In a pensive corner of Covent Garden, the Swiss Church has opened its doors for its annual collaboration with a curator from the MFA course at Goldsmiths. This year, Marian Stindt has brought the work of Patrick Hough into the hallowed halls. On the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, when churches across Northern Europe had their religious symbols destroyed and defiled, we find the destruction of icons continues throughout the Levant: this show drawing a thread between past and present.
Reflecting the perplexing combination of primeval destructive tendencies and the postmodern form of ISIS, Hough uses cutting-edge technologies to reproduce ancient forms. ‘Site-specific’ is a term which is sometimes bandied-about, but this show is exemplary of an ideal marriage between space and the work inside. The centrepiece is an AV installation with a digital animation of a destroyed Palmyran relic: displayed on a futuristic transparent screen, perched on the apse. Similarly, a climb upstairs to the organist’s reaches will reveal what at first glance looks like a statue’s lithic head – the press release explains that it is in fact made of milled polystyrene: a testament to the fact that technological advance does not always serve to erase our history. But regardless, the present is still populated with humans and their destructive tendancies.