The Vinyl Factory who last year partnered with the Hayward Gallery to bring London ‘The Infinite Mix’, one the best shows of the year, is to stage ‘EVERYTHING AT ONCE’ a homage to 50 years of the Lisson Gallery.
The Lisson opened on Bell Street in 1967, a year after John Cage’s pronouncement on the changing conditions of contemporary existence. In celebration of this anniversary, the gallery is partnering with, an ambitious group exhibition inspired by these words, which could very well apply to our current anxiety-ridden age of ceaseless communication. Through new and historical works by 24 of the artists currently shown by Lisson Gallery (out of more than 150 to have had solo shows over the past 50 years), this extensive presentation aims to collapse half a century of artistic endeavour under one roof, while telescoping its original aims into an unknowable future.
“Nowadays everything happens at once and our souls are conveniently electronic (omniattentive).” John Cage, 1966
As Cage predicted, we increasingly live in an all-at-once age, in which time and space are no longer rational or linear concepts and great distances can be traversed with an instantaneous click. More than ever before, contemporary art, like life, assaults us simultaneously from all angles and from anywhere on the globe, existing also as multi sensory visions of an accelerated world.
Artist’s Exhibiting: MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ – AI WEIWEI – ALLORA & CALZADILLA – ART & LANGUAGE – CORY ARCANGEL – TONY CRAGG – RICHARD DEACON – NATHALIE DJURBERG & HANS BERG – CEAL FLOYER – RYAN GANDER – DAN GRAHAM – RODNEY GRAHAM – SUSAN HILLER – SHIRAZEH HOUSHIARY – ANISH KAPOOR – LEE UFAN – RICHARD LONG – HAROON MIRZA – TATSUO MIYAJIMA – JULIAN OPIE – LAURE PROUVOST – WAEL SHAWKY – LAWRENCE WEINER – STANLEY WHITNEY
In response, ‘EVERYTHING AT ONCE’ is neither a chronological exhibition nor an encyclopedic history of the gallery’s activities since 1967, rather it is an interconnected journey incorporating 45 works exploring experience, effect, and event, invoking immediacy and immutability. Ranging from text to installation, painting, sculpture, performance and sound, the selection presents some of Lisson’s leading artists, of both the past and present – beginning with monumental works such as Dan Graham’s largest-ever pavilion, entitled Showing off the Body (2016) in recognition of its original commission for a Céline fashion show in Paris. While this glass and steel intervention reflects and refracts visitors and its Brutalist architectural surroundings, Ai Weiwei’s 50-metre long wallpaper installation, Odyssey (2016) represents the global, ancient and continuing movement of peoples, touching on themes from his newly-released film on the plight of refugees worldwide, Human Flow.
The ground floor contains important sculptural statements from the last century by Anish Kapoor – At the Edge of the World II (1998) floats above head height, receding seemingly impossible into space and time – and Richard Deacon, who presents his own takes on materiality and multidimensionality through a twisted plywood Möbius-like form, Turning a Blind Eye (1984), and the stainless steel, wall-based Infinity series.
Other classic or career-defining works from the past 50 years punctuate the exhibition, from Rodney Graham’s breakout, time-bending cinematic short, Vexation Island (1997), to a trio of Marina Abramović films – Freeing the Mind, Freeing the Body, Freeing the Voice (1975) – in which the expectation of a human’s potential is also tested, albeit in stark physical and mental terms, rather than through Graham’s comic flourish. The found and machined cathedral spires of Tony Cragg’s Minster (1988) meet his resolutely hand-made collection of oversized stone Tools (1986), as well as the view over the Thames and the city beyond, while Julian Opie exhibits an early concrete racetrack from 1993, Imagine you are driving (Sculpture 4), alongside two recent computer animations of different first-person driving scenarios, Tunnel and Night Motorway (2016-17). Art & Language, who have shown with Lisson Gallery since 1973, address the passing of time in their film, Qui Pourra (2008), both in terms of time spent working in the studio and the slow accretion of ideas and meaning over time.
Artists that have joined the gallery in the last decade – including Ryan Gander, Wael Shawky, Haroon Mirza, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg and, newly announced this autumn, Laure Prouvost – fast-forward and extend this timeline towards the present day, adding works that have not been exhibited either by the gallery or elsewhere in the UK before. Prouvost trawls the adolescent subconscious for her hallucinogenic road movie Lick in the Past (2016), while Gander’s robotic sentries enact emotional postures and imagine better worlds for us all. Nathalie Djurberg’s sensual, all-encompassing animations, across four screens of The Black Pot (2013), are themselves enveloped by Hans Berg’s similarly immersive musical score.
If the temporal simultaneity and historical comprehensiveness implied in the title ‘EVERYTHING AT ONCE’ are impossible themes for any group show, so the exhibition attempts to examine the multiple ambiguities, contradictions, references and readings contained in individual works. On the first floor, Ceal Floyer’s wall of speakers blaring the engaged signal of a failed telephone call, Line Busy (UK) (2011), is both a minimal work of art and a note of restrained humour; Cory Arcangel’s hacked computer game screens, MIG 29 Soviet Fighter Plane and Clouds (2005), could be either political statement or benign dreamscape; while Allora & Calzadilla’s Solar Catastrophe (2012) is a hard-edged abstraction made from solar panels, as well as an ironic admission of the wreckage left behind by this renewable energy source.
Among the new commissions is Richard Long’s 60-metre long mud work, made directly on the wall using his hands dipped in slip from the river Avon. Lee Ufan makes his own minimal gesture on an opposite surface, his multi-layered brush-stroke serving as a mark of time and place, while a new suite of paintings by Stanley Whitney completes this more lyrical, meditative and philosophical section of the show.
The top floor weaves together disparate languages and voices. Wael Shawky’s Al Araba al Madfuna III (2015) is the final act in his epic, cinematic trilogy of child-acted Egyptian fables. The wall of 100 television screens beaming out Susan Hiller’s Channels (2013) are records and testimonies of those who have suffered near death experiences or claim to have glimpsed the hereafter. Haroon Mirza translates a drawn composition by another artist interested in scores and notational languages, creating a pavilion of electronic light and sound, titled A Chamber for Horwitz (2015), while Shirazeh Houshiary reinterprets the songs of the four major religions into an immersive temple to openness for the installation known as Breath (2013). A pillar of randomly tumbling numbers, Time Waterfall (2017) by Tatsuo Miyajima, represents not only the cycle of human life but also the passing of time and the futility of commemorating moments past or present.
‘EVERYTHING AT ONCE’ has been co-curated by Greg Hilty and Ossian Ward of Lisson Gallery in partnership with The Vinyl Factory. This exhibition will be complemented by the first in a series of ambitious Vinyl Factory commissions at Store Studios, 180 The Strand: Ryoji Ikeda’s Test Pattern no.12, a site-specific audio-visual experience comprised of visual patterns generated from sound waveforms in real time.
Lisson Gallery is one of the longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world. Established in 1967 by Nicholas Logsdail, it currently supports and develops 53 artists internationally across two exhibition spaces in London and two in New York.
Lisson Gallery’s half-century will also be marked by a landmark publication to be launched in October. Under the art direction of famed Dutch designer Irma Boom, the publication, entitled ARTIST | WORK | LISSON features an A-to-Z of all the artists to have had solo shows at the gallery. Through the use of ephemera, letters, drawings, photographs and other printed matter, the book forms a parallel document to the gallery’s own extensive 50-year archive and runs to over 1,000 pages.
Established in 2001, The Vinyl Factory encompasses a record label, vinyl pressing plant, the record shop Phonica and music magazine FACT, in addition to all of its visual arts activities. These include new art commissions, exhibitions, and collaborations between musicians and contemporary artists.
The Vinyl Factory record label releases limited editions made in collaboration with musicians and artists, accompanied by events and performances. Releases to date include Daft Punk, Christian Marclay, Massive Attack, Eddie Peake, Roisin Murphy, Dinos Chapman, Florence + the Machine, Maurizio Cattelan, Pet Shop Boys, Martin Creed, Bryan Ferry, Giorgio Moroder and The xx.
The Vinyl Factory curates a site-specific programme of audio-visual experiences at spaces including Store Studios, 180 The Strand and Brewer Street Car Park. These have included ‘The Infinite Mix: Contemporary Sound and Image’, as well as the UK premieres of Ragnar Kjartannson’s The Visitors, Ryoji Ikeda’s supersymmetry, Carsten Nicolai’s unicolor and Richard Mosse’s The Enclave.
The Vinyl Factory also works in partnership with leading art organisations including the Venice Biennale, Hayward Gallery, Barbican and the Serpentine Gallery. Key projects include ‘The Infinite Mix’ at Store Studios, Jeremy Deller’s English Magic for the British Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale of Art, Christian Marclay’s major show at White Cube Bermondsey and the staging of American multi-media artist Doug Aitken’s Station to Station at the Barbican.
A unique creative space housed in an iconic Brutalist building, Store Studios, 180 The Strand launched in October 2016 with the critically acclaimed ‘The Infinite Mix: Contemporary Sound and Image’ exhibition – a collaboration between The Hayward Gallery and The Vinyl Factory.
Top Photo: Sara Faith © Artlyst 2017
Everything At Once 5 October – 10 December 2017 Store Studios, 180 The Strand (Opening Frieze week)
Free admission, disabled access with lifts
Opening times: 5 October – 10 December 2017; Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm – 7pm; Sunday 12pm – 6pm Address: Store Studios, 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA