Critics’ Picks

Nikhil Vettukattil, Circulation (Fluidics 0 gate), 2021, PVC tubing, mineral oil, fake blood, water pump, electronics, various plastics, dimensions variable.

Nikhil Vettukattil, Circulation (Fluidics 0 gate), 2021, PVC tubing, mineral oil, fake blood, water pump, electronics, various plastics, dimensions variable.

London

“The Fountain Show II”

Sundy
43 Wooler Street
August 28–October 2, 2021

The fourteen works by as many artists assembled for this cybernetic exhibition form a circuit through a townhouse living room and its back garden. Talking back in commoditized voices to land art, the objects on view summon Jack Burnham’s 1968 essay “Systems Esthetics” and Kabbalistic readings of Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915–1923. Nikhil Vettukattil’s Circulation (Fluidics 0 gate), 2021, installed above a fireplace, pumps fake blood through PVC tubing, while Vytautas Kumža’s Brexit lamentation Bitter Sweet, 2021, frames a lemon which spurts juice through sutures, bringing to mind Zoe Leonard’s Strange Fruit, 1992–97, alongside a glass tumbler full of Euro coins and rocks—think Samuel Beckett’s Molloy, sucking stones. 

Some artworks weep: Roger Hiorns’s Untitled, 2015, spews grey foam this side of a street-facing window. Tears pool at the feet of Vettukatil’s sculpture and in the copper sulphate-hued eyes of Lucia Quevedo’s But I’m Still Hungry, 2021. Propped up in the garden is Lisa Penny’s Summers of Old – The Fluid Decline, 2021, a water-spitting portrait resembling artist Eliza Douglas were she ruined in London and rendered in clay, acrylic paint, MDF, and rubble. Emmanuel Awuni presents In tune with the infinite, 2021, a blackened nervous system rising globular toward the sun from a white gloss ceramic sink planted with dandelions and hand-signed “R. Mutt 2.” The liquid cycling through these works flows outward to reference climate extremes and the violent displacement of people through gentrification, organized abandonment, and murderous border policies.