Anya Gallaccio: Beautiful Minds

Art Free
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Over the coming weeks, a mountain in a central London gallery will collapse in on itself. Built from layer upon layer of clay extruded by a massive 3D printer, Anya Gallaccio’s work is destined – and designed – to fail. 

‘Beautiful Minds’ is based on a scan of Devil’s Tower, a mountain in Wyoming that’s a sacred place for Native Americans, though you might know it better as the mountain in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Every day, an endless tube of clay will be squidged out of a computer-controlled printer into hexagonal shapes, building a scale-model of that mountain – but it’s imperfect. The layers slip off each other, droop onto the ground, like long faecal ropes disintegrating. It’s a long, squiggly mess, full of tension because of its structural frailties

It’s such a temporary work. As with so much of what Gallaccio does – like ‘preserve ‘beauty’’, her wall of withering flowers that was on show at Tate Britain – the process is the point.

Gallaccio is forcing technology – 3D printing and scanning – into fallibility, forcing nature to fail. It’s a power play, crowbarring some humanity and errors into things that have none. Everything here is temporary, it has to fall apart. In a world that feels on the brink of collapse, Gallaccio’s sculpture feels like a damning, dangerous and prescient reflection our times. 



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