Rodney Graham

Lisson Gallery | 27 Bell Street | London

Sitting on a plinth just inside the entrance to Rodney Graham’s recent show was a scale model of a turn-of-the-century mail truck. Like its life-size counterpart realized for an installation in a Rouen arboretum last year—a movable camera obscura that will be repositioned to document a new tree each month throughout the year—Model for Camera Obscura Mobile, 1996, is fitted with lens and bellows; one photograph taken in this way with the original wagon was exhibited alongside the model. The piece signaled Graham’s conception of the gallery as a modern viewing chamber that meshes the scientific and analytical with the sensuous and spectacular. The building’s architecture lent itself to this task: the two front spaces meet the outside with floor-to-ceiling windows, lenses through which the world can be projected onto the gallery’s surfaces.

The building opposite the gallery is a school, which

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