You walk up the elegant street in Mayfair in London, full of very expensive fashion houses, and enter through the doorway of a well-proportioned historic 18th century townhouse into a long cool classical entrance hall. You then tentatively push open the doors of the front room at the side and are transported into another world as the 18th century architecture visually disappears in front of your eyes and you become immersed in a darkened isolated environment bathed in blue light, totally disconnected from the world outside – which of course is the point.
German artist Marc Brandenburg’s new exhibition ‘Snowflake’ at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac presents a series of negative-reversed drawings exploring life at the fringe of society in this dark environment which reinforces how isolated many of these groups and individuals feel in our modern society, which results on the one hand of people joining a protest march such as we see today with Extinction Rebellion, as the only way they believe that our politicians might take any notice of what people want and respond to it and, on the other hand, of people choosing to live homeless on the streets sometimes as a matter of expediency, but sometime from choice, which again politicians do not understand.
You do feel if you are in a different environment, perhaps not so much as a snowflake as one of those snowstorm globes, where there is no escape. The difference here is of course that you can – but out there in the real world it is different and some people feel that they can’t escape the environment in which they now live.