Antique pieces and contemporary photography are not usually part of the same equation, but at ‘Opening the Shutters’ the odd combination really pays off. The exhibition – running from 27.11.13 through 21.12.13 – springs from the collaboration between Mallett London and The Wapping Project’s Jules Wright.
On Tuesday, 26.11.13 an exquisite crowd of photography lovers and antiques experts gathered at Ely House to explore the exhibition. In each room, the line between past and present became gorgeously blurred. Downstairs, the dark tones of Paolo Roversi’s hunting portraits stood out beautifully on the red walls.
Up the magnificent staircase, we encountered the bleak atmospheres of Mitra Tabrizian’s photos. The RA Rose Award’s winner focuses on single individuals. She puts them at the centre of her portraits, deep into an oppressing void where no human contact seems possible.
But the ultimate treat is in one of the rooms upstairs, where Edgar Martins’ Space Series is on display for the first time. The contrast between astronauts garments and a neoclassically furnished room is magical, making it impossible to leave the room without feeling the least dazed.
With champagne glasses in their hands, guests – including LFW icon Pandemonia - wandered around the palace, checking out other works by Thomas Zanon-Larcher, Elina Brotherus, Jacqueline Hassink and Peter Marlow. Princess Julia’s sound added a further touch of destabilizing modernity to the general atmosphere. A very classy evening, with an unexpected time-travelling twist.
Words by Margherita Maspero
Images courtesy of Marta Knaś