TABARIUM
KRISTAN HORTON

15 APRIL–24 JUNE 2016

WORK is pleased to host Tabarium, the first UK exhibition of Berlin-based Canadian artist Kristan Horton.

In Tabarium, and other work, Horton uses a variety of media to elaborate on the ways in which movement is represented, and the ways in which ‘things’ are generated and regenerated.

Since the 1990s, Horton’s preoccupations have included the consumption of texts and mass media, the representation of simultaneous and rotated scenes, and the visualisation of power generation. Well known for his photographic series Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove, 2003—2006, for which he recreated scenes of the Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 1964, using items from his studio, Horton presents a range of sculptural forms that challenge and question the boundaries of the real, the approximate and the virtual.
 

 

 

 

 

Ode on a Tab

O box shape! Fair weight! with beads

Of milky mend and typography overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, mulched form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Foul Flap!

When snack waste defines a generation, Tab shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,

“Garbage is form, form garbage,— that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” 

 

 

CAROLEE SCHNEEMAN
UNFORGIVABLE

27 NOVEMBER 2015–11 MARCH 2016

Carolee Schneemann is one of the most important artists of the post-war period. Her work in a range of media—painting, film, video, dance and performance, constructions and installations, the written word, and assemblage—presents an unparalleled catalogue of radical aesthetic experimentation. Throughout the last 50 years, Schneemann has participated in some of the most significant formulations of the avant-garde, having made crucial contributions in Fluxus, happenings, expanded cinema, and performance cultures, while complicating any generic definitions that might cohere to her work.

Meat Joy (still), 1964–2010

Meat Joy (still), 1964–2010

Carolee Schneemann: Unforgivable celebrates the release of a new book of the same name with an exhibition of film and materials from Schneemann’s expansive oeuvre. The exhibition presents ten films, from pioneering experiments in personal cinema, Fuses, 1964–1966, and Plumb Line, 1968–1971, to works based on her now canonical performances, Meat Joy, 1964–2010, Up To and Including Her Limits, 1976, and Interior Scroll, 1975–1995, and her explorations of feline companionship, Infinity Kisses—The Movie, 2008, and Kitch’s Last Meal, 1973–1976.

The films are presented alongside rare items of ephemera collected during the research for the book: invitation cards, posters, contact sheets and photographs document a restless and transgressive life and career. The exhibition is completed with intimate photographs of Schneemann’s nineteenth century farmhouse in New York state—where works like Meat Joy and Up To and Including Her Limits were conceived and where Schneemann shot Fuses and Kitch’s Last Meal.

Schneemann (b 1939) lives in Springtown, New York. She has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and publications throughout her career, and her work is in the collections of Tate Modern, Commune di Milano, Centre Georges Pompidou, Muzeum Wspóczesne Wrocaw, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Carolee Schneemann: Unforgivable is published by Black Dog Publishing. It is edited by Kenneth White and features contributions from Stéphane Aquin, Emily Caigan, R Bruce Elder, Ron Hanson, Juan Carlos Kase, Brett Kashmere, Anette Kubitza, Erica Levin, Scott MacDonald, Thomas McEvilley, Ara Osterweil, Melissa Ragona, Maura Reilly and Kristine Stiles.

 

MALCOLM CRAIG GILBERT

12 JUNE–24 JULY 2015

Post Traumatic Exorcism and Flashbacks: Irrational Fears of the Ordinary is Malcolm Craig Gilbert’s first solo exhibition. The photographs explore the personal experience of living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Malcolm Craig Gilbert was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1964. He served as a police officer for 18 years during the Troubles before being medically retired due to the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2003.

As a means of rehabilitation, he took up photography, discovering a medium through which to express himself. Gilbert was nominated for deeper perspective photographer of the year at the 2008 International photography awards, had work accepted for the prix de la photographie AFTERMATH exhibition in 2010, and won third place at the IPA’s Editorial: War/Conflict category in 2012. This is the first time his work has been exhibited in England.


After the Agreement: Contemporary Photography in Northern Ireland by Sarah Tuck is an exploration of contemporary photography in Belfast after the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and its relationship to a duty of memory, and ideas of justice and betrayal.

The book draws on a series of conversations prompted by the photographic practice of John Duncan, Kai Olaf Hesse, Mary McIntyre, David Farrell, Paul Seawright and Malcolm Craig Gilbert and includes reproductions of a selection of photographs from the participating photographers.

The publication is available to order now at www.blackdogonline.com.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

27 January–5 June 2015
 

An eclectic, provocative exhibition that features artists who have collaborated with Black Dog Publishing, WORK Gallery's parent-company, over the past 20 years.

After The Flash: Photography from the Atomic Archive
10 October–20 December 2014

Private View
Thursday 9 October, 6.00–8.00pm

Photography plays a crucial role in shaping public perceptions of the atomic age and its legacy of anxiety. Cameras not only record nuclear events, but also assist in their production—whether as agents of scientific measurement, propaganda or protest. They witness the unseeable on our behalf, giving form to the invisible forces and forbidden sites that haunt popular conceptions of the nuclear world.

After The Flash: Photography from the Atomic Archive explores the intertwined histories of photography and nuclear technologies, and the camera’s role in constructing the public image of atomic energy and ‘the bomb’. The exhibition contrasts the ‘technological sublime’ that dominates much nuclear-themed photography—from mushroom clouds to cooling towers—with representations of personal encounters and experiences, tracing the hazy lines between spectacle and humanitarian documentation. Photographic fragments offer insight into broader nuclear narratives and reveal recurring tensions between invisibility and visibility, and obliteration and transformation.

Drawing on the extensive personal ‘atomic archive’ of art historian and curator John O’Brian, After The Flash focuses on North American visual culture in the early decades of the Cold War from the 1940s to the 1960s, coinciding with the emerging ‘golden age’ of photojournalism. The exhibition comprises three sections: Cameras and Clouds; At Work in the Fields of the Bomb; and The Culture of Contamination. 

After The Flash is curated by John O’Brian and Marianne Templeton and marks the publication of Camera Atomica by Black Dog Publishing, a survey exploring the intersection of photography and the atomic age published in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada. Camera Atomica is edited by John O’Brian and precedes a major retrospective exhibition of nuclear photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2015.

 

 

Panel Discussion: Tuesday 14 October, 6.30–8.00 pm
Through a Radioactive Lens
Speakers: Iain Boal, Daniel Grausam, Susan Schuppli and John Timberlake
Moderator: John O’Brian

Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives
8 August–27 September 2014

Private View
Thursday 7 August, 6.00–8.00 pm

 

Stanley Kubrick’s auterism and attention to detail are legendary. A voracious absorber and synthesiser of all forms of information, Kubrick involved himself in all aspects of his films, from initial research through to publicity.

A distinctive feature of Kubrick’s unique visual style was the development of filmic spaces that are imaginative and often fantastic, yet also absorbing and ‘believable’ in their completeness of vision. To achieve this effect on screen, a high level of detail was required during pre-production and production stages: not just in regards to the physical sets and models, but also lighting, editing, and other framing and emphatic devices. The ways in which the actors and the camera inhabited the sets created psychological spaces overlaying these physical environments.

Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives explores pivotal spaces from three of the director’s films: the Discovery spaceship from 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968; The Overlook Hotel from The Shining, 1980; and Huế City from Full Metal Jacket, 1987. All three filmic spaces are, in their own ways, disorienting experiences that draw attention to humans’ relationships with their environment, and the interplay between perception and physical place. Through original documents and photographs on loan from the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London (UAL), the exhibition provides a glimpse of the extensive research, innovative techniques and meticulous designs that Kubrick used to make these spaces come alive on screen and seize the imaginations of generations of viewers.

The exhibition marks the publication of Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives by Black Dog Publishing, a collection of essays by scholars working closely with the Stanley Kubrick Archive to gain new insights into Kubrick’s 50 years of filmmaking, edited by Richard Daniels, Peter Krämer and Tatjana Ljujić. The anthology will be available in October at the special launch price of £24 (RRP £29.95) from PAPERWORK Bookshop.

Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives is curated by Marianne Templeton.

 

The Architectural Review: A Cover Story
29 May–28 June 2014

Private View
Wednesday 28 March, 6.00–8.00 pm

WORK and Artifice books on architecture are pleased to present The Architectural Review: A Cover Story, an exhibition tracing The Architectural Review’s graphic and scholarly evolution under the direction of Hubert de Cronin Hastings, whose theory of Townscape greatly influenced the magazine’s ethos and aesthetic during the 1940s and 1950s.

Hastings became joint director of the magazine in 1925 and fulfilled various supervisory roles until his retirement in 1973. The 50 years of Hastings’ career in architectural journalism were the years during which the modern movement rose in Britain and, according to many accounts, also began to fall.

Like many of his architect contemporaries, Hastings felt that English architecture had lost its way after the Regency period, and that the modern movement emerging in Europe in the 1920s showed potential to recover a closer relationship between art and life. Under Hastings’ direction, The Architectural Review advocated greater sensitivity to the psychological needs of the individual and society; a renewed faith in the spirit of the amateur; appreciation for the accidental features of towns; and an idea of progress in which new development would be woven into historical urban fabric.

Townscape became the overall term for transforming these ideas into a recognisable way of seeing and acting. It was a word that Hastings claimed (erroneously) to have invented, although he was effective in giving it a new definition and popularising it. Under this heading, using a number of collaborators, he developed the potential of applying Picturesque theory to the problems of post-war cities as a corrective to current orthodoxy, and it is with this long-running project that he is chiefly associated. Though Hastings’ approach was criticised for a lack of systematic thinking and disengagement from social reality, townscape did gain a new relevance in the 1960s following the rise of public interest in architectural conservation, leading to the publication of The Italian Townscape as a special issue of The Architectural Review in June 1962 and in book form the following year.

The tension between conservatism and progress marked all Hastings’ thinking and enterprises, from his influence on The Architectural Review and the staff that he hired to the paradoxical creation of a neo-Victorian pub as a setting for the leaders of modernism. Under his direction, The Architectural Review maintained a lively dialogue between past and present. Like many of his contemporaries, Hastings saw architecture as one element in a range of reforming activities, spanning from domestic furnishing and equipment to the planning of cities and regions, and this variety was reflected in the magazine’s content and design.

The Architectural Review: a Cover Story will feature rare back issues of the journal and other related ephemera on loan from personal collections. The exhibition material has been selected and annotated by writer and researcher Alan Powers, who together with Erdem Erten authored the introduction to Artifice books on architecture’s recent reprint of The Italian Townscape, Hastings’ 1963 publication under the pseudonym Ivor de Wolfe.

PUBLICATION: THE ITALIAN TOWNSCAPE

Originally published by The Architecture Press in 1963, The Italian Townscape was written by Hubert de Cronin Hastings under the pseudonym Ivor de Wolfe, with photographs taken by himself and his wife Hazel (Ivy de Wolfe). The book addresses Hastings’ concerns about the blandness of modern consumer society and celebrates Italian towns and cities as theatrical backgrounds for everyday life. In Hastings’ typically idiosyncratic style, The Italian Townscape explores the function and importance of individual urban elements such as pedestrian networks, remoteness, flatness, parking, floor pattern, violence, sideshows, street furniture, defensive armour and all creeping things.

The 2013 hardback reprint of The Italian Townscape by Artifice books on architecture features an introductory essay by Erdem Erten and Alan Powers and will be available from PAPERWORK Bookshop at the special discounted price of £20 (RRP £24.95) throughout the exhibition.

 

 

Phil Bergerson: American Artifacts
21 March–10 May 2014

 

Private View
Thursday 20 March, 6.00–8.00 pm

Book Launch
Tuesday 15 April, 6.30–8.00 pm
Phil Bergerson in conversation with Marco Bohr, followed by a book signing

Since 1995, Canadian photographer Phil Bergerson has made numerous extended road-trips throughout the United States, criss-crossing the continent in search of the scattered remnants of the ‘American Dream’.

American Artifacts presented an extract from this sweeping topographical survey. Bergerson’s photographs unearth liminal spaces inscribed with the residue of human behaviour and surplus cultural production: places where detritus, disappointments and desires collide in shop window displays, hand-painted mural and crudely made signs. Operating as both documentary photographer and cultural commentator, Bergerson draws on the American social landscape tradition to assemble a complex and poetic photographic portrait of a nation in transition.

The exhibition coincided with the publication of American Artifacts by Black Dog Publishing, a unique photographic book featuring seven suites of tightly sequenced images bracketed by the writings of Margaret Atwood and Nathan Lyons.

ABOUT PHIL BERGERSON

Phil Bergerson (Toronto, 1947) has been photographing and exhibiting internationally for over 40 years. His work can be found in many significant public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Now Professor Emeritus, Bergerson taught photography at Ryerson University, Toronto for 30 years where he received many awards including the prestigious Sahota Award for excellence in teaching and creative research. His critically acclaimed book, Shards of America was published in 2004 and exhibited throughout North America. The combination of his work in Shards and American Artifacts represents a powerful insight into the ironic twists and turns in American cultural value systems over the past 20 years. He is represented by Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

 

 

Reconnecting Cultures: The Architecture of Rocco Design
14 November – 20 December 2013

PLUS: CHRISTMAS SALE WEEK!
50% OFF ALL BOOKSHOP STOCK FROM 14 NOVEMBER – 20 DECEMBER

WORK is pleased to present Reconnecting Cultures: The Architecture of Rocco Design, an exhibition of work by one of the most sensitive and progressive practices to emerge from the Far East.

Rocco Design Architects’ work is grounded in the belief that architecture is the embodiment of culture. Based in Hong Kong–where modern and traditional cultures co-exist, and values from diverging times and places converge and collide–the practice employs different aesthetic and cultural strategies to respond to disparate cultural and physical landscapes.

Through architectural models, photographic prints and sketches, Reconnecting Cultures explores how Rocco Design Architects gives formal expression to concepts that underpin contemporary culture: identity, spatiality, community, density, connectivity and materiality. The exhibition includes material relating to several of the firm’s key projects, including: Guangdong Museum and Guangzhou City Library in Guangzhou; School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, iSQUARE and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government Headquarters in Hong Kong; and Bamboo Pavilion, Berlin.

To coincide with the exhibition, WORK is pleased to welcome Rocco Design Architects’ founding co-director, Rocco Yim to participate in two AfterWORK Events.

Yim will be in conversation with Paul Finch, editorial director of the Architects’ Journal and the Architectural Review, on Saturday 16 November, 3-4.30 pm at WORK. Yim will also give an open guest lecture at Central Saint Martins on Friday 15 November, 6–7.30 pm. Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Arts, London will introduce the lecture.

Following both events, Yim will be available to sign copies of Reconnecting Cultures: The Architecture of Rocco Design, the recent monograph on the work of Rocco Design Architects published by Artifice Books on Architecture.

ABOUT ROCCO DESIGN ARCHITECTS

Rocco Design Architects is a Chinese architectural practice based in Hong Kong. Currently, the practice has seven directors and about 170 staff with offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Their works have received consistent acclaim both locally and overseas, and have been awarded a First  Award for the L’Opéra Bastille international competition in 1983; ARCASIA Gold Medals in 1994 and 2003; the Chicago Athenaeum Architectural Awards in 2006, 2011 and 2013; the Kenneth F Brown Award in 2007; and the WAF category winner in 2011. The firm has exhibited four times in the Venice Biennale over the last decade, in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2012.

PUBLICATION: RECONNECTING CULTURES

The exhibition celebrates the publication of Reconnecting Cultures: The Architecture of Rocco Design, a comprehensive survey of Rocco Design Architects’ work to date by Artifice Books on Architecture. An introduction by founding co-director Rocco Yim, and contributions from eminent architectural commentators Fumihiko Maki, Kenneth Frampton and Peter Cook explore the underlying theoretical, structural and aesthetic preoccupations that shape the practice’s work and give it resonance within both a Chinese and an increasingly global context. Throughout the exhibition, Reconnecting Cultures is available form PAPERWORK Bookshop for the special price of £20 (RRP £24.95).

Luis Jacob: In a Material World

12 September – 2 November 2013
Artist’s Reception: Tuesday 15 October 2013, 6–8 pm

In a Material World, the first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom by contemporary Canadian artist Luis Jacob.

Jacob uses processes of visual association, framing and editing to liberate images and objects from existing systems and draw attention to the conditions of spectatorship. In a Material World explores concepts of the “look” and the “encounter”, as well as the complex ways in which we relate to the objects around us.

Jacob’s exhibitions are carefully composed to create tensions and dislocations of meaning between elements. An arrangement of ceramic vases near the gallery entrance introduced the notion of an “object world”, a central theme of the exhibition. The ceramics are derived from the installation Habitat, 2005, originally presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the Kunstverein, Hamburg: Jacob reiterates and repurposes objects and images to highlight the ability of “things” to accrue cultural and personal histories.

Continuing this trajectory is a new instalment in Jacob’s ongoing Album series, Album XI, produced especially for the exhibition at WORK. Composed of hundreds of images cut from various magazines and books, and assembled together in the manner of a scrapbook or photo album, Album XI creates an “image world” that reflects on our lives with objects.

In this way, two aesthetic registers are placed side by side: one governed by visuality and the semiotics of photographic imagery, and another governed by object-relations and embodied behaviour in the gallery. Both registers depict this world as one that is constructed, as something that we play a part in forming, reforming, deforming and transforming, even as we are also informed and shaped by it.

The Inhabitants, 2008, a series of black and white photographs depicting nude persons inhabiting an uncannily civilised environment, also explores the relationship between the self and the constructed landscape. These interiors lack windows and therefore provide no trace of a natural outdoors, while the nudists’ casual lack of self-consciousness suggests an absence of social prohibitions.

PRINT EDITION: THE DEMONSTRATION

Jacob has created the silkscreen print The Demonstration, the ninth addition to WORK’s limited edition print series, to correspond with the exhibition. Referencing Jacob’s continued interest in the history of the monochrome and the function of the frame, The Demonstration enacts an encounter between pictorial representation and the void. Click here for further details.

PUBLICATION: LUIS JACOB: SEEING AND BELIEVING

The exhibition coincides with the new publication Luis Jacob: Seeing and Believing, an illustrated overview of Jacob’s work featuring extensive documentation of three recent exhibitions in Montreal and Toronto, alongside essays by curators Marie Fraser, David Liss and Anne-Marie Ninacs. Accompanying these critical perspectives is a text written by the artist, titled “Groundless in the Museum: Anarchism and the Living Work of Art”. Click here for further details.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Luis Jacob (born 1971, Peru) is an artist, writer, curator and educator based in Toronto. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including documenta 12, Kassel; Barbican Centre, London; Generali Foundation, Vienna; and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York. Key solo exhibitions include L’œil, la brèche, l’image/They Eye, the Hole, the Picture at the McCord Museum, Montreal in 2012; Pictures at an Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto in 2011; and Tableaux Vivants at Fonderie Darling, Montreal in 2010. He is represented by Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf and Robert Birch Fine Art, Toronto.

Jacob’s curatorial projects include Funkaesthetics (co-curated with Pam Wendt) at Justina M Barknicke Gallery, University of Toronto and Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, Canada in 2009; Golden Streams: Artists’ Collaboration and Exchange in the 1970s, at Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga in 2002; and The JDs Years: 1980s Queer Zine Culture from Toronto, at Art Metropole, Toronto and Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver in 1999.

NULL OBJECT: Gustav Metzger thinks about nothing
A Project by London Fieldworks

Friday 30 November 2012–Saturday 9 February 2013
Private View: Thursday 29 November, 6–8 pm

NULL OBJECT: Gustav Metzger thinks about nothing is a new artwork by London Fieldworks (Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson) with the participation of the acclaimed artist Gustav Metzger.

At the centre of this new work, a computer-brain interface has been linked with industrial manufacturing technology to produce a sculptural object in Portland stone.

Using bespoke software, London Fieldworks produced 3D shape information from EEG readings of Metzger’s brainwaves as he attempted to think about nothing. This data was translated into instructions for a manufacturing robot, which carved out the shapes from the interior of a block of stone to create a void space.

As well as the sculptural representation of Gustav Metzger thinking about nothing, exhibits will include a film of the carving of the stone as well as other documentation of the development and delivery of the work.

A timely addition and challenge to the present climate of technological evolution and increasing cybernetic augmentation, NULL OBJECT offers an alternative model for a creative, non-invasive interface between body,mind and machine.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication of the same name published by Black Dog Publishing, including an introduction by the artists, a text by Gustav Metzger and four contextualising essays by Bronac Ferran, Hari Kunzru, Nick Lambert and Christopher Tyler. These leading writers across the fields of literature, art, science and technology explore the diverse historical and conceptual grounding for and broader implications of NULL OBJECT’s production process.

WORK is also pleased to announce Thinking About Nothing, the eighth print in our limited edition print series, which has been produced to correspond with the exhibition. Click here to view the edition.

Gustav Metzger and London Fieldworks will discuss the project further at Central Saint Martins in Spring 2013. Please check back for details of additional events to be held at WORK Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition.

NULL OBJECT has been funded by Arts Council England and Computer Arts Society.

Brian Grimwood: The Man Who Changed the Look of British Illustration

Friday 14 September–Saturday 3 November 2012
Private View: Thursday 13 September, 6–8 pm

A comprehensive retrospective of the career to date of renowned British illustrator Brian Grimwood.

Grimwood’s free and fluid style first characterised the visual culture of the 1960s in iconic images such as those created for the influential magazine Nova. His designs have since become synonymous with British and Western popular culture and advertising, as evinced by his covers and brand identities for high-profile companies including Faber & Faber, BBC Proms, WH Smith and Johnny Walker.

Grimwood was also one of the first illustrators to enthusiastically embrace the then new computer illustration programs, while at the same time employing traditional artistic methods and materials. His fascination with new technologies continues today, as demonstrated by his recent work using Photoshop and the iPad.

As founding director of the Central Illustration Agency (CIA) Grimwood has also been pivotal in the promotion of the work of a host of illustrators from around the world, including Sir Peter Blake, Jeff Fisher and David Hughes from among the 80 or so illustrators on CIA’s books.

Brian Grimwood: The Man Who Changed the Look of British Illustration explores Grimwood’s prolific and wide-ranging output through a diverse selection of drawings, paintings, cover artwork, newspaper illustrations and printed ephemera, alongside more recent work including digital prints that show how his style continues to evolve.

Works on display demonstrate his commitment to a highly personal, concept-driven style and include commissions for Club International, The Times and Pentagram Design; illustrations for Radio Times and Nova; and commercial concepts developed for brands as diverse as Royal Mail and ASDA Sherry. The exhibition also brings together a range of rarely seen material that gives a glimpse behind the scenes of Grimwood’s extraordinarily successful career, such as sketchbooks, private commissions and a series of paintings on antiquarian linen book covers.

Brian Grimwood: The Man Who Changed the Look of British Illustration celebrates the publication of a major new monograph of the same name by Black Dog Publishing in September 2012, available for a special exhibition price from PAPERWORK Bookshop. Grimwood will be signing copies of the book on the evening of the private view.

A limited edition print by Grimwood has also been produced to coincide with the exhibition and is available exclusively through the gallery.

Inner World / Innen Welt: The Projects of Haus-Rucker-Co., 1967–1992

Saturday 23 June–Saturday 1 September 2012

A retrospective of key projects by avant-garde Viennese architectural group Haus-Rucker-Co.

Haus-Rucker-Co.’s designs for inflatable structures, prosthetic devices and interventions into public spaces were also blueprints for social change and an experiential theory of architecture. Situating itself in the transitional ground between architecture, design and action art, the group was unique in its distinctive emphasis on the perceptual realm.

Their pneumatic projects aimed to counteract apathy and passive acceptance of one’s environment by distorting the experience of public and private spaces, evoking a “feeling of foreignness”. Immersive environments, bubble and capsule forms, and mind-expanding structures for private contemplation or forging personal connections all delineate not only specific physical zones but also psychological spaces. Haus- Rucker-Co. also took a playful approach to architectural materials and strategies. Plastics—mutable, flexible, inexpensive, and with seemingly infinite potential—provided not only the material for many of their projects but also served as a model for the era’s futurist vision of a democratic and mobile lifestyle.

Inner World / Innen Welt presents a comprehensive selection of archival drawings and collages, photographs, models and ephemera spanning Haus-Rucker-Co.’s 25-year collaboration. Some of the projects on display were realised in public spaces; others remain virtual—and often fantastic—solutions for social, political or environmental concerns. Exhibited projects include Oase Nr. 7, a bubble-like personal oasis which protruded from the façade of the Museum Fridericianums during the 1972 Documenta; Gelbes Herz, a psychedelically-patterned “communications space-capsule for two people”; Rahmenbau, a giant framing mechanism contrasting urban sprawl with the natural landscape; and Cover, a temporary white inflatable casing erected over Mies van der Rohe’s 1921 Lange House in a gesture of architectural dialogue.

Inner World / Innen Welt marks the 20-year anniversary of Haus-Rucker-Co.’s dissolution with a celebration of the broad scope and conceptual density of this extraordinary group’s output. Haus-Rucker-Co. was founded in 1967 by Laurids Ortner, Günther Zamp Kelp and Klaus Pinter, later joined by Manfred Ortner. The group has exhibited internationally, including participation in Documenta 5 and 6, and was the subject of a major exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien in 1992, the year of the collective’s dissolution. Already working together as Ortner & Ortner on major building commissions from the mid-1980s, Manfred and Laurids Ortner went on to develop an extensive portfolio of built projects, propelling the preoccupations of Haus-Rucker-Co. into a new realm.

Suzanne Treister: HEXEN2.0/Literature

16 March–12 May 2012

Suzanne Treister’s HEXEN2.0 project is an expansive cross-media investigation into the interwoven histories of government mass control systems, technological and scientific discovery, behavioural theory and countercultural movements, and diverse philosophical, literary and political responses to advances in technology such as the rise of cybernetics and the Internet. HEXEN2.0 takes as its starting point the seminal Macy Conferences, New York, 1946–53, whose primary goal was to set the foundations for a general science of the workings of the human mind.

HEXEN2.0/Literature is the 'bibliographical' component of HEXEN2.0: a series of beautifully detailed drawings of reversed book covers, exhibited here for the first time. These key texts act as portals into Treister's intricate and highly energised research into actual events, people, histories and scientific projections of the future. Treister's 'reading list' has no clear entry or exit point, bringing into close contact titles such as Timothy Leary's Info-Psychology, 1977; Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451,1953; and Jacques Ellul's The Technological Society, 1967. Once deciphered, the reversed covers denote the claims of Anarcho-Primitivism and Post-Leftism, Theodore Kaczynski/the Unabomber, Techno-Gaianism and Transhumanism, and position precursory ideas such as those of Thoreau, Warren, Heidegger and Adorno in relation to visions of utopian and dystopian futures from science fiction in literature and film.

The exhibition also includes a continuous screening programme of videos relating to HEXEN2.0's precursor, HEXEN 2039, which imagined new technologies for psychological warfare through exploring links between the military and the paranormal. The programme includes: HEXEN 2039 The Movie, 2006; Operation Swanlake, 2004; Crossing, 2005; and Over The Line, 2008-2010.

A pioneer in the digital and web-based field from the beginning of the 1990s, Suzanne Treister uses various media including video, the Internet, photography, drawing and watercolour to engage with notions of identity, history, power and the control of information. She lives and works in London.

 

Critical Dictionary

27 January – 25 February 2012

WORK and guest curator David Evans are pleased to present Critical Dictionary, a group show featuring work by Rut Blees Luxemburg, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Common Culture,  Simon Cunningham, Paola Di Bello, Tim Edgar, Christian Edwardes, Simon Faithfull, Al Gebra, Dave Hazel, Justin Hibbs, Jo Longhurst, Tom Lovelace, Office of Experiments, Richard Paul, Poor Photographer, Chloé Regan, Sophy Rickett, Dominic Shepherd, Jo Spence, Penelope Umbrico and Jake Walters.

Critical Dictionary declassifies selected terms in a playful manner to emphasise the open-ended, provisional and unfinished nature of language. The exhibition brings together an eclectic plethora of themes including: Flickr Sunset, Greenwich Meridian, Mycelium, Overt Research, Pencil Test and War Primer. The exhibition is inspired by Georges Bataille’s infamous anti-dictionary for the dissident Surrealist journal Documents. It explores and expands the previous incarnations of Evans’ Critical Dictionary project, which was first developed as the online art journal criticaldictionary.com and later published as an anthology by the same name by Black Dog Publishing.
A limited edition print by Jake Walters, O STRAVINSKY PROJECT PART I has also been produced to coincide with the exhibition and is available for sale exclusively from the gallery.