A Thousand Years: Martine Feipel & Jean Bechameil

12 July – 24 August, private view 11 July, 6-9pm
Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY
Monday – Friday 11am – 6pm. Nearest tube Holborn

For summer 2012 the Arts Gallery presents a major solo show by Martine Feipel & Jean Bechameil creators of the critically acclaimed Luxembourg Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Opening on 11 July, at the Arts Gallery in Holborn, A Thousand Years will reveal the world debut of two new works by the duo, alongside the first London showing of the Luxembourg works.

Questioning space and time through experimentation with material and method, Martine Feipel & Jean Bechameil have produced a body of work that reflects questions on the fundamentals of existence. In A Thousand Years the artists take the ultimate symbol of shelter, the home, and turn it into a revelatory space; visitors to the exhibition are invited to step into a seemingly familiar contemporary apartment, but once inside Feipel & Bechameil transport the viewer to a place where everything seems suspended in a strange timelessness.

Speaking about their work, the artists frequently draw on descriptors such as disorientating, frightening, catastrophic and fragile evoking a piece which seeks to confront viewers with a physically unsettling experience. Reimagining the physicality of everyday life, the artists explore the notion of time stretched and distended, devoid of life and hanging in permanent immobile freezeframe, physical and ephemeral, fictional and factual.

Through sculptural works in silicone and polyurethane, wood and mirror, installation pieces and drawings, materiality and shape are twisted and distorted, to create walls that warp and objects that lie dormant and discarded; without structure and skeleton, objects lie silently on the floor, where they are suspended in a precarious balance. The objects seem fragile and ephemeral, emptied of their life, as if changed by time. The exhbition seeks to explore the reality of the physical and the importance of the material and temporal in our experience of life. The artists state: “It’s a dreamlike vision where everything fell asleep and where we are alone to be awake.”

A Thousand Years is a seminal body of work in the career of Feipel & Bechameil which has only ever been exhibited in Luxembourg. The Arts Gallery will host its London debut.

Born in 1975 in Luxembourg, Martine Feipel graduated from MA Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London in 2002. A Thousand Years is curated by Angelica Sule.