For her first major project this side of the Channel, Samara Scott (b. 1985, London) takes over the great nave of the CAPC, installing a huge artificial ceiling composed of constantly evolving organic and chemical substances. The public is invited to walk around and under it, to experience the dual identity of this large-scale alchemical collage, both digital and material, seductive and repulsive.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011, Samara Scott has developed a practice fuelled by the context of hyper-consumerism. This has resulted in brightly coloured, attractive installations made of manufactured objects or by-products of mass production. Before each exhibition, she experiments extensively for aesthetic purposes with the resistance and performance of the large array of materials that make up her artworks, such as sponges, toilet paper, nail polish, lettuce leaves, fabric softener, cigarette ash, toothpaste, candles, tights, and tin foil.
At the CAPC, the artist has suspended a transparent membrane which divides the central space of the art museum horizontally, creating a flat 10,000 square-foot canopy over the impressive nave at mezzanine level. On this surface Scott has created a massive, colourful, “pictorial”, multimedia composition using plastics, textiles, fluids, and scrap objects, as well as substances like coffee, sugar, cocoa, cotton, rum, and spices, which hark back to the historical use of the CAPC building as a warehouse for colonial goods in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The installation can be enjoyed both from above and from below, offering visitors two very different perspectives on the same work. From underneath, the work is smooth and can only be seen as a flat image: an iridescent sky, which seems to successively float, disintegrate, and melt as you walk beneath it; or a shimmering sea, under which one is submerged and experiences filtering rays of sunlight while rising to the surface. From the mezzanines, it becomes something completely different: it unveils the waste objects that make up this landscape of the twenty-first century, fully embracing its “toxic positivity”. Nothing here seems to separate material culture from the digital world, nor the sublime from the sordid.
Samara Scott’s aerial installation offers a floor area at the scale of the nave that the artist sees as a space for sharing and conviviality. A series of events, designed and produced in collaboration with the artist, will be hosted during the duration of the CAPC exhibition: Catwalk, with a runway show of her fashion label, Dirty Weekend with the Dirty Art Foundation of Amsterdam in collaboration with the EBABX – École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de BordeauX, Giant Yoga and a Club Night until dawn on the occasion of the Fête de la Musique.
Within the framework of the exhibition, CAPC has also given Samara Scott carte blanche to curate a programme of screenings of videos and films by various artists whose work she feels echoes her own. The screenings will take place in the Galerie Arnozan on the second floor of the museum.
Samara Scott’s exhibition will see the publication of a catalogue, as part of the series of books that the CAPC has devoted since 2017 to the nave’s site-specific projects. The publication brings together various perspectives on the installation and an interview with the artist conducted by the curator of the exhibition, Alice Motard.
Samara Scott (b. 1985 in London) lives and works in Dover and Barcelona. After completing a Bachelor’s degree at Camberwell College of Art in 2008, she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2011. Selected solo shows include Belt and Road, Tramway, Glasgow (2018); Jacobs Creek, The Sunday Painter, Offsite / Four Six One Nine, Los Angeles; Developer, Pumphouse & Battersea Park, London (both 2016); Silks, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2015). Selected group shows include The Happy Fact, La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Day Tripper, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea (both 2019); Voyage, Bergamin & Gomide, São Paulo (2017–8); Days are Dogs, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Entangled, Turner Contemporary, Margate (both 2017); I am a Painting, Kumu Museum, Tallinn (2014).
She is represented by The Sunday Painter, London.
Curator: Alice Motard
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects, a Franco-British programme for contemporary art supported by the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut français and the British Council.
-> Nave of the museum
-> Disabled access
-> Price: 7€ ; 4€ (reduced rate)