Renowned architect, Heidi Locher has slowly been carving a reputation in the art world and her upcoming solo show places her firmly on the art map.
Hotel Kalifornia brings together the elements of Locher’s interdisciplinary practice; through the collision of the different facets of her fine art and architectural practices she creates her own Air Architecture. Locher’s intuitive concerns with intensity and atmosphere are a common thread throughout her work. The exhibition explores ideas of disengagement that occur away from one’s home. Hotel Kalifornia (a title which recalls the famous Eagles’ song) looks at the geography of loneliness and the heightened intensity of our inner landscape promulgated by such disengagement and absence.
Alongside projections and photographs, the exhibition centres on a short film, exploring the notion of hidden memories and deep personal anguish. It is a haunting investigation into moments of change that leave mental scars hidden deep within the subconscious. The hotel, a container in which to live, houses the traces of these events and becomes a vessel for these memories. Filmed within a modern hotel room (created by Locher), it has three sections each focusing on one of the three stages of a woman’s life but, poignantly, all the roles are played by the same actress. The terrible moment of change is seen through the eyes of the child. The teenager suffers the consequences of the trauma while the adult experiences the ultimate cathartic release that, in turn, brings redemption. The slow-motion footage, stylised white lighting and penetrating detail, heighten the physical and emotional aspects creating a ghost-like and claustrophobic atmosphere.
The design of the immersive exhibition channels the mood of a hotel with suggested corridors and doors. Having been brought up in a hotel, the theme carries significant emotional sensibilities for Locher who says:
“Hotels are like a musical instrument to me, they have a certain kind of rhythm. I can read them and the people in them and hear their inner workings. I feel I can pick up the vibrations, the intensity and the mood. Hotels have a heightened frequency where tensions lurk and rituals are acted out in an extreme atmosphere which is not really like everyday life.”
Saturday 10th November, 2.30pm: artist-led tour
Monday 12th November, 7pm: An intimate conversation with Heidi Locher - Shoreditch House Members’ Event, (8 places available to non-members and must be booked in advance through email@example.com)
Thursday 15th November, 7pm: Panel Discussion chaired by Stephen Garrett with Heidi Locher, Zoe Pilger, Carol Morley and Jeremy Dixon
Saturday 17th November, 2.30pm: artist-led tour
Thursday 22nd November, 7pm: ArtSpotter users evening opening
Saturday 24th November, 2.30pm: artist-led tour
Notes to Editors:
DVDs of the film work and booklets with limited edition photographs of the LA series, along with a fine art book that traces the film-making process, will be on sale at the exhibition.
Heidi Locher graduated as an architect from the RCA in 1982. After working with Sir Terence Conran, in 1985, she and Richard Paxton went onto set up their own cutting-edge architectural practice - the award-winning Paxton Locher Architects. They married two years later. The practice was identified by its clarity of vision and unwillingness to compromise which to this day characterises Locher’s work. Paxton Locher Architects aimed to push ideas of how people live and work creatively in the metropolis and, in this vein, they pioneered London loft-style living. Among their most notable projects was a succession of homes where they lived and worked including a mixed-use scheme in Clerkenwell Green described by architecture critic Kenneth Powell as “one of the great London houses of the late 20th century.” Following Paxton’s untimely death, in 2007, Locher set up Studio Locher.
Locher graduated with distinction from a Masters in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2006. She has since been involved with group and solo shows most recently at The Blyth Gallery, The Jerwood Space and The Rod Barton Gallery. Her artist books have been shown at the Whitechapel Gallery at London Fine Art Book Fair, Bookartbookshop in Hoxton and the New York Book Fair at the P.S.I. Contemporary Art Centre. She has worked with the smeary sensualness of paint (marrying the figurative nuances of Matisse with the intense violence of Bacon) and the monumentality of concrete to attempt to convey veiled utterances of the unspoken and concealed.
David Alan Mellor: “Heidi Locher has insinuated bile as well as beauty into the realm of the domestic and the public interior.”
Frederick Paxton The young filmographer and artist Frederick Paxton is Locher’s son. He studies and works in New York and London. Paxton studied at Chelsea School of Art in London and is currently finishing his studies as a Silas H Rhodes Scholar, at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In his practice, he is concerned with the power of the visual world around us and the effect that has upon the viewer. Through his creative imagination and uncanny ability to cut straight to the heart of an idea, Paxton has formed a powerful working partnership with Locher.