and contemporary strand for commissioned visual art from south east artists during May’s Brighton Festival, as well as addressing the shortage of spaces in the city for curated exhibitions.

This work could prove Neudecker’s most ambitious installation to date: the multi-story structure of a distressed domestic building provides an otherworldly setting for mixed media representations of landscapes of Earth’s extremities.

Floor to ceiling windows looking across the Regency architecture of Brunswick Square provide a continuum, with the work inside blending into the horizon of the sea.

Several of the works on show are informed by Neudecker’s  2012 trip to North West Greenland – during a six-day sled expedition with Inuit subsistence hunters, she used cameras ranging from a pinhole “biscuit tin” to the latest digital HD technology to capture the landscape.

Inspired by this expedition into the extreme, the upper floor of her Heterotopia incorporates Greenland’s stratosphere.

Moving down to the next floor, Recent Futures is a 12-diptych photographs of intense, diffuse Arctic Suns with hand drawn vapour trails.

Based on footage taken by Neudecker while circumnavigating a real iceberg in the Arctic, an iceberg sits reflected in a tarnished mirror on the ground floor.

The mellow light of the nearby parlour houses two lightboxes. In Another Day, the images are derived from video footage of the sun rising and setting on opposite sides of the world.

Descending to the subterranean lower ground floor, Heterotopias sinks 2,000 fathoms for a recent work, The Great Day of His Wrath – a video installation, mirror and series of monitors plumbing the vast abyss of deep sea space of the South West Indian Ocean.

This deep seascape is the outcome of a collaboration between Neudecker and marine biologist Professor Alex Rogers, facilitated by art and science organisation Invisible Dust.

In a separate Brighton Festival exhibition, The Air Itself is one Vast Library, at Lighthouse, will see Neudecker use life-size graphite rubbings of missiles to initiate reflection on the use of military technologies.

More pictures:

A photo of a group of sculpted figures standing around a mock-up iceberg in a street
© Michael Habes
A photo of a group of sculpted figures standing around a mock-up iceberg in a street
© Michael Habes
A photo of icebergs on an Arctic sea
© Courtesy Mariele Neudecker
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