MUSAC presents ...visibleinvisible, British artist Cerith Wyn Evans first solo show in Spain
MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, presents ...visibleinvisible, the first solo exhibition in Spain of British artist Cerith Wyn Evans. Both this show, whi ch is curated by Octavio Zaya, and the monographic book that will be published for the occasion overview the sophis ticated work of this key figure in the European art scene.
The artistic career of Cerith Wyn Evans (1958, Llanelli-Wales, UK) began to unfold during the late 1970s in London's underground scene, when he worked in close collaboration with the well-known British filmmakers Derek Jarman and John Maybury, as one of the protagonists of the avant-garde film movement then known as "New Romantics". During the decade of the 80s Evans concentrated on a series of experimental films, though he did not cease to collaborate with other legendary choreographers and artists such as Michael Clark, Leigh Bowery, Throbbing Gristle, The Smiths and The Fall. Starting in 1990, and after discovering (1975) and being inspired by the work of Marcel Broodthaers, he extended his means of expression, striving to produce the installations that would make him so influential. He has also been a professor at the Architectural Association of London, the British capital in which he currently lives and works.
In recent years, Evans has become a key figure on the London art scene, and his sophisticated work -and his disposition to connect and relate through evocations and encryption- has inspired many outstanding artists of the latest generation. This work is unmistakably conceived through its critical and historical relation to the possibilities and vicissitudes of film, as well as writing. In any event, he has taken from them the unusual relations between space, light, language and objects, in addition to their seductiveness and indecisiveness. However, while his pieces and installations make use of a wide array of genres, media and discourses, both high and low, there is always a certain amount of disdain for what is accessible; there is always some opacity, and the experience of the work seems to imply an acceptance of the impossibility of immediacy and coherence in the world of appearances.
With his adaptations, assemblages and compositions of multiple references, which usually favour modes of presentation with imperceptible gaps and disjunctions, Evans never privileges or encourages a phenomenological reading of space or a literal use of materials. Instead, the combinations of unexpected materials -such as neon lights, philosophical texts, mirrors, fireworks and plants- and their links, affinities and adjacencies, where slight disturbances and perturbations often take place, point to disruptions and intrusions that displace registers and perceptions. Nothing is what it seems. In this polymorphous and intertextual space the emphasis seems to fall between the visible and the invisible, between presences and absences. What seems to be inescapable and prevalent is the contortion of everyday perceptions and associations, and the establishment of what the artist enunciates as "someplace that is out of place, what is bent, the hinge of reality upon which the relation of image and object oscillates."
...visibleinvisible: The Exhibition
Indeed, Cerith Wyn Evans' work is an exploration of the limits of vision through the creation of spaces where neither objects nor representations exist. Visibleinvisible -which MUSAC organizes with the curatorship of Octavio Zaya- is the British artist's first solo show in Spain and brings together a series of works and installations that have become emblematic of his career, in addition to new productions created for this show.
His recognized "Chandeliers" (2003-2007) -among which 7 newly produced ones are presented- comprise here the largest installation the artist has ever developed with these hanging lamps of different styles and origins, wherein the most varied literary sources from the past century -philosophical texts, poems, letters, etc.- are transmitted through Morse-code that is transformed into pulsing light bulbs to unfurl a magical space of "luminous" meanings.
Likewise, his emblematic Dreamachine (1998) is included. It is inspired by the prototype designed by Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville, and again it explores the phenomenon of perception. This installation -the first to be experienced with our eyes closed- constructs a space where the pulsations/vibrations of the cinematic light activate a quasi hypnotic state in the brain. And the meaningful oscillation of the monumental neon text of the coloured chinese lanterns... (2007) once again combines text and light, consciousness and unconsciousness, to transmit emotions and ideas in a sort of mental fabric that concerns both the frameworks of illusion and time, and the limits of language.
These works, along with the new installations that Cerith Wyn Evans is producing for this selective show, are thus located, and take presence, in the slippage between visible and invisible, of the visible in the visible, displaying with elegance and precision, intelligence and playfulness, a realm of sights and visions that alter and challenge our perception, "in which something happens all over again for the very first time".
...visibleinvisible: The Publication
The exhibition is accompanied by a book with the same title, published by HATJE CATZ VERLAG, and whose editor is the curator of the show. In this publication designed by Albert Folch Studio, Daniel Birmbaum's (Director of Portikus Gallery and teacher at the Städelschule Art Academy, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and Octavio Zaya's essays assess the most relevant productions of Cerith Wyn Evans' career.