Pervilion at Silver Building explores various states of dissolution, activating the defunct boiler rooms of a sixties office block. Working in scent, sculpture and film respectively, Katharina Dubbick, Jack O'Brien and Stella Scott propose ways in which the body registers, absorbs and releases tensions within the built environment. In concrete chambers, stripped of pipes and pistons, new works identify multiple tipping points at which experience condenses and evaporates.
In 'Buildings that Weep', a series of free- hanging sculptures, Jack O'Brien approaches the body's complex interactions with surrounding physical structures. Introspective, husk-like forms, made from pigmented silicon, appear to peel away from the ceiling. In Come down, and around (2018), silicon chains gather in slack and taut lines that trace the folds of drapery, but also veins and muscular definition, so that the sculpture seems to pose. Elsewhere, Jack draws on the vernacular of editorial fashion photography, suspending cut-outs of the body in panels of latex. The works draw attention to our networked condition using materials associated with construction and body modification.
Scent designer Katharina Dubbick fills the upper boiler room with the installation Time Capsule: 7.32am (2019). 'The odours our bodies produce are directly related to the emotions we feel,' she says. 'I want to capture the moment of exhaustion after a climax – the sense of space that's left when feelings settle.' One of the artist's memories has been distilled to a scent, in collaboration with perfumer Meabh McCurtin. The chemical compound is distributed via steam, to infiltrate the space and stimulate associations with notes of sweat, saliva, sex, gin and tonic, cigarette smoke, latex, smoke machine, sticky skin and cleaning products. Floating in this olfactory cloud, leather casts of the body capture the enigmatic hollows around the collarbone, pelvis and ribs. These are steeped in smells of latex and body odour.
Filmmaker Stella Scott tracks liquid cycles in a film that confronts the sanitised future and fetishisation of space in central London. To Spoor a Stockroom (2019) documents a condemned consumer environment, in which the spectre of desire flickers on. Shot during the last days of
Welbeck Street Car Park, before its controversial demolition, the film reveals a hidden side of the brutalist landmark. The basement level was originally used by Debenhams as cold storage for fur. Gutted of goods and rails, the exposed walls carry graffiti expressing lust and frustration, left by stockroom workers over decades. One last deep clean sees the architectural skin sloughed and rubbed, releasing memories that bubble and sublimate. The film features a voiceover recorded with present-day Debenhams staff, a fragmented chorus at a time of mounting anxiety for the workforce.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Pervilion responds to the pressures and pleasures of the urban fabric, finding intrigue in unusual spaces and providing a platform for emerging artists to make new work. Projects take up an abstracted idea of the pavilion – separate to the main body, erected to delight and transport. This iteration of Pervilion explores the idea of transitional space in relation to the present exhibition venue: Silver Building was built in 1964 as the headquarters of the Carlsberg- Tetley brewery; it has survived dereliction and raves, and now is home to artists' studios.