Cerith Wyn Evans: Solo show and Serpentine Cinema season

This major solo show presents a varied body of work brought together ‘in concert’, described by Wyn Evans as “responding to the spaces which examine the transformative ‘Site/Sight/Cite’ effects that light, sound and duration can have on both spaces and their occupants. The site of the gallery, the perception of sight, the citation of references are multiple and swarming.”

Wyn Evans began his career as a film and video maker, by producing short experimental films in the late 1970s. Since the 1990s, his work has been characterised by a focus on language and its perception, with his installations working like a reservoir of possible meanings that can unravel many discursive journeys. Wyn Evans’ work has a consistent and highly refined aesthetic that is often informed by his magpie-like approach to the influences which shape and colour his practice: ornate chandeliers are transformed into communication devices via software systems that translate texts into Morse code, evoking notions of otherworldly communication; neon tubes are bent into quotes that form a frieze of light that runs around the room.

Wyn Evans’ references are equally varied, including John Cage, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Iannis Xenakis, Georges Bataille, James Merrill, Marcel Duchamp, Pierre Klossowski and Hanne Darboven; these sources are often treated as Readymades and are grouped in synchronicity and contradiction with one another, enabling a number of contrasting discourses.

A key feature of this major exhibition will be Wyn Evans’ use of sound as a transformative and yet intangible medium, whereby mechanical flutes, suspended in the central spaces, will sound throughout the building, while a directional speaker placed on the gallery floor will produce a column of sound that draws attention to the surrounding architecture. Light is used in an equally revelatory way, with lights appearing to inhale and exhale, replicating the rhythm and cadences, intervals and textures of a score. These sounds, lights – and above all a neon text – will wrap frieze-like around the entire exhibition space, drawing visitors around the building in a choreographed promenade punctuated by encounters with objects and unexpected vistas.

To find out more visit: www.serpentinegalleries.org

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1. Elective affinity by Cerith Wyn Evans