The exhibition and the auction both will take place in an area of London known for its contemporary art galleries. From a key to a locked basement box to a jukebox rotating 70 songs about London: works span photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations.
The exhibition features items from our 2016 exhibition Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, including Vija Celmins’ Night Sky, Roni Horn’s gold sculpture Double Mobius, and Wolfgang Tillmans' Separate System self-portrait photograph. There will also be the chance to commission a new crystalised concrete chapel by Roger Hiorns, a new sound installation by Susan Philipsz, and site-specific work by Cristina Iglesias.
Image (left-right): Ryan Gander's Antique mirror and marble sculpture, I Be... (xxii), 2018, Daniel Silver's Adel Rootstein Mannequin bust of Alison Fitzpatrick, 2018; and Michael Landy's pencil drawings, Scarlett and James, both 2008. Photograph: Stephen White.
Roni Horn, Susan Hiller, and Rachel Whiteread are amongst the thirty-five artists offering their work through an online auction. We've collaborated with each of these artists and their donations to the auction will ensure that we can continue to create ambitious projects like theirs that wouldn't be possible within a gallery.
Image (left-to-right): Antony Gormley's bronze sculpture TRANSMIT II (1/2 SCALE ROOTER) II, 2017; Taryn Simon's Paperwork and the Will of Capital, Press XII, 2015; and Taryn Simon's Professional Mourners, 2018. Photograph: Stephen White.
In 2011 Artangel commissioned Gander to make Locked Room Scenario: an impenetrable art gallery housing a fictional group show in Hoxton. Upon arrival at the address, the warehouse was open but the exhibition appeared to be closed, only accessed through glimpses of partially visible artworks, intermittent sounds and discarded ephemera. Locked Room Scenario invited the viewer to adopt a detective's sensibility in order to understand the objects, pieced together through cryptic clues that left an unnerving sensation of fact and fiction becoming one.
Like Locked Room Scenario, the work in this exhibition entitled I be....(xxii), is concerned with impenetrability. Stately mirrors over which marble dust sheets hang obscure from sight the viewer's own reflection. Gander is interested in the things that we don’t see, things that are cloaked, or things that are covered 'because they still have the potential to surprise us.'
Image: Detail of Ryan Gander's work I be…(xxii), 2018. Photo: George Darrell.
Juan Muñoz created Untitled (Monument) in 1992 and in 1997, together with Gavin Bryars, A Man in a Room, Gambling. The former was designed an anonymous memorial created for the South Bank of the River Thames. The sculpture was 4.5-metres high and made of artificial stone, to which three cast bronze flags were attached, echoing the flags on the cenotaph. The latter was a series of ten five minute compositions based on card tricks and inspired in part by the shipping broadcasts on BBC Radio. Originally experienced as a series of BBC Radio 4 broadcasts in 1992, the work was then performed live in Madrid in 1996 and at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, London in 1997.
Amongst Muñoz’s most distinctive late works are sculptures of a figure wearing a fez and facing a window. In a first version, the lips are closed and the figure stands on a steel chair. In a second unique version, included in this exhibition, the mouth of the figure is open. Standing on a wooden box, and facing the window, he appears to be breathing on to the glass.
Image: Detail of Juan Muñoz's bronze and wood sculpture of a figure wearing a fez. Untitled, c. 2000. Photograph: Cuauhtli Gutierrez.
In 2017 Andy and his ornithologist father Peter Holden collaborated on an elaborate study of birds. Natural Selection explored father and son's shared interest and divergent perspective on bird behaviour and its human parallels.
In the exhibition, the sculptural installation How the Artist Was Led to the Study of Nature depicts prominent egger, Richard Pearson's illegal collection of wild birds eggs, which was uncovered by RSPB officers in a raid in 2006. The artist encountered a photograph in the newspaper of the 7130 eggs that comprised Pearson's haul, which was published during his trial. The photograph included eggs belonging to some of the UK's rarest nesting species such as golden eagle, avocet, black-tailed godwit, little tern, osprey, black-necked grebe, stone-curlew, chough, peregrine and red-throated diver. Working with ceramicist Peter Rowland, Holden recreated a life-sized version of the confiscated collection; displayed in branded biscuit tins, fish boxes and tobacco cases akin to those used by Pearson.
Through this recreation, Holden sought to understand what drives the human instinct to collect, and how this inclination becomes an obsession. Holden has created a new family of works, each based on one of the tins or boxes that make up the Pearson hoard.
Image: Crawford's Shortbread tin with ceramic birds' eggs (blackcap, bullfinch, goldcrest, hawfinch, house sparrow, lesser whitethroat, linnet, pied flycatcher, stonechat, tree sparrow) as part of Andy Holden's The Pearson Hoard, 2017. Photograph: Andy Holden
The Palace of Projects explored humankind's endless urge to be visionary. A large glowing two-storey pavilion structure echoing the forms of utopian architecture was constructed in the vast space of The Roundhouse in north London, a then derelict circular building whose original function in the 1840s had been to rotate railway engines on a huge turntable.
The Palace of Projects housed a universal exhibition of everyday obsessions. It displayed, in the Kabakovs' words 'a seemingly common known and even trivial truth; the world consists of a multitude of projects, realised ones, half-realised ones, and not realised at all.'
One of these projects was How Can One Change Oneself? where people were instructed to make two wings from white tulle fabric, using a provided sketch, and also leather straps for attaching these wings to the back and fixing them in place. A piece, based on this project, will be on display in this exhibition.
Image: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov's mixed-media installation piece How to Make Yourself Better, 2007. Photograph: Matthew Hollow
Producer – Michael Morris
Head of Production – Sam Collins
Production Co-ordinator – Marina Doritis and Sinéad McCarthy
Production Manager – Matt Nightingale
Technicians – John Fowcett
Rigging – Unusual Rigging
Lighting Design – Jonathan Samuels
Lighting supplied by Whitelight
Front of House Team – Rupert Acton-Thompson, Ruth Brennan, Adam Fenton, John Harrington (Manager), Laura Hindmarsh, Sui Kim, Sophie Nibbs (Manager), John Petrie, Tashi Petter, Maeve Pook-Post, Sarah Thacker, John Tsang, Lucy Williams, Chris Woodcock-Stewart and Samantha Wolf
Image: A visitor walking in front of Vija Celmins' mezzotint work Untitled #4, 2016, Wolfgang Tillmans' self-portrait Separate System, Reading Prison (self a), 2016; and Rita Donagh's photographic print Single Cell Block, 1984. Photograph: Stephen White.
Who made this possible?
The exhibition is in association with Cork Street Galleries, an initiative from the Pollen Estate. Additional project support is from Martinspeed and Omni. Live auction support is from Sotheby’s and online auction support from Paddle8.