Many photos in Ian Nairn's famous Outrage issue of The Architectural Review, now half-a-century old, show streets or countryside overhung by a tangle of cables and wires - evidence to Nairn of 'how modern man can reduce technology to meaningless ugliness'. I thought of them for a moment on first seeing Kelly Chorpening's works in the gallery which forms a prominent part of Shillam + Smith's new premises at 122 Great Titchfield St, London W1 (see picture).
Chorpening's show is called Suspended Animation and in the window is one of her large, intricate, suspended constructions - a warped, fractured frame of metal wire with fragments of coloured ribbon, strands of wool and clustered beads attached to it. Her paintings combine the outlines of such constructions with the shadows they cast, so that one visual system overlaps another to make a complex, layered composition. The works are beautifully executed in ink and acrylic on panel: a mixture of the seemingly informal and the carefully crafted that suits Shillam + Smith's offices, where much evidence of previous use survives alongside the architect's new insertions ( www. urbaneye. co. uk).
In contrast to Shillam + Smith's mostly time-marked walls, those of the gallery at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, are a familiar white - and in one room at present, quite empty, apart from some small speakers close to the oor. For the current show, 1:1 - Translations of the Real, the Italian group DE-ABC has transposed to the gallery the sounds of a canal owing through a narrow tunnel in the industrial backlands of Milan's main station; the speakers are just where the mikes were, in this invisible reconstruction of an actual space.
It's one of those urban settings where noise and nearsilence alternate: the rumble of trains overhead, a urry of bells, the steady drip of water. This evocative piece would sit well in Sense of the City at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (see adjacent review), and the companion works at Kettle's Yard - including Fabio Sandri's full-scale photogram of a room and Luca Bertolo's deftly positioned photograph that has you reaching for a 2D handrail - are also worthwhile ( www. kettlesyard. co. uk).