Exhibition view: Pia Camil, Split Wall, Nottingham Contemporary (14 July–7 October 2018). Courtesy Apollo Magazine. Photo: Stuart Whipps.
Pia Camil’s first solo exhibition in the UK might be called Split Wall but it is actually entirely walled in. The large windows at Nottingham Contemporary that usually offer passers-by a sneak preview have been blocked up, and even the glass doors at the front of the space remain covered. The only way to experience the Mexican artist’s work is to step inside the gallery. Camil invites us to view her new and existing output in a detached landscape; there is to be no connection between the city streets outside and the art inside. This is surprising for an artist who has spent a large part of her career creating work in response to urban spaces, economics and the media. She has explored cross-border trade in Mexico (the city very much informs Camil’s work), recreated billboards using fabric, and produced performances in the streets of Guatemala City. Yet in Nottingham she places us in a dark room with only a short script to guide us.