[June 13 2016]
Nairy Baghramian says she has never had surgery. But you’d be forgiven for thinking she might have once gone under the knife from the visceral, personal way she picks apart the human body with medical-mechanical metal structures in her latest show, “Scruff of the Neck”.
Her first major solo exhibition in London since 2010, the neck might be the oblique entry point, but it’s the mouth of the body which is the destination, with smooth organic forms in white marble plaster held together with denture-like metalwork: the gallery as a set of jaws. And as usual, the Iran-born, Berlin-based artist plays cleverly, yet subtly, with the space. In the brighter upper gallery hulking forms hang from the walls, while in the dimmer downstairs room more of the pieces are propped up like metal insects. Meanwhile things dissipate into the taxonomic. What can you see? And can you put a name to it? Prongs bolted onto the structures like Stag beetle horns or metallic joint replacements, cracked wishbones, buffed nuts and bolts like the undersides of new car chassis. It’s a trip from the amorphous to the metamorphic, and you’ll get out as much as you put in.
On view until July 29th, 2016 at Marian Goodman Gallery, 5-8 Lower John St, London.
Text and photo Jethro Turner