Anton Alvarez brings ‘The Extruder’ to London

Swedish-Chilean artist Anton Alvarez will bring his self-built ‘Extruder’ machine to London for the first time in February 2022 as part of a new performance and installation commissioned by Brookfield Properties.

The Stockholm-based artist will transform a ground floor retail unit at Brookfield Properties’ 100 Bishopsgate building, located between Leadenhall and Liverpool Street Station, into a pop-up month-long performance space.

Alvarez will create sculptural works in the pop-up using his new self-built ten-tonne-strong ceramic press, named ‘The Extruder’, which squeezes out unique column sculptures, that he will then dry and spray paint in the premises.

As part of the installation, the artist will create new works by reappropriating clay that was used to create sculptures for his Roman Toothpaste MMXXI show at Vandalorum in Sweden. Alvarez will grind down the old sculptures at 100 Bishopsgate to create six striking large-scale clay columns.

The new sculptures, together with a curated selection of smaller, pre-existing works, will form an exhibition at 100 Bishopsgate that will open at the end of February 2022. The sculptures will act as remnants of the performance that preceded them, reflecting Alvarez’s two-part process. Audiences will be able to follow the creation of the installation from start to finish, with the pop-up studio, and the resulting exhibition, open to visitors.

Anton Alvarez, said: “In Chile, unfired clay is used as a building material. We call it ‘adobe’, an unfired, air-dried clay brick. My grandmother’s house was in fact built with adobe. I think of that house and how it relates to me personally, but also how it relates to the history of architecture, clay and ceramics. I have developed a technique where, with the help of my self-built extruder, I can make columns that are air-dried and spray-painted where they’ve been created. Like my grandmother’s house, my columns could last for hundreds of years, or as is the case with my performance at Brookfield Properties, they can be recycled, turned into clay again and rebuilt using the same technique at a different site.”

Saff Williams, Curator, Brookfield Properties, said: “Anton Alvarez will present six new works at 100 Bishopsgate. His column-like forms are the perfect counterbalance to the expansive open architecture of the reception. We hope the performance onsite will spark site-specific inspiration ahead of the show’s final installation and allow our community access into the inner workings of an artist at work. Creating new works from the physical remnants of past shows, Anton’s performative practice with The Extruder allows a continuum from his larger body of work and a rebirth of new ideas and forms. We are delighted to show him in 2022.”

Caitlin Warfield – Vice President, U.K. Office Division Brookfield Properties, said: “We are thrilled to be kicking off our arts and culture programme for 2022, our most ambitious year to date, with Anton Alvarez. Our commitment is and always has been to enliven our spaces and Anton’s work will enable us to create an even greater experience for visitors. Anyone can pop in to see the artist at work in February 2022, giving audiences a rare behind the scenes insight into a contemporary art practice.”

Anton Alvarez’s performance at 100 Bishopsgate runs from 7th to 25th February 2022. The exhibition opens on 28th February and runs until 25th November 2022. Both are free for members of the public to attend.