A blustery, freezing cold day in Hyde Park couldn’t take anything away from the sort of spectacle that Anish Kapoor’s Turning the World Upside Down outdoor installation manages to capture. It draws you into its charms with impressive visuals, but doesn’t take long to tease out deeper thought from you as you ponder the meaning behind the large creations that seem very magical and otherworldly in their Kensington Gardens location.
It’s charms were heightened by a visit to the mesmerising Philippe Perreno exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery just before it, which features the stunning illusion of snowfall outside the Gallery following the showing of Perreno’s new short film Invisibleboy (2010). However, the mirrored constructions by Kapoor in the surrounding Kensington Gardens of Hyde Park were captivating enough all by themselves to make it worth the visit.
With four constructions, the series is built with highly reflective stainless steel surfaces, but distorted in different ways to allow visitors to interact with each one; to twist and move themselves and their surroundings to see the world around them in different ways. With some situated far from the viewer, like the round plate Sky Mirror above, and others within touching distance, it forces you to change the way that you look at each one, drawing you into the narrative behind them.
Capturing the park and the sky on their mirrored surface the exhibition was a playful addition to Hyde Park for the winter months, bringing the park to life despite the lack of foliage on the trees. Free to the public, Anish Kapoor’s Turning the World Upside Down remained in Kensington Gardens until the 13th March 2011 and for anyone that was lucky enough to see it for themselves, you definitely made the most of the situation.
It’s easy to see from the mastery and simplicity of the constructions in the outdoor exhibition why he’s become such a well respected sculptor, having previously one the Venice Biennale’s Premio Duemila Prize and the Turner Prize in pretty quick succession in the early nineties. His more recent work has included the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which was commissioned to become a permanent feature of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, having taken pride of place during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Most of the work had been displayed previously, with Sky Mirror having first adorned Rockefeller Center in New York City back in 2006, but it was good to see it all brought together in Hyde park.
Anish Kapoor, Turning the World Upside Down review: 3.8/5 (4.9 when combined with Philippe Perreno’s exhibition)
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