Friday, 14 June 2013

Quarry at IMT Gallery

Corinna Spencer's sense of discovery and adventure take her to IMT Gallery, where Charles Danby and Rob Smith are showing an examination of Robert Smithson's 1969 work Chalk Mirror Displacement

This collaboration between Charles Danby and Rob Smith seems to be one of travel, seeking, doing and perhaps some longing for Robert Smithson's notion of 'non site', something that may well be unattainable. The project is based upon an exploration of the site of Smithson’s 1969 work Chalk Mirror Displacement. 

I imagine excavation and discovery but with a methodical zeal and delight. The main room of the gallery is deceptively empty, but looking closer you can see the Smithson quarry in a huge barely visible image on one long curved wall. The rotating panoramic view moves across the walls, then onto the smooth side of a split chalk, then across the floor and over me.

In the smaller room of the gallery, standing amongst the artefacts and evidence collected by the artists, there is the sense that Danby and Smith do more than place themselves into the work and the quarry, but attempt to become part of it in a real way and without cliché. The collaboration is intriguing for its focus on the artists' connection to the materials and the land and their sense of discovery and adventure.

Corinna Spencer

Charles Danby & Rob Smith
IMT Gallery, London E2
3 May - 2 June


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