Threshhold at Fold Gallery, London. June 2017.
FOLD Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Nathaniel Rackowe, his first solo presentation in the gallery.The show will consist of a large installation presented as a diptych alongside smaller, more intimate, wall-based works. The diptych titled ‘UNtouched’ is a collaborative performance piece between Rackowe and choreographer Angela Woodhouse. ‘UNtouched’ operates on several levels; as object – by creating a dialogue with the architecture of the gallery, inhabiting the space but also reflecting on its proportions and architecture. The audience is invited to occupy two separate but related sculptures incorporating glass, fluorescent tubes and steel mesh so when viewed in conjunction with the performance, the dialogue expands to explore ideas of intimacy and separation as simultaneous events. The corridor-like structure allows for multiple viewing points from outside, within and through. The glass becomes either transparent or reflective, depending on the sequencing of fluorescent lights attached to the steel, shifting the accent abruptly – from one of all encompassing to isolation. As an audience, while witnessing the performers interact with object and our own reflections appearing and disappearing, we are encouraged to question whether division can allow for intimate encounters. The other half of the diptych consists of a glass platform onto which the viewer is invited to walk. Submerged beneath are the performers, whose presence is again revealed depending on the shifting light. This reaffirms the relationship between the performance, the object and audience. All of the participants become a part of the visual schema. There is a sense of voyeurism and distant views, which become checked in the gaze of others seeing you, or in you viewing others. The reality of separation suggests a touch that has no consequences, and yet the act of touch or walking over the surface of a body triggers affecting notions of power and control. The smaller works will relate to the main installation, and although they are part of the ‘whole’ can be read as separate interventions and operate individually. With the incorporation of coloured surfaces, the cool glare of fluorescent tubing is turned a bilious yellow or an acid green, emphasising the artificial, almost alien nature of these otherworldly hybrid objects. We are very aware that for Rackowe, light is more a method than a medium, used to accent, to fill, to delineate, to highlight; he carves it into rays or floods it from apertures to explore both space and structure, surface and depth.