The Hayward Gallery in London has a temporary exhibition space at 180 The Strand, the rear of which overlooks the South Bank downstream of Waterloo Bridge and towards the renovations at the Hayward. In the dark the London Eye and the OXO Tower stand out in red fluorescent with an up down castellated skyline of white lights between. These smudgy photos taken through dirty windows with my mobile are a view of the Southbank you don’t often get to see.
You can read about theinfinitemix.com for yourself – each audio visual work was presented in a large space entered via a dark passage, so dark it became disorientating at times, surprisingly no-one used their phone to light the way. Like the party game of statues you stepped over the real or invisible obstacles of humans or nothingness in deep darkness only to be suddenly illuminated by a rush of colour of white light from the image on screen – especially in THANX 4 NOTHING Ugo Rondinone (2015).
No heating on a chilly night in vast slightly lit space between the art works made for dynamic installations of reflections in the glass walls and against the brightly lit world outside. The person in green and white was in the midst of a group of five, the silhouette figures are queuing for the fun Bom Bom’s Dream Jeremy Deller and Cecilia Bengolea (2016). Ironically at the same time Picadilly Circus and Soho had been plunged into darkness by a power failure.
Each of the audio visual works challenged you differently, none in a completely innovative way which was a bit disappointing, However, for me the narrative content of Everything and More (2015) Rachel Rose was most memorable. David Wolf, US astronaut, narrates his experience of being in space and the disorientation of returning to earth. He talks of floating inside his space suit whilst letting go of everything but a single tether on a spacewalk, of his wrist watch feeling as heavy as a bowling ball on return to earth’s gravity and of the separate smells experienced after the odourlessness of the filtered air in the spacecraft. The accompanying music sounded like it was about to crash into the crescendo of Dark Side of the Moon which was a bit distracting but the visual patterns and the music complemented the spoken word well.
I ran out of time to see everything but the hologram of the ghostly apparition of the Maria Callas styled opera singer burst into the aria just as I reached the optimal position to view OPERA (QM.15) (2016) Domiique Gozalez-Foerster and was a suitable denouement.
It is with thanks to David Frohlich that together with others linked by our association with the University of Surrey’s Digital World Research Centre surrey.ac.uk/dwrc that we met to visit the exhibition and then chat at the impromptu venue of Itsu on The Strand. Apart from sharing our thoughts of the exhibition we also explored with Ethel Davies’ her fantastic 3D photographs – see 3dphotolibrary.com (you’ll need some 3D specs) and plenty of ideas for collaborations ensued.
The Infinite Mix. A Hayward Gallery off-site exhibition presented in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory at The Store 180 The Strand, London finishes 4 December 2016