• APR 27 to JUN 01
    Solo Exhibition
    Gabriel Lester, The Secret Life of Cities


    • Solo Exhibition
    • Emerging Artists

    Dates and Opening hours

    APR 27 to JUN 01, 2013

    El martes - el sábado, 13-18 pm

    Event Location

    Galerie Fons Welters

    Bloemstraat 140 1016 lj Amsterdam

    View website



    In his most recent installation, The Secret Life of Cities, Gabriel Lester places us directly into the middle of a reality defined by cinematographic projections of urban green on two opposite walls. The sound - neutral city noises, occasionally drowned out by a sonorous abstract overtone - enhances the visual experience. The urban environment feels omnipresent.

    The moving images, dominated by archetypal urban green, share a hidden perspective. In the foreground - almost tangible - screens are formed by leaves, branches, needles and blossom, in a hyper-realistic sharpness. The green functions like a screen. Vegetation like a closed curtain. Sometimes as soft as a veil and translucent in a sensual way; sometimes almost impenetrable, like an all-concealing camouflage cloth.

    This image for me immediately evokes associations with the Dutch word 'schaamgroen' (ashamed green), a technical term from the seventies, which urbanists and planners used to typify the green that served in particular to conceal undesirable landscape developments. Think of planted shielding around industrial sites and the low shrubs enclosing dog parks. Despite its tidy dullness this semi-public green, thanks to its concealing ability, proved to form a huge attraction for urban subgroups (think junkies, loitering youth, flashers and tramps), quickly lending ambiguity to the term: green with a touch of menace.

    However, this is a mixed metaphor, since in Lester's installation the ominous sense of mystery is combined in a surprising way with sensuality. The sunlit spring blossom and sensually swaying willow branches, the soft fuzz on the feltlike leaves; these are reassuring images.

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