On display at the Whitworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester

A major exhibition and an exciting events programme, open from 24 September 2011, until January 15th, 2012 (Main exhibition) and 15th April 2012 (Collection display.)

A view of the Dark Matters exhibition. Photo © Liza Lemsatef Cunningham

A view of the Dark Matters exhibition. Photo © Liza Lemsatef Cunningham

DARK MATTERS EXHIBITION

Kiss, 2010 High-definition video, colour 4 minutes, 10 seconds

Kiss, 2010 High-definition video, colour 4 minutes, 10 seconds

Dark Matters brings together the work of ten internationally acclaimed contemporary artists who employ a range of technologies, media and machinery. In an exhibition populated by half-seen spectres, visual riddles and distorted reflections, artists engage with ideas surrounding shadow, darkness and illusion. The works are united by themes of temporality, absence, truth, mortality and wonder.
Participating artists are:  Brass Art, Pavel Buchler, R. Luke DuBois, Pascal Grandmaison, Barnaby Hosking, Idris Khan, Ja-Young Ku, Elin O’Hara Slavick, Daniel Rozin, Hiraki Sawa. Runs until 15th January 2012.

DARK MATTERS : WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION

Käthe Kollwitz 1867-1945 Whetting the Scythe, 1905 Etching

Käthe Kollwitz 1867-1945 Whetting the Scythe, 1905 Etching

This display of works from the Whitworth’s collection reveals ideas surrounding shadow as captured by the artist in a variety of media. Some of the works selected demonstrate how artists have employed tone and darkness to render solidity and structure within the pictorial space. A significant number of paintings, prints and drawings, also convey the symbolic power of shadow to evoke time, mystery, loss and solitude. Runs until 15th April 2012

Discussion 1 Comment Category curator, exhibition

Shadow Lab Time Lapse

A time lapse of the final day of Dark Matters Shadow Lab

Discussion Leave a comment Category Behind the scenes, event, family

Shadowing Dark Matters

An excerpt from an article featured on Corridor8 by stephen Iles, reflecting on the Dark Matters main exhibition in its last week on display.

Visitors enjoying 'Snow Mirror'  by Daniel Rozin Photo © Liza Lemsatef Cunningham

Visitors enjoying 'Snow Mirror' by Daniel Rozin Photo © Liza Lemsatef Cunningham

“…The exhibition begins with an interactive piece, Floating in space is a translucent screen, upon which is projected a monochromatic image of falling pixels, falling gently, uniformly, endlessly. Like the ‘static’ on the screen of a disconnected television, it gently goes about it’s business, seemingly demanding little other than for us to acknowledge it’s presence. We are free to move around the screen, behind, to the side, from afar. Then, before we move on we give the piece a final moment, we stand four square in front of it as if to say goodbye and we begin to notice something different, an outline of a figure, life size, begins to emerge. It sways gently, moves furtively and then the penny drops, the said figure is an outline, a digital shadow of ourselves. We instinctively begin to gently lift our arms, to allow the snow settle upon our limbs like radioactive snow.”

A dematerialisation has occurred, our body passing from one state to the other, a shift from the corporeal to the virtual, a preparation of the body for a ritual investigation. We are reminded of the screen both small and large, of ‘Star Trek’ and of films like Spielberg’s ‘Poltergeist’. We are the ghost in the machine, a theme that is set to continue throughout the show.

Stephen Iles

Read the entire article Shadowing Dark Matters on the Corridor8 website.

Discussion Leave a comment Category exhibition, publication, review

Dark Matters, Behind the Scenes

A behind-the-scenes look at Dark Matters created by the lovely people at Scattered Images

.

Discussion Leave a comment Category Behind the scenes, exhibition, Video

Curator commentary on Ja-Young Ku and Hiraki Sawa’s work in Dark Matters

Helen Stalker Curator of Dark Matters exhibition at The Whitworth Art Gallery (mp3)

Discussion Leave a comment Category curator, exhibition, Hiraki Sawa, Ja-Young Ku

A Message from the Curator

Fake imagery of a world upside down, 2009. Ultrachrome colour jet ink print 36.8” x 60”

Fake imagery of a world upside down, 2009. Ultrachrome colour jet ink print. Image, courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery

 

In 1896, the Russian writer, Maxim Gorky watched in awe as the Lumière brothers showcased their latest optical invention – the Cinematograph. As he sat, plunged into darkness, the ghostly projections of people, places and machinery evoked a reaction in Gorky, more in keeping with having witnessed paranormal activity than an event of scientific and technological wonderment. His first impression of the cinema resulted in his famous published response: “Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows.” As the writer tried to make sense of the apparitions he had seen the previous evening, he spoke little of the mechanics of cinema and told a tale more akin to a gothic novel:

If one could only convey the strangeness of this world. A world without colour and sound…Not life, but a shadow of life… It is terrible to see, this movement of shadows, nothing but shadows, these spectres, these phantoms.

Maxim Gorky

Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category curator, exhibition

Wired interview with the curator

Dark Matters: Gallery Exhibit Looks at Technological Illusion

Elin O’Hara Slavick Dead Hiroshima Flowers, 2008 Cyanotype

© Elin O’Hara Slavick, 'Dead Hiroshima Flowers', 2008, Cyanotype

Helen Stalker, Curator of the exhibition ‘Dark Matters’, has been interviewed by Wired.co.uk, view an excerpt from the article ‘Dark Matters: Gallery Exhibit Looks at Technological Illusion‘ :

“The exhibition seeks to demonstrate that despite the advance of visual technology, a preoccupation with illusion and a “sense of wonderment” remains. As well as showcasing the latest in interactive art, Dark Matters harks back to the likes of photography pioneer Henry Fox Talbot, who used the camera to distort nature, capture shadows and create a new “magical visual language.” Stalker cites Maxim Gorky’s reaction to cinema and the projected image, “last night I was in the kingdom of shadows,” in reference to the exhibition.

The internet has made our existence less dependent on our bodily presence and makes the boundary between truth and fantasy ever fainter.

Helen Stalker, Curator
Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category curator, exhibition, publication

Embracing the Dark Side…

Dark Matters Exhibitions and Events programme Opening September 2011

Encounter phantoms in the mirror, captured spirits and playful shadows as the Whitworth’s spaces become populated by works of darkness and wonder.

did i?, an Animate Projects commission supported by James Cohan Gallery, New York © Hiraki Sawa

did i?, an Animate Projects commission supported by James Cohan Gallery, New York © Hiraki Sawa

Exploring the impact of scientific, digital and mechanical invention upon visual culture, Dark Matters brings together the work of ten internationally acclaimed artists from across the globe who engage with ideas of darkness and shadow through a range of technologies. In an exhibition populated by half-seen spectres, visual riddles and distorted reflections, these artists explore themes of time, illusion and memory through a variety of media and machinery.

The exhibition includes a newly commissioned installation by Korean artist Ja-Young Ku who engages with the ghostly remnants of his former actions through performance and projection. Works by Daniel Rozin combine state-of-the-art digital software with wooden machinery and suspended silk to create art objects of technological wonder. R. Luke DuBois’ sparkling computer-generated version of cinematic romance and Barnaby Hosking’s imposing Black Flood challenge our perceptions in the dark and large photographic prints by Idris Khan present historically important texts as translucent, layered shadows. Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category exhibition, UK