exhibitions
Leave a Comment

Cerith Wyn Evans // “….the Illuminating Gas”

Cerith Wyn Evans
“Talvinder, you’ll never guess, It’s the Pacific Ocean, again.”, 2007 (detail) © Cerith Wyn Evans. Courtesy White Cube Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

Pirelli HangarBicocca presents “….the Illuminating Gas”, the largest-ever solo exhibition of Cerith Wyn Evans—conceived as a harmonious composition in which light, energy, and sound offer visitors a unique synesthetic experience. Twenty-five works, ranging from earlier pieces to new creations, are installed in the exhibition spaces of Pirelli HangarBicocca as elements in an elaborate visual score.

Cerith Wyn Evans’s works often generate processes of transformation, conveying an arsenal of quotations and references in entirely new forms through open interpretation. This operation takes place both through the use of textual materials that are decontextualized and translated into a language of light—for example, in the form of Morse code pulses, as in the famousChandeliers series, or as neon signs or fireworks—and in a more concealed, less direct way—for example, by transposing diagrams representing the movements of actors in Japanese Noh theatre into sculpture, or by making formal and conceptual references to the creative imaginations of earlier artists such as Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) and Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976).

In their elegance and formal balance, the works draw on a complex body of references and quotations—from literature, music, philosophy, photography, poetry, art history, astronomy and science that transform the culture of the 20th and 21st centuries into a dynamic system that needs to be deciphered, questioning our very notion of reality. The subjects examined relate to perception, to the potential of language and communication, and to the evocative power of art and its ability to create collisions between different meanings and thoughts—exploring the borders between what is visible and invisible to the naked eye, and between the material and the immaterial.

Pirelli HangarBicocca’s new exhibition, “….the Illuminating Gas”, curated by Roberta Tenconi and Vicente Todolí, presents 25 works—earlier sculptures, complex monumental installations, and new productions—occupying more than 5,000 square meters of the Navate and the Cubo sections of Pirelli HangarBicocca. The exhibition opens with the slow and constant throbs of seven imposing 20-meter-high light columns, StarStarStar/Steer (totransversephoton)(2019). Made specifically for the occasion, and consisting of a skeleton of tubular lamps assembled from cylinders of various heights, the work creates a choreography of lights and shadows that intermittently invades the space. This energy release provides a counterpoint to the sound emitted by the adjacent work, Composition for 37 flutes (2018), an ethereal glass sculpture also composed of transparent elements. The air from its thin reeds produces a hiss that suggests a state of tension between the harmony of a breath and its dissipation.

The exhibition design also incorporates the external architecture of Pirelli HangarBicocca by presenting TIX3 (1992), the artist’s first neon work—consisting of the word ‘exit’ spelled back to front—and the new sculpture To….fold, an apprentice in the Sun (2019), made of fireworks, which demonstrates its ephemeral nature through the spectacular act of burning.


// Pirelli HangarBicocca presenta “….the Illuminating Gas”, la più grande esposizione mai realizzata da Cerith Wyn Evans, concepita come una composizione armonica in cui luce,energia e suono offrono ai visitatori un’esperienza sinestetica unica. Venticinque opere, tra lavori storici e nuove produzioni, sono disposte negli spazi espositivi di Pirelli HangarBicocca in un’elaborata partitura.

Cerith Wyn Evans con la sua pratica mette spesso in atto processi di trasformazione, declinando un erudito bagaglio di citazioni e riferimenti in forme del tutto nuove. Questa operazione avviene attraverso l’impiego di materiali testuali che, decontestualizzati, vengono tradotti in un linguaggio luminoso: ad esempio sotto forma di pulsazioni in codice Morse, come avviene nella celebre serie degli Chandeliers, di scritte al neon o di fuochi d’artificio. In modo più celato e meno diretto inoltre l’artista interpreta i diagrammi che rappresentano i movimenti degli attori nel teatro giapponese Noh, trasponendoli in sculture, e richiama nelle sue operel’immaginario di artisti storici come Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) e Marcel Broodthaers (1924- 1976).

Nella loro eleganza ed equilibrio formale, i lavori attingono a una complessità di riferimenti e citazioni – letteratura, musica, filosofia, fotografia, poesia, storia dell’arte, astronomia e scienza– che trasmettono la cultura del ventesimo e ventunesimo secolo come un sistema dinamico da decifrare, mettendo in discussione la nostra nozione di realtà. Attraverso un’indagine sullapercezione, sul linguaggio e sulla comunicazione Wyn Evans mette in luce il potere evocativodell’arte e la sua capacità di creare collisioni tra significati differenti, interrogandosi spesso sul confine tra il visibile e ciò che non è possibile vedere a occhio nudo, tra materiale e immateriale.

La mostra “ ….the Illuminating Gas”, a cura di Roberta Tenconi e Vicente Todolí, presenta venticinque lavori, tra sculture storiche, complesse installazioni monumentali e nuove produzioni, che occupano in tutto il suo volume gli oltre cinquemila metri quadrati delle Navate e del Cubo di Pirelli HangarBicocca. Il percorso si apre con il lento e costante pulsare di sette imponenti colonne luminose alte venti metri StarStarStar/Steer (totransversephoton) (2019). L’opera, realizzata appositamente per la mostra e composta da uno scheletro di lampade tubolari assemblate in cilindri di varie altezze, crea una coreografia di luci e ombre che a intermittenza invadono lo spazio. Tale dispiego di energia fa da contrappunto al suono emessodall’opera attigua, eterea scultura in vetro anch’essa composta di elementi trasparenti,Composition for 37 flutes (2018). Dalle sue sottili canne l’aria scaturisce in un sibilo chesuggerisce uno stato di tensione tra l’armonia di un respiro e il suo dissolversi.

Il progetto espositivo coinvolge anche l’architettura esterna di Pirelli HangarBicocca, presentando TIX3 (1992), prima opera al neon dell’artista formata dalla scritta “exit” al contrario,e la nuova scultura To….fold, an apprentice in the Sun (2019), realizzata con fuochi d’artificio che, nell’atto spettacolare del bruciare, mette in scena la sua natura effimera.

Cerith Wyn Evans Forms in Space…by Light (in Time), 2017 Tate Britain Commission by Cerith Wyn Evans, Duveen Galleries. © Cerith Wyn Evans, courtesy White Cube Photo: Joe Humphreys © Tate, London 2018

 

Cerith Wyn Evans
Mantra, 2016
© Cerith Wyn Evans. Courtesy White Cube Photo: George Darrell

Cerith Wyn Evans Neon Forms (after Noh III), 2015 © Cerith Wyn Evans. Courtesy White Cube Photo: George Darrell

Cerith Wyn Evans TIX3, 1996 © Cerith Wyn Evans. Courtesy White Cube Photo: Stephen White

 

 


Back to: exhibitions // home

Share your opinion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s