Sam Jacob: Against Nature
“In Neanderthal settlements [...] space became a malleable template constructed to express, to reproduce through time, and also to challenge social order and divisions”. – David Lewis-Williams, The Mind in the Cave
Betts Project is pleased to present ‘Against Nature,’ the second solo exhibition at the gallery by British architect Sam Jacob. Against Nature is an exhibition about architecture, landscape and nature. It is also about the guilt, power, loss and hope intrinsic to architecture.
Architecture is always against nature. Against as in next to. Against as in contrasting. Against as in protecting. Against as in anticipating. Against as in resisting. Against as in facing. Against as in touching. Against as in challenging. Against as in opposing. Against as defending. Against as defying. Against as a debit. Against as towards. Against as before. Against as comparison. Against as compensation. Against as contradicting. Against as preparation. Against as supporting.
The show features two new series of works by Sam Jacob. Ritual Litter features additions of coloured elements to antique prints of neolithic monuments. Against Nature is made up of found landscape oil paintings with black geometric forms painted into them.
These traditions of landscape and objects-in-landscapes come with their own ideas about separation from and remaking of nature. Their reworking suggests architecture’s symbolic and ritualistic power to summon new kinds of world and new ways of being in the world. To rearrange the world socially, politically, economically, and environmentally. Architecture as a conceptual act projected onto the land that contains the possibility of liberation, and the potential to reconstruct the home we have never had.
“Setting up great stones was an enormous psychological act, further removing the agriculturalists from their formerly harmonious relationship with the earth. And it is that initial separation from the earth, over 5000 years ago, which has opened up into such a great cleft over the ensuing years and caused so great a feeling of cultural dispossession and hopeless guilt” – Julian Cope, The Modern Antiquarian
- 24 February to 15 April 2023
100 Central Street
EC1V 8AJ London, Great Britain
- Betts Project
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