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Two Cross-Country Art Exhibitions Arrive At Camden Arts Centre

20/05/2011 17:59 | Updated 22 May 2015

A common criticism levelled at the world of art is that it can be too London-centric. Two new exhibitions at Camden Arts Centre - while taking place in London - aim to encourage a cross-country arts dialogue - one a project between three galleries and the other showcasing the product of a Glasgow residency.

Parnassius Mnemosyne, detail, 2010, copyright Kerry Tribe. Photo: Jamie Woodley

Dead Star Light - an exhibition of the American filmmaker and artist Kerry Tribe's work - forms part of the 3 Series collaboration between London's Camden Arts Centre, Bristol's Arnolfini and Modern Art Oxford.

The selection of works which is touring the three galleries makes use of technology to explore the subject of memory and forgetting. Of the three works which make up the 3 Series, Parnassius Mnemosyne is the most intriguing. A hypnotic 16mm film featuring a microscope view of a butterfly's wing, the film presents a familiar object as unrecognisible.

Another Tribe film - an experimental documentary called H.M. after the anonymous amnesiac is centres on (not part of the 3 Series) - is also included in the exhibition and provides a fascinating and emotional study of a man usually treated as a medical curio.

In a separate gallery space is Christine Borland's Cast 'From Nature'.

Borland has taken a nineteenth century plaster cast of an anonymous, partially flayed body (From Nature) and recast it as part of a public performance in Glasgow. The new casts are now being exhibited in Camden and bring to mind issues of restoration, dignity and beauty.

Cast From Nature, 2011, copyright Christine Borland. Photo: Ruth Clark

The exhibition space features two identical casts, one face up, one face down, separated by a giant plaster cast swag. The prone figure appears to be falling gracefully while the supine has echoes of Christ in Michelangelo's Pietà. It is only when you get within a foot or so of the works that the flaying and the partial dissection is revealed.

Memorial and memory sit side by side in these two fascinating exhibitions.

Kerry Tribe: Dead Star Light and Christine Borland: Cast 'From Nature', 13 May - 10 July, Camden Arts Centre


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