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London: Dobrucka

January 15, 2015 - February 16, 2015

By Set Square, Compass and Eye
Emma Charles and Alicja Dobrucka
at South Kiosk
Private View: 15th of January from 6:30pm

Opening Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 12noon – 6pm
Saturday: 12noon – 4pm


Considering the set square, compass and eye as starting points for surveying or constructing global infrastructure, South Kiosk will bring together new photographic works by Emma Charles alongside a selection of works from Alicja Dobrucka’s Life is on a New High series.

Charles’ project documents the Allegheny Mountain region in Pennsylvania, USA. In 2010, the Allegheny mountains were drilled through to make way for fibre-optic cables that link the major trading capitals of America – New York and Chicago. Carried out largely in secret, the $300 million project created small tunnels through the rock of the mountain in order to speed up high-frequency trading times by a matter of milliseconds.

Dobrucka’ s Life is on a New High aims to address the issue of the changing landscape of Mumbai, home to the largest number of supertalls and skyscrapers under construction in the world. Rising above greenery and tarpaulin, they tower over the slums that house the majority of Mumbaikers. Most of the skyscrapers are residential, and are marketed as aspirational housing for the newly rich. Placed alongside glossy architectural imagery, accompanying advertising copy invites the viewer to “Ask how much envy you can endure?” or to consider that “Other homes have works of art, yours is one”. These adverts, running inside India’s largest press publications, demonstrate the importance placed on possessing luxury items as a sign of wealth and power in India while also conveying a localisation of the rhetoric used to market products in the West.

Both works consider a landscape that is being impacted in different capacities by economic growth and technological change. The impact is subtle in Charles’ project. Wooden poles only a few feet high serve as markers for the cabling that links New York and Chicago in the name of the stock market. The economic importance of time and space becomes apparent, as does the seemingly omnipresent nature of the technology which pervades her subjects. Conversely, Dobrucka’s subject matter has a far more overbearing presence. Whilst the subject in Charles’ work appear unaffected, the landscape in Life is on a New High is changing dramatically as a result of the changing aspirations and motivations of Mumbai’s affluents.


© Alicja Dobrucka, Experience the Richness


January 15, 2015
February 16, 2015
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South Kiosk
Unit B, Flatiron Yard, 14 Ayres Street
London, SE1 1ES United Kingdom
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