Haris Epaminonda & part wild horses mane on both sides, Part I / Part II at Rowing, London

23 May 2014 By

This week I want to send you to the diminutive Rowing gallery in Kentish Town.  Tucked away up a slightly shabby side street, and inhabiting a former piano factory, this outfit has been running since summer 2012 and works with an ultra-cool list of young artists that includes Andy Holden, Samara Scott and Rachel McLean. Rowing’s solo presentation of work by Heather Phillipson was one of the stand-out booths at the recent Art Brussels.

You have until Saturday to catch an exciting new body of work by Haris Epaminonda at Rowing.  You may be familiar with her small-scale collage works that in the past have used quite romanticising images drawn from 50s and 60s film stills and hand-tinted postcard views, or perhaps you might have caught her Chapters exhibition that toured from Kunsthaus Zurich to Modern Art Oxford and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice last year. That show included an epic scale film, presented in four parts each over an hour long, that featured landscapes from Epaminonda’s native Cyprus. This new show is a collaboration with the sound artists part wild horses mane on both sides. These are a Manchester-based duo, Kelly-Jayne Jones and Pascal Nichols, who were also responsible for the soundtrack for the Chapters film, and for Rowing produced a one-off sound performance at the beginning of this month.

Where the Chapters film was maximalist, this new body of work is minimal, allusive, evocative of absent figures and content.  Intensely focused on the business of picture-making – in a way entirely coherent with the collage method that deconstructs and reforms the image – the new works explore the supports and surrounds for sculpture and painting. Wall and floor-based metal forms suggest picture frames or the ‘window’ of traditional painting;  in a corner of the gallery a rectangular white form sits somewhere between minimal sculpture and the functionality of a standard plinth.  On the floor in the middle of the space a simple, square metal form could be a picture frame or the outline footprint of an absent plinth.  The new film, once again originally in Super 8 format, now transferred to digital, is a world away from the melancholic landscapes of the Chapters film, and in the course of its 6 minutes 32 seconds flips through the page numbers of a book.  All you get is the page numbers on the slightly foxed paper of an old book – the content is implied, suggested but absent.  Books recur, unsurprisingly for an artist who has used collage so much, and a work such as untitled #02 t/a recalls the splayed pages of a folded publication, while untitled #02 t/a actually incorporates a found page – once again blank aside from page numbers and the artists pencil marks that record the position of the page that used to sit on top.

This is elegant and deceptively pared back work that is quietly tackling some big semantic questions. Check it out this weekend and in the process get used to including Rowing in your regular gallery itineraries.

Caroline Douglas

Haris Epaminonda & part wild horses mane on both sides, Part I / Part II at Rowing, 3 Leighton Place, London NW5 2QL. Open Thursday to Saturday 12–6pm and by appointment, until 25 May 2014. rowingprojects.com