Margarita Gluzberg: Avenue des Gobelins @ Paradise Row

Paradise Row showcases the work of London-based artist Margarita Gluzberg. The exhibition comprises of a video projection, platinum prints and four slide projections on a graphite background.

The title of the exhibition, ‘Avenue des Gobelins’, is borrowed from the characteristic 1927 photograph series of shop fronts in Paris by French photographer Eugène Atget, whose innovative work once attracted the attention of surrealists and other well-known artists such as Man Ray, Henri Matisse and Berenice Abbott.

Gluzberg’s photographic work includes slide projections and platinum prints that adopt the analogue photographic techniques of the Surrealists. While the artist shoots everything on 35mm black and white slide film with an old Pentax K1000, the same film passes through the camera numerous times, leading to a double and triple-exposure. This process of using layers of several photos generate a very similar effect to Atget’s practice, a clear inspiration for Gluzberg’s work.

The great number of the exhibited images may be regarded as a continuation of Atget’s iconography. The only difference is that this time the main subject is the luxurious shops of the British capital and Gluzberg’s own documentation of material desire and consumerism in the 21st century. While we do not really detect any new contributions to modern photography or aesthetics, Gluzberg’s attempt to explore and interpret aspects of the contemporary society, its nature and the raging thirst to possess may be considered as a useful comparative social study enhanced with elements of fashion evolution for the period between the late 19th – early 20th century and today.