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Sunday, 16 January 2011


[DoR] visited Sassoon Gallery, Peckham for the first time this week to see:



Sisters Burn, residing at Sassoon Gallery, are delighted to announce the launch of their 2011 program with The Immortal. The installation brings together artists Charles Drinkwater, Una Savic and Kyle Zeto in their first ever collaboration. Abandoning their own particular practices, the artists have worked to combine their thoughts and talents in a singular installation for Sassoon Gallery.

The root of The Immortal is R.S. Fitter’s book London’s Natural History. Published in 1945, the book documents the impact of wartime bombing on urban flora and fauna, and highlights the dispersion of otherwise rare or foreign plants and the resurgence of plants affected directly by the bombings. As part of the numerous appendices in the book, a catalogue of the plants found amongst the bombsites in London is included in a typically nonchalant manner befitting an ecological study. Amongst the list are plants with evocative names like Gallant Soldiers, Senecio Squalidus and Many-Seeded Goosefoot. In hindsight, the cataloguing of these opportunist bomb-site plants evokes a certain gravity. The plants are forgotten and ethereal memorials; to physical destruction, historic events and of our understanding of these past moments.

It is the potential of these subtle and overlooked memorials that artists Charles Drinkwater, Una Savic and Kyle Zeto have chosen to explore in their collaborative installation The Immortal. Consisting of video and installation, the exhibition comprises of a film set, a consciously considered and constructed installation within the gallery alongside a real-time presentation of the set itself. Encompassing the names of these plants, and with Zeto’s mask construction as sentinel, and reminiscent in form of monumental memorial structure, the installation is a temporary construction, impermanent and allusive, though rendered permanent and formal through transmission. Creating a cyclical loop between real time experience and filmic representation, The Immortal blurs the lines between how we conceive of and appreciate our past, and present.

The Immortal is a physical representation of the act of memorializing, and an illumination of our relationship to these constructions; be they temporary and fleeting, or permanent in stone.


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