The entrance door and window are frozen over with snow…..what is happening inside? A quick check on the text on the window and googling on the mobile phone tell you that…yes this is open; you can enter, before the Christmas lights are lit up in Oxford Street, with lots more streets to follow.
Inside, the ground floor of the gallery is painted white, with black and white images across the space; down through the white staircase, you reach the lower floor which, in contrast, is painted in black. This is the story of Melanie Manchot’s exhibition’White Light, Black Snow’ at Parafin near Bond Street in London, a contrast from her last series of works which were of runners in the city.
Video and photographic images of the contrasts between black and white in snowy landscapes are displayed in different ways across the gallery, keeping you, the viewer, on your toes. It is one of the contradictions of urban life that a snowfall one day, with white taking over the city, can turn to dark and black slush the next as the reality of city life interferes with nature. Many of Manchot’s images are quite surreal, with no evident human activity; others are full of animal tracks or human interaction. Today we are in November, wet and cold. What will happen in London when the snow comes, probably in the early months of 2019?