Welsh-born conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans presents an exhibition of fabulous new works at the White Cube gallery in Berdmonsey, London. Cultural and artistic references, some of which are over 600 years old are transformed into a collection of contemporary artwork through the juxtaposition of nature and modern technology
- 3 squiggly neon sculptures
- 1 tripartite installation
- 19 transparent flutes
- 3 plants
Cerith Wyn Evans is inspired by linguistic professor Martin Prinzhorn's strategies of 'superimposition and contradiction by concealing and revealing'. An extension of his previous neon text sculptures, this exhibition aims to present his ideas on the practice of translating movement into notational form (hence the flutes). And the flows of energy through circuitry (neons).
The three squiggly sculptures take reference from the oldest form of traditional theatre in Japan; Noh. The tangled lines create shapes representing the gesture of a masked Noh performer moving across the stage. Bizarrely, you can imagine, and even almost feel the movement while you're looking at them. You can certainly sense an energy. In contrast, 'The Illuminating Glass' is a structured circular tripartite piece. It's a large replica of Marcel Duchamp's 'Oculist Witnesses', part of; 'The Bride Stripped bare by her Bachelors, Even' (1915-23). The evenness adds order to the chaotic nature of the other three neons. And although they're different, they make for a balanced arrangement.
19 flutes are connected to a long tube which hangs from the ceiling forming an asymmetrical structure which emits, I have to say, a range of peculiar (supposedly breathing) sounds around the gallery space. Despite their loud voices, the flutes aren't capable of outshining (excuse the pun) the neons.
Three large Phoenix Roebelenil plants spin around on turntables. This may also have some relevance to traditional Japanese Noh plays which are performed on stages with palm trees as backdrops - the Roebelenils exhibited here look similar. Classical theatre art forms in Japan are very much inspired by the country's landscape and these kinds of references often a nod to spiritual forces in nature.
- Noticing that the plants rotate (slowly) on turntables
- Shadows on the shiny floor
- You can't beat a squiggly neon sculpture
Where & when
White Cube Berdmonsey, South Galleries. 25 September - 15 November 2015