London-Based Artist Teams Up With Brit Designer Mary Katrantzou

By rOrO Co-operative

The ICA is currently home to Pablo Bronstein’s new multimedia exhibition Sketches for Regency Living, the first since Gregor Muir’s appointment as executive director in February. The showcase covers the entire space with works housed on the walls and floors of every room, even the bar and hallways. As such the experience begins right in the entrance hall.

Identically framed sketches of identical houses sit side by side throughout the hallway and staircase, referencing the late-18th and 19th century building of streets after streets of monotonous housing that was Bronstein’s starting point for the exhibition.

The front and rear galleries play host to two metamorphic pieces of furniture that fill the otherwise bare rooms with their presence: a large cabinet that folds out into an office and a pair of console tables that circle and slot together as a campaign bed, respectively.

Gallery staff perform the movement in a frequent cycle, folding and rolling and turning. A mechanical task carried off with such fluidity by the staff turns it into something quite mesmerising, a performance.

A large open-plan space, once the lobby, has been created and called the Tragic Stage where Bronstein-choreographed morning and evening dances are enacted against a large painting, creating a piazza.

Fellow Central Saint Martin’s alumnae, and celebrated British designer Mary Katrantzou, teamed up with Bronstein for the Tragic Stage, creating two beautiful Regency-inspired outfits for the dancers (Irene Cera and Rosaline Wahlfried). Katrantzou’s signature printed fabrics are cut and assembled to really personify the Cera and Wahlfried’s ‘characters’, moving with the dance and becoming a part of the overall art.

Sketches for Regency Living is Pablo Bronstein’s largest solo exhibit in the UK to date. It runs 9th June 2011 – 25th September 2011 at the ICA, London and entry is free.

Photographs © Steve White