Critics’ Picks

Eva GoldCowboys, 2022, rubber roofing membrane, dimensions variable.

Eva GoldCowboys, 2022, rubber roofing membrane, dimensions variable.

London

Eva Gold

Ginny on Frederick
91-93 Charterhouse St
April 9–May 22, 2022

The white-tiled former sandwich shop that project space Ginny on Frederick calls home makes an unexpectedly fitting site for Eva Gold’s current solo exhibition “The Last Cowboys.” Inside, a row of black leather-look jackets hang expectantly along one wall. The jackets, it transpires, were crafted by Gold from rubber roofing membrane, a material that demands the participation of your senses, overpowering the small space with the smell of rubber. The choice is emblematic of Gold’s wider questioning of the hierarchies that shape our sex lives. The leather scene in London, for example, historically provided a safe space for gay, often white and middle-class, men, whilst excluding others; roofing membrane does the same job as leather but it is much cheaper.

The room is lit by Residual Heat (Open Late) and Residual Heat (24 Hour) (all works 2022): two illuminated signs that together cast a greenish luster over the space and allude to the city’s sex shops and clubs, rendered visible at nightfall. The exhibition is on view through the shop window twenty-four hours a day, providing those who work across the road at London’s historic Smithfield meat market with a unique kind of peep show in the early hours of the morning.

Gold’s unworn jackets index the absence of sex in public space—policed and driven back into the bedroom. The exhibition’s title suggests the end of an era and the accompanying text by writer Huw Lemmey details the latent political potential of sex in civic life, suggesting an opportunity to reconceive the spaces where, and the ways in which, we interconnect. How might we build anew the social and sexual infrastructure of the city? While we formulate our answer, Gold’s installation glows green late into the night, provoking, confusing, and seducing, passersby.