London Paint Club

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. © Helen Marten, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Eva Herzog

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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