Sadly, the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art has announced that due to the ongoing situation with coronavirus, it will close its gallery spaces in London today. Indeed many private galleries and foundations in London and elsewhere are doing this, some offering visits by appointment, but what makes this doubly sad is that this is the last we will see of the Foundation in its base near Old Street as it had already announced that the exhibition ‘Time Levitation’ with videos and drawings by French artist Christine Rebet would be the last in its current location as it takes a new direction, as others such as the David Reynolds Foundation and the Fleming Collection have done, giving up fixed physical spaces with their associated high costs and other restrictions, to allow more dynamism and flexibility with exhibitions across the globe.
Over the last 16 years the Parasol Unit has brought a huge range of international talent to London and the fact that the gallery spaces were intertwined with Victoria Miro’s was a great boon. Who will fill the soon-to-be empty spaces? That is quite a challenge in the current environment.
You ended on a high with an exhibition curated by Ziba Ardlan – Founder, Artistic and Executive Director at Parasol Unit, with six of Christine Rebet’s hand-drawn animated films, several in their own theatrical settings (reflecting her background in theatrical design) shown alongside many of the illustrations she developed for her films. While the films might at first appear slightly superficial in their simplicy, there were deep undercurrents of meaning there to be discovered, such as with the latest work ‘Breathe In, Breathe Out’, reflective of many of the issues around climate change and globalisation.
We will miss you in your old space, but wish you well in the next phase of the Foundation’s work as we follow you around the world.