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11 Feb 11 - 03 Apr 11

Ground Control

Jennifer Taylor


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Christian Ferreira is delighted to present a new site-specific installation by Jennifer Taylor in the tower of the old hydraulic power station at The Wapping Project.

With Ground Control as the title, Taylor invites us to enter into the mythical reality of David Bowie’s song ‘Space Oddity’. Suspended in the tower, her floating playground perhaps exists in another realm or in a hallucination where The Earth’s laws of gravity and logic do not apply. Bizarre apparatus, and malformed equipment hover in the cavernous tower. Perhaps this is some perverse form of therapy room in an out-posted asylum, where futile activities have been created to either occupy or torment its patients. In Bowie’s metaphorical song, a fictional astronaut called Major Tom looses radio contact with Ground Control and floats off into oblivion. It seems that Taylor offers a similar escape route out of the confines of her tower; obsessively bound in white rags, a pre-existing ladder is revived and scales the back wall. This continues all the way up to an opening, which leads out onto the roof, providing a platform from which to jump. This almost transforms the tower into a place of limbo, a purgatory between a trapped existence and an imagined point of transcendence.

As we stare up from the base of the tower we might glimpse a fused daydream somewhere between Major Tom’s contemplations, ‘far above The Moon’ in the age of space travel and Jacob’s vision in the Book of Genesis: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it’. Somewhere far above this ladder, we can envisage Major Tom finally free of the constraints of earthly existence, ‘floating in a most peculiar way’ into eternity with Jacob’s angels.

Jennifer Taylor was born in 1982 in Wales and now lives and works in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2007 and previously studied at The Ruskin, University of Oxford. Taylor has had solo exhibitions at Flowers East, London (2010) and The Wyer Gallery, London (2008). She has also participated in group shows internationally including the prestigious Jen Rêve, at Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris.