Illusion Of The Spectator

Modern Language Experiment invite seven artists who create artworks, interventions and projects that use, as a fundamental part, the spectator in three distinct categories.

at Angus-Hughes Gallery

Beth Fox, Craig Cooper, Charlotte Norwood, Kate Janes, Maite Zabala, Matthew Stock, Patrick Coyle

There will be a performance by Patrick Coyle at the Preview, starting at 9pm.

“The contemporary art space is a space in which multitudescan view themselves and celebrate themselves… in a way that assists them in reflecting upon their own condition, offering them an opportunity to exhibit themselves to themselves.”—Groys, B, Going Public 2010 p.63

Are we as readers and visitors to contemporary arts spaces aware of ourselves?

The spectator’s experience of a work of art is, in the most part,dependent on what they bring with them and what they understand about the work but the spectator is much more then a member of a momentary group that go to see this thing, then move over there and observe that thing; they are a community. The position and power of the spectator as implied by the work of art has been a central question from the time of Denis Diderot, and has been regularly contested from Roland Barthes essay The Death of the Author to Michael Fried’s call for the passivity of the audience.

As the art world moves in to a new stage of social and politicalchange this exhibition will once again pull focus on the spectatorthat Boris Groys describes as a self-aware community that hasalready been conditioned by the art world’s numerous emancipatory and participatory projects. This community has already accepted its participatory role, actively welcomed its new authorities, and is ready to reject or accept any denigration offered. This exhibition then will re-examine the position and power of the spectator by looking at what has caused this preoccupation with the spectator, the work of art and the artist; and ask whether these new forms of encounter empower or denigrates the audience.

The artists selected for this exhibition create artworks, interventions and projects that use, as a fundamental part, the spectator in three distinct categories, the spectator as a participant, the spectator as a community, and the spectator as subject matter. These will serve as active interlocutors to continue this discussion through the duration of the exhibition.

Event: 18 June, 7pm

A panel discussion hosted by Matthew Stock with Dave Beech & Tom Trevatt will debate the themes and concepts put forward by the exhibiton; especially the spectators encounter with the art object and new platforms for art.

Angus-Hughes Gallery / Modern Language Experiment

Opening Times
Preview: Friday 8 June, 6-9.30pm
8 - 18 June 2012

Angus-Hughes Gallery
26 Lower Clapton Road