John Jones are pleased to have worked with Victoria Miro Gallery to frame the latest exhibition by contemporary artist Alex Hartley. ‘The world is still big’ presents Alex’s on-going ‘investigation into dystopian architecture, secular habitation and the construction of sanctuary’. In this collection, the artist’s work has become much more focused on the complex and contradictory attitudes toward built environments. Uninhabited landscapes and wilderness are filled with architectural emblems of the counter-culture movement. Nineteen photographs have been made unique through the addition of intricately detailed scale models, built directly onto the surface of the print. The narratives in these works allude to the creation of something which was intended as a sanctuary, and has instead turned against us and become uninhabitable. The Victoria Miro Project space will feature artefacts and objects from Alex Hartley’s 2004 and 2011 expeditions to the High Arctic. These tell the story of the newly revealed island discovered by the artist and its declaration and transformation into the new nation: ‘Nowhere Island’. The artist has also transformed the garden terrace of the gallery into a rusted reconstruction of the ‘Drop City’ dome, a mid-1960s experimental artists' community which attempted to perfectly integrate the natural and built environment but was disbanded after ten years.
The artwork has been presented within deep box frames designed to contain and secure both the photographic print and the 3D structures. These frames have been produced using high quality American Walnut wood, and each frame has been individually designed to ‘float’ the artwork. The collection has been finished with light Perspex glazing with UV filters, selected to protect the images from light damage.
Victoria Miro Gallery, 16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7RW
104 x 362 x 201 cm
41 x 142 1/2 x 79 1/8 in
Installation Victoria Miro 2011
© Alex Hartley
Courtesy of the Artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London