Katia Barrett
Three Series: The Geology of Piss, Multiple Lives of Pearl Roundabout and Knots

Exhibition open:

10.11.12 – 2.12.12
Sat. – Sun. 12:00 – 18:00

Private view:

Thursday November 8th, 19:00 – 21:00


Three series is composed of a trio of works in loose relation to one another. Beneath their repetition of materials and signs, and similarly laborious processes of materialisation, they share an underlying critical urgency and political dissatisfaction.

Multiple Lives of Pearl Roundabout chronicles the various transformations of a monument that once stood in a prominent roundabout in Bahrain. In March 2011, the Bahraini regime tore down pearl monument as a means of un-grounding the resistance movement. In a swift response to the destruction, makeshift replicas began to appear sporadically across the island. This series archives this co-performance by re-materialising the re-authored forms, investigating the political potency imbued in them.


Based on mathematical knot diagrams that depict homeomorphic shapes, each Knot painting delineates new curves that have extended its form, further complicating the shape from the original. In one of the diagrams the limbs of protesters have linked to form a mutation of the same knot, suggesting a tension between political vitality and essentialism.

The Geology of Piss was initially conducted over two working weeks, whereby documentation of urine soaked buildings was collected every night within the financial district. In an article in the Metro, a spokesman from The National Gallery suggested that urine from late night drinkers was corroding the stone of the listed building. The Geology of Piss is an attempt to locate a correlation between these imperceptible constellations of erosion and the seemingly immaterial social and economic formations within the city of London. What are the material linkages between physical and societal erosion?