An icy rain is pelting about 30 protesters who’ve converged at the gate of a natural gas drilling site near Manchester, England. On the other side of a fence topped with razor wire, a 10-story-high rig is boring into shale to determine if it’s suitable for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The demonstrators unfurl a banner: “Fracking will poison our children.”
In “Modern British Sculpture” at the Royal Academy , there hangs a little work by an artist named Urs Fischer . “Untitled” (2000) consists of half an apple screwed to half a pear, suspended from a thread.