What happens if ...?
A exhibition of experimental objects and actions by artists and designers from the UK, Switzerland, Hungary, Israel, and the USA. Simon Blackmore, Attila Csörgő, Jerome Harrington, Michael Kontopoulos, Material Beliefs, Ariel Schlesinger, Roman Signer, Thomas Thwaites, Bill Woodrow and Stuart Walker.
This exhibition is about experimentation and play. It brings together artists with long-established international reputations, alongside recent graduates. What they have in common is a mischievous curiousity about the world around us, and a do-it-yourself approach. They conduct witty low-tech experiments to uncover the enchantment hidden within everyday utilitarian objects. They play around with cause and effect, finding out what will happen if they subject familiar objects to unexpected treatments. They are speculators, investigators, sorcerers, and jokers. These cloth-capped alchemists use glowing wit to transform consumer detritus into golden rabbits.
These artists and designers create clownish situations and quirky objects in which physics and poetry collaborate to produce humourous and profound results. There are videos of carefree explosions, a chandelier made from a car door, a domestic toaster constructed from raw materials, a bicycle tyre which burns gas, and a cooperative inflatable.
Experiments involve direct experience through action, rather than passive acceptance and belief. This exhibition encourages us to question our surroundings, to test our assumptions about consumerism and recycling, and to ask what happens if ...?
These artists are all trying out something new. We invite you to join them.
A series of Talks on Art and writing workshops accompanied this exhibition.
What happens if ...? was presented in collaboration with the Experimentality programme of Lancaster University's Institute for Advanced Studies - a year-long exploration of ideas and practices of experimentation in science and technology, the arts, politics, popular culture and everyday life.
Produced by Suzy Jones for Storey Gallery
Image by Suzy Jones
Image by Suzy Jones
Image courtesy of Thomas Thwaites. The Toaster Project.
Image courtesy of Roman Signer's estate
Image courtesy of Material Beliefs