26 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
The Hayward Gallery is now 50 years old. For half a century the Brutalist concrete building has occupied its dominating position overlooking the Thames. In fitting celebration comes Space Shifters, an exhibition which aims to question our sense of space, playing with our perception of the world around us and our place within it.
On display are artworks from 20 artists. New commissions in direct response to the Hayward Gallery are brought together with sculptures and installations from the past 50 years. Stand before distorted mirrors from Anish Kapoor, weave through heavy chain-link curtains from Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and climb the stairs next to Monika Sosnowska’s Handrail – wrapped vine-like around the existing bannister so that reality and invention entwine. Alicja Kwade’s WeltenLinie (2017) or ‘world line’ is particularly arresting. As you walk through the structure some panels are filled with double sided mirrors, playing with the objects placed within so you aren’t sure where the reflection ends and reality begins. Later Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden – consisting of hundreds of reflective stainless steel orbs creates a shimmery liquid landscape that you want to reach out and touch.
It is worth queuing for your moment in Richard Wilson’s 20:50 – only one person is allowed in at a time to this room that is essentially a giant tank flooded with engine oil. The slick substance creates a mirror and as you descend the slope there’s a sense of vertigo – if it wasn’t for the smell you’d scarcely know it was oil – such is the mirror that it creates of the ceiling above.
There are a number of talks and events alongside the exhibition. We’ve got our eye on ES Devlin on 15th November, and Space Shifters with the New London Chamber Choir on 7 December. Book now.