4 October – 15 November 2008. Opening Friday 3 October, 6 – 8pm
‘Invisible Oil’ by Austrian artist Ernst Logar features prints and sculptural pieces made with/using crude oil, alongside a series of new photographs and documentation of the artist’s efforts to access key locations in the oil sector not visible to the public.
Aberdeen, the UK base for North Sea oil and gas extraction, is a centre of the global energy sector, yet the activities of the industry are largely hidden from public view. ‘Invisible Oil’ aims to make key aspects of the oil industry in Scotland publicly visible.
Saturday 4 October, 2pm. Admission free.
One piece forms a mirror of moving oil in the form of a perspex box continuously pumped through with crude. A second work, a series of prints produced with crude oil and plastic debris, reunites the materials which of course come from the same origin.
Also on show is a new series of photographs of oil-rig shaped sculptures of plastic rubbish – the rarely recognized evidence of the oil industry’s permeation of all aspects of modern life.
The artist assembled each sculpture from rubbish found on one of Aberdeen’s beaches and photographed the rig he constructed against the shore-line of that same beach.
While many North Sea Rigs have been named after Scottish birds – such as the ‘Brent Goose’, Logar’s petroleum-based structures carry the names of the most deprived neighbourhoods of Aberdeen. In doing this he suggests a connection between social inequality in a city that is nominally one of the richest in the UK and the politics of oil, the source of its wealth.
Logar’s work is based on painstaking research. In the exhibition he documents his communication with companies from the North-east oil industry as he attempts to gain access to crucial locations in the production process.
The series forms a new contribution to Ernst Logar’s long-term project ‘Non Public Spaces’ which deals with spaces which are not open to ordinary citizens, but have a crucial political, economic or social impact on our lives.
Peacock Visual Arts’ curator Monika Vykoukal said: “This timely exhibition shows a wide range of works, that are both visually stunning and invite an investigation of the connections of our economic basis to public life in Aberdeen. Ernst Logar, supported by locals, who generously shared their knowledge, has created a stunning series of works, that consider oil from the material aspect to the social connections between areas like North Field and the Oil Fields.”
Invisible Oil is supported by BMUKK – the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture.