Marcelo Cicade / André Komatsu: The Natural Order of Things @ Max Wigram Gallery

Marcelo Cicade’s and André Komatsu’s first joined exhibition at Max Wigram Gallery showcases a powerful statement of the contemporary industrial world through raw construction material and other substances found in public and private space.

The visitor is hit by an enormous street sign with no directions balanced on a large concrete sphere which ‘leads’ the way to a number of concrete blocks on wheels placed randomly across the gallery space. We also see a large hammer stuck on the wall, a shelving structure holding salt, sugar, coffee, cement, glass and a video projector, a shelf with three pairs of Dr Martens boots and four blankets with industrial felt hanging on the wall; all these elements comprise the Natural Order of Things, which is the title of the exhibition. Each of the two artists has a tradition in working with specific materials and techniques; Cidade transforms everyday objects into a concrete form and produces graffiti work while Komatsu generates artworks made by urban rubble and debris. None of the works have a description or a name and the viewer is free to guess which work belongs where.

Having as their starting point the exploration of the components of the urban evolution of their native Sao Paulo, the two Brazilian artists also refer to the development or decline of any modern city on a global scale in the private and public domain. The collection of urban debris such as concrete blocks and their transformation into works of art is a tribute to a socio-political status of the modern reality while challenging at the same time the presence of power and control as well as the economic stability or instability of today’s organised social structures.

Although the careful placement of all objects in such a small gallery space may achieve a tense feeling of escape from the urban environment, it could have also worked well in a larger area of a possibly more industrial type of venue.
|Kostas Prapoglou