Victoria Adam middens ❧

PV Friday 20th November 6 – 9pm

middens  will run from the 21st November 2015 – 16th January 2016 (closed between 20/12 – 06/01)

Victoria Adam’s first solo exhibition in London is a collection of new works formed through a six month Materials Residency with a focus on clay and ceramics.  Set within Kingsgate Workshops, where artists and craftspeople converge; Adam was invited to explore and test new media and methods and how they might extend her practice.

Victoria Adam collects obsolescence.  A midden (from the early Scandinavian mødding) is essentially an ancient refuse container.  Materials that, once exhausted, found themselves cast aside are now routinely excavated and examined by archaeologists.  They provide an accumulated image of leftovers that point to routine; the day-in-day-out of ancestors.  Shells, vessels, botanical material, vermin, artefacts and ecofacts, all lay in wait in the old dumps. Over the last six months, the artist has been wandering around the locale of Kingsgate, picking up dog-eared ring-stained copies of ‘70s bathroom design books, outdated wine guides,  Kim and Aggie’s How Clean Is Your House?, and a Vogue manual from the early ‘80s.


Intuitively feeling her way through the texture, shape, slipperiness, Adam enfolds herself within the production of desire.  A vessel with finger marks fired, scattered with grains and coated with water.  Familiarity breeds indifference, and these substances - building materials and scented toiletries - at once cared for, copied, restaged are also engaged in self-critique.  They are mismanaged.  The cotton wool bud is confused by its sudden redundancy as a tool and new life as a prop, a visual object in a sequence of almost-products made object. Fragrances that once existed in nature are made anew in synthetic form, as 'tropical breezes’ or 'morning dew'.


Adam’s embodied materialism appears as a coping method for being in the world.  To re-produce and re-present these objects that have been sold, and understand them better through co-option, bringing them closer in aggressive compliance.  The Medusa shield reflects rather than confronts.


These sculptural forms are not a celebration of consumerism, they are not the bright and bouncy aesthetics of Coke commerce, they are fragile and introspective; they hold time as deferred touch.  Fragments that point to the civilisation, as Virginia Woolf writes in Mrs. Dalloway, “...when London is a grass-grown path and all those hurrying along the pavement this Wednesday morning are but bones with a few wedding rings mixed up in their dust and the gold stoppings of innumerable decayed teeth”.

Victoria Adam middens ❧

Event Title: Victoria Adam middens ❧
Start Date: 21/11/2015
End Date: 16/01/2015
Opening Times: Thursday to Saturday, 12-6
Venue: Kingsgate Project Space
Town/City: London
Postcode: NW6 2JG
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