Rod Barton, London presents The Center of the Earth is Molten History a project exhibition series featuring artists Mona Varichon, Julien Bouillon, Emily Gable, and Rob Chavasse, curated by Cory Scozzari. The series will take the form of four consecutive solo shows and then culminate with a closing group show. This exhibition marks the final show at the Paget Street address of Rod Barton, London. Just as the gallery itself is moving, becoming unearthed from its previous location and reintegrated into its newSouth East London location, the artists presented make work that addresses similar shifts, movements of material, passages in time and space, displacements and deposits. In many cases the work borrows an archeological framework for investigation. Addressing perception, economics, consumption and preservation, the pieces of various materials take the form of excavations, are the products of a type of dig, or are projections of possible futures rendered through a re-negotiation of the past.
The work shown by Bouillon is part of an ongoing investigation of symbols and the historicization of artefacts. With an interest in the objects that hold history, fossils, coins, ceramic vases, Bouillon produces work that playfully interacts and replicates. With his recent coin paintings, made up of painted coins as dots on a canvas plane, individual ancient coins are rendered almost as portraits. Money here serves as the ultimate representational tool within a culture, and is revisited and isolated as a formal object both as a coin and as painting. Similarly, as if projecting the existence of our defunct, disposable consumer objects into the future; Bouillon makes fossilized bone-carved watches, painted televisions and cell phones that seem as if they have just been unearthed after thousands of years, fabricated as a trompe-l’oeil rock remains. The work looks to the precariousness of our material culture and the environmental implications in relation to deep time.