Gone are the days of icons. Once religious objects housed in churches, now icons are people who we celebrate in magazines and on screens. Anyone can be an icon just as long as they are accessible. They have to really mean something. Yet the closest we usually get to icons is in two-dimensional form: flattened, stylized and reproduced, these images become iconic through looking a certain way. The icon is no longer extraordinary. Being iconic is just a style.
Rod Barton Gallery is pleased to present No More Icons, an exhibition of recent sculpture and installation at Blackfriars Hoarding. Located alongside Blackfriars Bridge, the space is only viewable through a series of windows. Participating artists will each use a window to exhibit newly commissioned work, as the window gallery is revised in relation to the contemporary icon. Mainly experienced through media imagery, the icon is a figure who appears to be tangible but is ultimately out of reach. Channelling this shift from the three-dimensional to the two-dimensional, here space appears compressed: works are visible yet inaccessible, presented in the consideration that they will only be seen from the front. In correspondence to the increasingly expanded definitions of sculpture and installation, each work employs different mechanisms in exposing the gap between surface and representation. Exploring what it is to be iconic, recognisable objects are either reused or reproduced as the manipulation of image-making is revealed.
Visit Rod Barton Gallery for further information. The opening is tomorrow so don’t miss your chance to see it at Blackfrairs Hoarding.