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Serpentine Pavilion & Grayson Perry's exhibition 2017

Posted on July 9, 2017 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

serpentine pavilion 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017  serpentine pavilion 2017

 

This year's Serpentine pavilion is designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré, the Berlin-based African architect from Gando, Burkina Faso.

Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando, Francis Kéré's design aims to connect its visitors to nature – and each other. The expansive wooden roof is supported by a central steel framework, and it mimics a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat. In the case of rain, an oculus funnels water from the roof into a spectacular waterfall effect, before it is evacuated through a drainage system in the floor for later use in irrigating the park.

 

serpentine pavilion 2017  serpentine pavilion 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017  serpentine pavilion 2017

 

In my opinion, this pavilion is a more back-to-basic one compared to the previous few. It is neither conspicuous nor insipid; it is simple, low-tech but heedful and inviting. I particularly like the subtle African influence: the indigo blue timber screened walls and the intricate canopy roof patterns that resemble the texture of a woven cloth.

Before my visit, I had little expectations as the photographs of the pavilion didn't appeal to me very much. Yet my opinion changed as soon as arrived, and I realised that the photos don't do the structure justice. It is necessary to walk around it and sit inside/outside of it to fully appreciate this open and humane pavilion that employs design to connect people with nature and each other.

 

grayson perry exhibition

grayson perry exhibition  grayson perry exhibition  grayson perry

grayson perry exhibition

 

Inside the Serpentine Gallery, a new exhibition Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! is currently showing until 10th Sept. As one of the most astute commentators on contemporary society and culture in Britain, Perry's works at the show focus on many themes including politics, sexuality, injustice, and social issues. Perry has always enjoyed being controversial; and he has worked with various traditional media like tapestry, pottery and woodcuts etc, which can all be seen at this show.

 

grayson perry exhibition

grayson perry exhibition  grayson perry exhibition

 

I thought Perry's previous tapestry series "The Vanity of Small Differences" (2012) on Britain's classes and aesthetic tastes was fascinating, and so were the entertaining TV programmes that accompanied the series. However, I didn't enjoy this show at all as I found the works to be quite superficial. His current popularity status and works remind me of Andy Warhol at the peak of his career – both are excellent marketers of their own brand. There are some arresting works at the show, but others are repetitive, intentionally kitsch, and rather shallow. Has it got to do with the curator's choice or has Perry run out of new ideas?

Once upon a time, art used to be influential and awe-inspiring; sadly, our narcissistic and celebrity-obsessed society has changed the arts and cultural landscape immensely. Today, art is about business and profits, and it is why the contemporary art scene is so banal, meaningless and irrelevant.


This post was posted in London, Exhibitions, Architecture, Art, Design, Contemporary, British art and was tagged with London, art and design exhibitions, serpentine pavilion, British art, contemporary architecture, Grayson Perry

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