Shelter, 2011

Basel 2017
Sadie Coles HQ, kurimanzutto, Galleria Franco Noero, Regen Projects, Esther Schipper
marble slabs, cans, wood, paint, clothes, metal guardrails, fabric
300.0 x 1150.0 x 200.0 (cm)
118.1 x 452.8 x 78.7 (inch)
Shelter is one of Gabriel Kuri’s largest installations to date, and takes the form of a long floor-based assemblage of found and fabricated materials. The work comprises an inventory of possessions, whose various elements either rest or lean in place. Freestanding ‘privacy’ screens, marble slabs, giant matchsticks, a bundle of coats, and other materials are arranged in a compartmentalized format. At the heart of the installation are themes of shelter, economics, disaster and housing – recurring concerns in Kuri’s work – that have particular resonance and relevance in light of the international refugee crises of the past year. Shelter was first shown at the South London Gallery in 2011, as part of Kuri’s solo exhibition ‘Before Contingency, After the Fact’. The title of that exhibition reflects this work’s combination of solid physical form and open-ended meaning. Through its register of diverse elements, Shelter invests matter-of-fact materiality with a sense of contingency, temporariness, or openness to re-configuration.