Sunday, 20 April 2014

Gabriel Kuri – All Probability Resolves Into Form

The Common Guild, Glasgow until June 7th
Three stars
in case of emergency, natural disaster, nuclear fall-out or biblical
engulfment, Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri is probably a very good man to
have on your side. By stocking up on blankets, fire extinguishers,
boxes of matches, bottles of water and assorted toiletries, then
assembling them in assorted sculptural show-and-tells on
silver-blanketed pallets in the town-house corridors of The Common
Guild, Kuri takes a practical and possibly life-saving survival kit,
then reassembles it in a way that suggests it's an in-storage archive
with everything in its place and a place for everything, even as it
awaits a situation in which it can be used.

Downstairs, alongside the two pallet-based pieces, a row of metal
compartments containing folded up and piled up blankets resembles both
a charity shop and a call centre store-room, the array of unopened
goods on the stairs themselves seem to awaiting the cleaner to arrive.
Upstairs, a network of primary coloured round tables with rolled-up
sleeping bags inbetween gives the air of an adventure playground
sleepover in progress.

With a title that gives a nod to philosopher David Hume's 1738 'A
Treatise of Human Nature', which suggested that 'All knowledge resolves
itself into probability', Kuri's collection of six new constructions
puts nuts and bolts on hard theory by giving it a quietly political
twist. This is made clear in subtle ways by the seeming class divide
hinted at across the two floors. The show's function as a form of
activism will only be made explicit at the end of the show, however,
when the found materials on display find their true calling by being
donated  to the GLAD Action Network and the Unity Centre, Glasgow, two
all too real support centres for asylum seekers and migrants in
Scotland, making Kuri's ordered arrangement a life-saver on every
level.

The List, April 2014

ends

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