Never has copper wire been used so imaginatively. The Wellcome Collection’s new exhibition displays over 100 items by the French-British sculptor and film-maker Alice Anderson, all entirely mummified and transformed in copper. The gallery staircase, a bottle of coke, windows frames, computer parts, ropes and a plethora of other objects, wrapped in copper wire, glisten in the dark galleries, like treasures in an underground Egyptian tomb. In the first room, visitors dressed in black are invited to add their own contribution to the mummification of a 1967 Ford Mustang while the gradual mummification is video-photographed.
“Memory Movement Memory Objects’ brings together works and process in the gallery. The Studio is a place producing a solidarity bound to objects. Each woven item is a ritual object. Small ones elicit an intense concentration, generating fast motions, whilst larger objects require slower movements that engender deep collaboration and exchange. These charged works are markers of time and affirm for me the value of physical records and the power of human memory in the fascinating digital age we live in.” (Alice Anderson)
“With this exhibition Alice Anderson shows that even those objects that ‘speak’ to us because of their familiarity are fundamentally altered by our experience of time. Anderson’s invitation to create a social sculpture will enable visitors to discover both the unstable nature of memory and its profoundly creative potential. As we attempt to bridge the gap between then and now we are also called upon to connect with each other, and to move from being onlookers to participants.” (Kate Forde, Curator).
Given that Anderson has an interest in our memories in the digital age, Wellcome’s policy of no photography is a missed opportunity. If ever there was an exhibition to positively ask visitors to take photographs and tweet them to create a digital memory, this was it.
(All photographs are copyright)