Sadie Coles (Kingly Street) – Helen Marten: Sparrows On the Stone

62 Kingly St, London W1B 5QN - (4 September - 30 October 2021)
Helen Marten, The Age in which we Love (bulging the house), 2021, nylon paint on fabric, aluminium, ash frame, MDF, steel, plywood, dry transfers, silkscreened MDF, milled modelboard, embroidered fabric site size: 300 x 240 cm / 118 ⅛ x 94 ½ in frame size: 310 x 250 x 8.5 cm / 122 ⅛ x 98 ⅜ x 3 ⅜ in, low plinth: 40 x 190.6 x 45.5 cm / 15 ¾ x 75 ⅛ x 17 ⅞ in, small houses, each: 15 x 18 x 18.2 cm / 5 ⅞ x 7 ⅛ x 7 ⅛ in, © The Artist, Image Courtesy of Sadie Coles

Major things are wind, evil, a good fighting horse, prepositions, inexhaustible love, the way people choose their king. Minor things include dirt, the names of schools of philosophy, mood and not having a mood, the correct time. There are more major things than minor things overall, yet there are more minor things than I have written here, but it is disheartening to list them. 

– Anne Carson, excerpt from Short Talk: On Major and Minor, 1992 

The line is a primary element, like a letter, a black graphic sign on a white page. A stick figure is a diagrammatic drawing representing a human or animal, usually made with one line each for the torso and appendages, and often a circle for the head. Sparrows On the Stone maps freestanding walls into the configuration of a body, each surface a proxy surrogate for arms, legs, stomach, entrails and genitals. Hung cables and conduits interconnect these walls, the whole system forming an economical diagram of a stick figure, the singularity of one body-form extending at gigantic scale across the full spread of the gallery. A mirrored shadow figure is projected downwards and joined with further cables on the floor. 

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