A taste of lavish Romanian opulence has come to Stoke Newington. Or at least a photocopy of it has. Peles Empire, recent winners of the 2009 Deutsche Bank Award, are currently slapping up the wallpaper on Stoke Newington’s newest and most velvety gallery space at 55 Kynaston Road, N16.
“We like when there is an interaction between the work, sometimes it is work that you wouldn’t think would work in here that looks the best,” says Katharina Stoever, who runs the project together with Barbara Wolff.
The project is one of a series of works by Stoever and Wolff that transforms boring white gallery walls into one of the rooms of Peles Castle, a lavishly decorated Romanian castle that sits at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. The 19th century castle is more like a palace really, with each of its 170 rooms and 30 bathrooms an exact copy of a specific architectural style ranging from Art Deco, Moorish, to Baroque.
“In the gallery, we are copying a room that is a copy. It is interesting to see that shift of quality from 3D to 2D and it questions the role of the gallery space as a white cube,” reflects Wolff.
The pair have spent weeks printing and pasting copies of the castle’s Oriental Room for the Kynaston Road gallery, transforming the small ground floor store-front space into gold and red-velvet brilliance.
“From such a cheap material as A3 paper comes such a rich environment,” says Wolff.
The Oriental Room is one of eight other rooms the pair have completed since 2005. Looking back at art hanging on the walls of the previous rooms/galleries the pair have done, (including the Florentine Hall, Pelisor, and the Imperial Apartment) the result gives a teeth-gnashing shimmer, something so rich and lovely it’s hard to look at at first.
Peles Empire surely bring out something new to experience within the usual white-walled gallery space, or at least this is something they would like us to gleefully ponder (perhaps while twisting our imaginary mustaches!)
The gallery will open on 17 December at 6pm, followed by a year-long series of exhibitions from international artists including the first exhibition in mid-January 2010 curated by Karl Orton.
For more information see http://pelesempire.com.