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.

Highlights from the Whitworth’s outstanding collection, dealing with ideas of darkness and shadow, will be on display in the relatively tangible, stable media of print, drawing and painting. A diverse array of works by artists such as Rembrandt, Paula Rego, Rachel Whiteread, JMW Turner and Francis Bacon are included.

In collaboration with Animate Projects and to coincide with the opening of Dark Matters, the Whitworth presents a four-week screening of work by contemporary animators who make use of a variety of techniques and technologies to engage with themes of loss, memory, darkness and light.

In response to Dark Matters, the Friends of the Whitworth present a programme of film screenings. In this selection of film noir thrillers and historic chillers, shadows play the lead role in creating drama, magic and beauty.

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