Charles Atlas: Glacier at Bloomberg SPACE, London

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Located on Finsbury Square, Central London, Bloomberg SPACE’s current exhibition is a collaboration between the video artist and director Charles Atlas, the South London Gallery and Bloomberg SPACE.

Within this busy district of London the space is a welcome retreat and offers a portal like experience as you enter through layers of curtain and are thrust in to Atlas’ 360 degree multi channel video installation. The height of the ceilings and therefore the projected films are impressive and lend to a completely immersive feel.

 

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For Glacier, 2013, Atlas has used footage from the Bloomberg digital archives and stock and found footage from other sources. The clear division of these different visuals is made all the more disorientating by the constant movement of them around the room. Using striking visuals such as underwater scenes, giant faces that look like they are from a commercial, a frantic looking eye and larger than life cows the space is transformed in to a cage which traps the shrunken audience members within its continuous loop. There is a brief respite from the moving images when the entire space fades to black, this is preceded by the whole room being enveloped with a projection of what it looks like outside the gallery when the windows are not blacked out. It is a if the viewer has been placed within a box which allows them to see it out but others to be unable to see in. The repetition of passers by walking around the walls of the room gives a groundhog day, claustrophobic feel. The use of sound within the space is also eerie as a continuous droning noise scores the visuals.

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The exhibition is on until the 30th of March and I would encourage anyone who visits to go at a less busy time, I attended roughly an hour before closing and there was no one else in the space. This added to the immersive, other worldly sensation of the work.

In the lead up to our final show for the Digital Media Arts Masters that I am currently undertaking, this immersive and engrossing feel is exactly the sort of thing I want to achieve in my own work. I will update my progress over the next two months!

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