28 JUNE - 28 JULY 2018
WBG London Projects are delighted to announce On Gurgling, a solo exhibition by Heidi Schwegler. Heidi lives and works in Portland, Oregon USA, On Gurgling will be the first time she has exhibited in the UK.
Heidi Schwegler’s wide ranging practice engages with various social and societal themes, expressing them in wide ranging media, often reversing industrial production by painstakingly transforming durable, mass produced “stuff” into fragile, unique works of glass, porcelain and gold. Even when elevated to materials with perceived intrinsic value and placed on white walls and pedestals, the forms retain the aura of their original surroundings and of the people who discarded them. She approaches discarded objects as investigations into overlapping ideas of mortality, consumption and coping mechanisms, often finding in them beauty and disquieting humour. By presenting transformations of consumer goods in unexpected materials, she seeks to create new relationships between viewers and the mundane discards which she refers to as intermediaries of human desire. There is an alchemical power inherent in casting that allows her to transform these objects even further. If you cast a recognisable form into a material that is completely antithetical to its function, the viewer must renegotiate their relationship to it, thereby allowing him or her to see an object again for the first time.
On Gurgling by Heidi Schwegler
I am gurgling. A gurgle echoes through stale breath to the front of the mouth. Its progeny is a taut, whitish atom suspended momentarily on the dry, vermillion border of the lip. Its surface tension and internal energy is inevitably compromised, unmade by evaporation and friction. The bubble flattens, pops, dissolves.
I am gurgling. I tinker with the soft, milky edges of nondisposable cancers: cast-offs, plastics, trash, voids, boring and blinking lights spelling it all out for you. Where does this stuff belong? Where does it go? Here are the wretched remnants of prosperity now compelled to masquerade forever as art: fallen crowns, ruined royal tombs, misaligned teeth, illuminated memento mori.
I am gurgling. Everything lasts forever: declining but persistent. Our own experience of the world is steady-state: “I know what I know and that’s that” and “that is the way it’s always been.” More than ever, we are incurable Sophists. We shall never live long enough nor know what is required to experience true, utter damnation and its pleasures: the relief, the real end of the tyranny of mere beliefs, the kingdom of things.
Air is a fluid. A gurgle is the sound of fluids investing: air and air; water and water; air and blood and water; air and bile and saliva. Fluids crash into one another, issue a microtonal sigh–the clarion of entropy–and disappear forever.
Art slides past my eye and my eye gurgles. My work is a shot of pain while swallowing, a drug-induced fever, gasoline on a burning oesophagus, and a barely legible suicide note for a popping bubble. Nothing lasts forever.