The Serpentine presented Palisades, the first solo show in London by American artist Rachel Rose.
Rachel Rose: Palisades directly responded to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery with a unique site-specific installation. Interweaving two of her videos – A Minute Ago (2014) and Palisades in Palisades (2014) – Rose created an immersive environment through movement, sound and colour.
A Minute Ago begins with a video of a sudden and apocalyptic-like hailstorm in Siberia, over which Rose layers a sound recording of Pink Floyd’s Echoes playing to an empty amphitheatre in Pompeii. This scene is fused with Rose’s own footage of Philip Johnson’s Glass House, incorporating a tour led by the architect himself (rotoscoped in from an old VHS).
In Palisades, Rose uses a remote control lens and a precise trompe-l’œil editing technique to link a girl, standing on the banks of the Hudson River at the Palisades Interstate Park in New York, to different moments in the landscape’s history, including the memory of the site’s involvement in the American Revolutionary War.
Through the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated events, Rose’s work presents humanity’s shared current anxieties and their multi-layered interconnectivity: our changing relationship to the natural world, the advance of technology, catastrophes, our own mortality and the impact of history.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Galleries, said:
“The Serpentine Sackler Gallery space, with its unique history, architecture and location, serves as a perfect setting for Rose’s beautifully poetic, multi-layered works. Her videos urgently probe into some of the world’s most current and pressing concerns, as she tackles the issue of humanity’s changing relationship to the natural world and our growing use of technology.”
A Serpentine Cinema event, The Conversation, with Walter Murch and Rachel Rose took place on 8th November, with Rachel Rose discussing visual and sound editing techniques with Oscar-winning editor and sound designer Walter Murch. A series of Saturday Talks also took place during the exhibition, including talks from Emma Enderby and Agnes Gryczkowska.
The autumn season at the Serpentine included the concurrent exhibition of artist, activist, poet and writer Jimmie Durham at the Serpentine Gallery. Through opposite techniques and materials, both artists draw on subjectivity and personal history, cultural context and ecology to weave seemingly disparate narratives into their work.