illusion of the spectator
Curated by The Modern Language Experiment

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

Private View: Friday 8 June, 6-9pm
Talk: Monday 18 June, from 7pm
Exhibition Continues: 9 June - 18 June
Friday to Sunday 12-6pm, or by appointment

“The contemporary art space is a space in which multitudes can 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 arts contemporary 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 political change this exhibition will once again pull focus on the spectator that Boris Groys describes as a self-aware community that has already 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.

Talk: Monday 18 June, from 7pm

Accompanying Publication

Video Works

Patrick Coyle - illusion of the spectator, Friday 8th June 2012

Beth Fox - 'A marvellous negative capability', 2012

Exhibition photographs by Matthew Stock

Beth Fox - 'A marvellous negative capability', 2012

Craig Cooper - 'Spatial Territory', 2012

Charlotte Norwood - 'But that's just the point, someone might object (Balls and Strkes of ‘96)', 2012

Kate Janes - 'yellow hats and hammers', 2012

Maite Zabala - 'Gemini', 2011

Matthew Stock - 'Perplications', 2012

Patrick Coyle - ' 'Illusion of the spectator Friday 8th June 2012' '

Installation Views