“At once a bunker, an ice cellar, a Brechtian stage set, and a dressing room” is the beguiling description offered by London gallery BlainSouthern of its latest bold sculptural installation piece, created by Luxembourg-born, London and Basel-based artist Sophie Jung.
Entitled Come Fresh Hell or Fresh High Water, the work takes over the space’s lower gallery and transformed it into a sort of dystopia in which banal everyday items like mugs, shower curtains, and hat stands are transformed into something rather more sinister and – in the gallery's words –boasting a “simmering sense of fury.”
This piece is the second in the gallery’s new series of Lodger exhibitions, and takes the form of a number of live performances and a looping video work based around Jung’s particularly intriguing blend of live performance sculpture, installation and text.
“Jung is a storyteller,” says the gallery, “she weaves free-wheeling, deeply idiosyncratic, and sharply funny narratives, which draw on everything from pop culture to philosophy, the idlest of thoughts to the most heartfelt of convictions. Both objects and language are prone to slippage in this work. Form and content is always shifting shape.”
The artist’s influences for this piece are myriad, ranging from Van Gogh’s 1886 painting Shoes; Winnie the Pooh; Voltaire’s Candide; “the military bearing of many of Henry Moore’s busts”; and Brecht’s Mother Courage to the artist’s own grandmother’s long-hidden artistic practice; wheelie bins; aeroplane emergency doors; and ice packs. “We might think of her as a hybrid of a Google-enabled bricoleur and the Basler Schnitzelbänggler – a jester-figure who features in the carnival of Jung’s sometimehome town of Basel, and who holds up a mirror to the world’s hypocrisy, folly and vice,” as the gallery puts it.