Olympic State exhibition, See Studio, London
Pegged as the polished wheels to London’s mega-machine of urban progress, the upcoming Olympic Games is sure to be a stellar affair. The raw and unfinished landscape that precedes the final event however - shown in full (if a little covert) CCTV glory - is what artist Jim Woodall is preoccupied with in his ’Olympic State’ exhibition.
The show is made up of footage and stills taken in the two weeks Woodall engaged in undetected and unofficial filming of the Olympic Park construction site back in December 2010, which he recorded from the confines of a self-made hut pieced together from locally found objects.
Erected on the rooftop of an abandoned warehouse overlooking the site, the hut - which has since been reinstalled in the gallery space - acted as Woodall’s personal live/work hideout. With its make-shift screen-filled control room, the whole exercise resembles a security operation in its own right, and Woodall’s isolated view of the Olympic security camera rigs and ground-patrolling security vans eerily mirrors the efforts of the officially-appointed construction site security team.
The exhibition marks See Studio’s opening of its new exhibition space in Hackney Wick, and the connection between the gallery’s launch and its subject matter is intentional - Hackney Wick is, after all, the Olympic site’s neighbour. So if this show has whetted an appetite for more site-specific discovery, then Giles Price’s ’Macroscopic Olympiad’, opening on 19 May, will satisfy all curiosity. Showcasing a series of aerial photographs of the Olympic park, Price’s body of work documents the site during a period of rapid construction.