Camille Blatrix, Gina Fischli, Richard Frater, Thomas Jeppe, Nuri Koerfer
A functional bench with dog heads, a bookshelf/bear, an armchair perforated by worms; a group of frozen metamorphoses bridging the worlds of animals and furniture. (NK) Three photographs of Kea - the New Zealand native parrot considered the world’s smartest bird - vandalising tourist cars in a nature reserve. (RF) An orange tree juicing itself, another chopping firewood; one laying a log as a bridge, another varnishing a pine handrail; various acts of self-exploitation in the service of others. (TJ) A cat, a rat, a platypus, a bird, handmade in wire, plaster, textile strips and costume jewellery gemstones; a collected projection of human detritus into animal representation, and a mouse behind bars at grand scale. (GF) An apple held by a disembodied hand, carved in wood and abstracted into geometric harmony. (CB) Inversion 2: Haute Tension is the sequel to Umwelt Inversion (2016). * * Umwelt Inversion (2016 at Galerie Conradi, with Marina Pinsky, Richard Frater, Martine Syms, James Vinciguerra, Thomas Jeppe, Anna Franceschini, and Alejandro Almanza Pereda) dealt with forms of social, formal, biological, semantic, corporeal and architectural inversion - combining to form an ‘umwelt’ overview of morphing oppositions. With Inversion 2, the thematic scope has narrowed, allowing more focus, becoming more baroque. Here we face an inversion of a perceived order in the relationship between ‘humanity’ and the ‘natural world’. This ‘natural world’ comprises collected elements of a living mechanism, alternatively liberated through violence, paralysed into decorative purpose, or cursed by a self-cannibalising generosity. The ‘humanity’ by contrast is most notable in its absence. “Haute Tension” - high tension, high voltage. There is an energy at this intersection of human expectation and the reality of nature, an affective misalignment in a continuous process of recalibration. The friction of incompatibilities that demands an outlet. Lattice: a porous rigid barrier for controlling the development of plants in space, for enforcing order. **There is an additional subtext to Inversion 2, one quite removed from content and nestled more in the field of socio-professional logistics. Of the five artists involved, four are parents, with seven children between them. The existence (and proliferation) of family structures, with their attendant responsibilities, emergencies, and inevitabilities, edges us towards the animal world - an instinct-driven modus operandi where all non-essential activities are eclipsed by the deluge of daily imperatives. With this in mind, it’s a minor miracle that the show managed to happen at all, and a testament to the professionalism of all involved.