Public Gallery, London
Marlon Kroll and Li Hei Di
Public Gallery presents a duo show with a new body of work by the German artist Marlon Kroll and Chinese artist Li Hei Di. For their first collaboration on a joint project, the two artists have conceived a holistic installation in which to explore ideas of transformation – such as metamorphosis, rebirth and decay – from the bodily to the spiritual, a subject that pervades and prevails within both their practices.
For Public Gallery’s booth at Art-O-Rama, Marlon Kroll has developed an immersive series of sculptures composed of oilskin on paper over oil paint on canvas. Inspired by the womb-like structures found in the ritualistic experiments of the Liber Vaccae – a Latin translation of a late ninth-century Arabic magical-alchemic work – the central sculpture takes the form of an unfolded/sliced house. The structure, alongside other domestic elements, is envisaged as a site of gestation and transmutation; a former cocoon now opened like a seed pod, husk, molt of a spider or crab shell with its inhabitants renewed and reborn.
Displayed on the walls of the booth and Kroll’s structure itself, Li Hei Di’s paintings are visible through openings as if enacting a game of hide and seek with the viewer. Her compositions allow human organ-like forms to play out a similar game amidst ambiguous spaces that reference the colour palette and freeze frames of Chinese cinema––specifically films that depict Chinese myths and strange tales of transcendence.