Tadashi Kawamata has built a spiral staircase out of scrap and reclaimed wood inside the Annely Juda Gallery. It spans four floors, but counts as fairly small scale compared to some of his other works, in which he’s built massive constructions that attach themselves to the sides of classical buildings like mad wasp nests. It’s an unusual approach, and rather fun.
Kawamata often builds over existing urban facades and interiors, creating complicated labyrinths of scaffolding, like a sort of architectural cancer. His aim is to turn conventional environments on their heads, presenting the viewer with a fresh view of their surroundings by defying the rules of logic and symmetry, and the laws of architecture.
One of the enjoyable aspects of Kawamata’s staircase is how interactive it is; you enter its convoluted spaces, climb up and down it and discover new environments, like the irregular wooden igloo that has spread in all directions on the lower floor.
Besides the staircase a number of other Kawamata works are on display, all in wood, including his most recent maquettes of tree houses and projects for Ghent.
Some works consciously echo the favelas of Brazil or the post-tsunami landscape of Tohoku.
I’d recommend a trip to Annely Juda, but you’ll have to hurry to catch the exhibition as it closes on Saturday 21st March. Apologies for not giving you more notice; though my team of highly trained researchers are constantly at work, sometimes they can be a little late in unearthing precious nuggets for your attention. So kudos to Yannick, who came up with this one.
Annely Juda Fine Art is on Dering St, just off New Bond St, and is open Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday 11 am to 5 pm.