Monday, 12 September 2011

Josiah McElheny: The Past Was A Mirage Id Left Far Behind

Josiah McElheny for the The Bloomberg Commission has transformed the Whitechapel Gallery into a hall of mirrors. Seven large-scale, mirrored sculptures are arranged as multiple reflective screens for the artists interpretation of groundbreaking experimental abstract films, programmed to change throughout the year. The sculptures will reflect and refract the projected film selection, saturating the whole gallery and visitors in images and light. Distorted and multiplied, the moving images explore how abstracting is used to depict an image of visual enlightenment.

The Bloomberg Commission is displayed in Gallery 2, a dedicated space for site-specific works of art that was previously the reading room of the former Whitechapel Library. Inspired by the history of thr Library as a creative haven for early modernist thinkers such as Isaac Rosenberg and Mark Gertler, McElheny's new work explores the history of abstraction in film and video, reinterpreting them by presenting fractured, constantly morphing versions.

The work is being shown until 20th July 2012 and is worth several visits to see the changeover of films. The best part is that it's free and you can make a day of it by visiting the Rothko show too!

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