Mark Boulos/ Gerard Byrne/ Richard Wenworth- Lisson Gallery
Lisson Gallery is proud to announce three simultaneous exhibitions in London of new works by Mark Boulos, Gerard Byrne, and Richard Wentworth, from January 30 to March 9.
No Permanent Address
29 Bell Street
Boulos spent eight weeks living in the Philippine jungle with two guerilla squads of the New People’s Army (NPA), a Communist insurgency which is currently designated as a terrorist organisation by the EU and USA. The resulting work ruminates on the persistence of Communism beyond its supposed death, focussing on the powerful personal narratives of the soldiers. In conjunction with the film, the artist will present a series of large-scale photographs dating from his time in the jungle.
Present Continuous Past
52-54 Bell Street
The works on display examine the conditions that underpin the artistic process and methods of cultural production. They have been selected to act as a thematic adjunct to the Whitechapel Gallery’s major survey of the artist’s work, to open on 17January 2013.Characterised by a laconic humour, Byrne’s projects examine the ambiguities of language and of what is gained or lost in the translation from text to image. By reconstructing historically charged conversations, interviews and performances, Byrne tests our perception of the past and the present, and the relationship of textual to visual information.In the video work Subject, Byrne takes the Modernist architecture of the University of Leeds –conceived in 1960 by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, architects of London’s Barbican Centre – as a starting point for a broader examination of the radical changes in post-war UK society and of the dialectic relationship that exists between individuals and the built environment that surrounds them.The ongoing series Images or shadows of divine things will also form part of the exhibition at Lisson Gallery.Referencing a text by the 18th century American theologian Jonathan Edwards, the work meditates upon an American orthodox theological tradition which perceives the natural world as clear evidence of the Divine and as a series of sequential ‘images’, each of which is pre-figured in the bible. Intrigued by the way in which this once influential theology effectively negates the very idea of history and change over time, Byrne presents a series of monochrome images of the United States, that while made over the course of the last seven years, evoke the photographic grammar of American mid-century photography and appear to depict an earlier time. The images enact the historical inertia of Edwards’ belief system and raise fundamental questions about how we construct the past as a ‘different’ place. Like Subject, the series challenges our understanding of photographic truth and of the role of the image in interpreting the world.
29 Bell Street
A leading figure in contemporary British Sculpture, Richard Wentworth continues to radically challenge the way we think about the material of the world. His artistic language confronts the way in which objects are used and experienced in the everyday, acquiring independent meaning whilst being tied to systems of grammar and usage.
Working with ready-mades and often incongruous found items, Wentworth transforms, juxtaposes and manipulates them into arrangements that subvert their intended use and undermine their supposedly routine and ‘fixed’ nature. He organises his imagery to be ‘read’ as a text and as a means of negotiating the protocol of forms. The viewer is encouraged to acknowledge the agency of the object and the dialectic relationship that exists between man and things. The exhibition at Lisson Gallery will feature the ambitious site-specific installation A Room Full of Lovers (2013), informed by Gaudi’s calculations for the structure of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. The installation, consisting of a steel chain anchored high above and falling in catenaries all the way around the gallery space, explores the role of gravity and perception as artistic tools.
The work encloses the viewer and binds them to the spatial and linear narrative of the chains; implicated in the loops and material divisions are the highs and lows of human social and physical relations.
A new series of photographs will be presented alongside the sculptural work in the exhibition. Here the (generally urban) motive is examined as though a ready-made. Everyday objects, geometries and uncanny situations are brought to the viewer’s attention. Wentworth casts light on the uneasy qualities of the mundane, which punctuates the city streets, his favoured space of conception. Coinciding with the exhibition, Wentworth will unveil a significant public project, Black Maria, on the 12 February. Created in collaboration with Swiss architecture practice GRUPPE it is part of Relay, a nine-year arts programme that is turning the area around Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design into a destination for discovering international contemporary art. The second commission in the King’s Cross series, Black Maria, is a structure that acts as a place of meeting, based around discussion, performance and moving images.
Lisson Gallery-Bell Street, London