Cerith Wyn Evans No realm of thought… No field of vision - White Cube Gallery
Posted on July 02 2020
White Cube presents Cerith Wyn Evans' 'No realm of thought… No field of vision' at their gallery in Bermondsey.
White Cube Bermondsey presents ‘No realm of thought... No field of vision’- an exhibition of new work and creations by Cerith Wyn Evans. Taking over the gallery in its entirety, featured works include a series of installations, sculptures and paintings that foreground the artist’s longstanding exploration of transcendence, translation and temporality. The artist is best known for his experimental films and complex neon sculptural installations. In this current exhibition, elements such as text, code, light and sound are compressed, extended, inverted and, multiplied.
In South Gallery II, an architectural wall of neon lights cuts across the room, immediately luring visitors closer to explore further. The work comprises an extract from ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ (1921/1922), the fourth volume of Marcel Proust’s novel À la recherche du temps perdu, here translated into Japanese by Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa (2010). The installation features a cut out segment that allows the viewer to walk through as if passing through a curtain or screen. At this point, the passage is partially obscured and transposed into a different set of characters, describes in detail the movement of water through an 18th-century fountain, reminiscent of a representation by 18th-century painter Hubert Robert. Proust’s description charts the relationship between what is seen and seeable.
Behind the neon screen, three chambers with seventeen directional glass-panel speakers are suspended in loosely interlinking pentagon, hexagon, septagon and octagon formations. Titled 'Pli S=E=L=O=N Pli (2020)', each panel emits an improvised and composed piano soundtrack performed by Evans, recorded on two sessions, ten years apart. Varying in length, the piece is constantly self-generating (out of sync) and audibly shifting within its setting.
Adjacent, a new series of neon sculptures; '…take Apprentice in Sun I-IV (2020)' present a staggered neon drawing in four distinct parts. A graphic tangle of multiple trajectories, the neon lights trace the lines and shadows in a photograph the artist took of Duchamp's ‘assisted readymade’, Bicycle Wheel (1913) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
'Composition for Flutes (2017)', consists of eleven crystal flutes connecting to undulating clear acrylic tubes controlled by two ‘breathing’ units, all suspended from the ceiling by threads and cables. This automaton emits a mellifluous, pulsating tone further exploring ideas of the mechanical and physical body.
An installation on a grand scale, ' 9 x 9 x 9, fig. (0) (2020)' is a suspended neon sculpture that takes its form from drawings of the first helicopter designed in 1907 by Paul Cornu. By referencing ‘fundament through firmament’, it points both to the diagrammatic foundations of early self-propelled flight and Evans’ own first neon sculptural commission entitled Arr/Dep (imaginary landscape for the birds) (2006), a visualisation of intersecting global flight paths installed at Lufthansa’s headquarters in Frankfurt airport.
In South Gallery I, four new monochromatic paintings adorn the walls of the gallery, exhibiting the confluence of chance and control, featuring sweeping brushstrokes in black gloss and emulsion overlaid by light sprayed acrylic or varnish. In the centre of the gallery space is a pair of pleached trees standing beside one another. Standing on turntables, they move at barely perceptible speeds. Lit by two spotlights, they make reference to the earliest mechanised forms of the moving image.
Watch the video above to see a short tour of the exhibition and the gallery rooms.
A focus on early 20th-century sculptural and mechanical form continues in several new works exhibited in the North galleries. Three large folding glass screens take inspiration from Marcel Duchamp’s work 'The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915–23)' - the glass panes fractured and the dark lacquered bronze frame, echoing the encasement and presence of Duchamp’s sculpture. A series of mobile sculptures adopt the idea of compromise as a creative element, featuring vehicle wind-screens – visor shaped, curved pieces of glass – that are cracked and spot-lit to create a multitude of refractions in motion.
No realm of thought… No field of vision exhibits at White Cube Bermondsey between 7th February until 1st August 2020. Visit the White Cube website for further information, opening times and to discover upcoming exhibitions.