Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You Dig the Tunnel, I'll Hide the Soil

This morning I had the good fortune to be invited to the White Cube Gallery to hear an introduction of the current exhibition (as above) by the Director of the Gallery.

They currently have a group exhibition in the gallery and the new basement of Shoreditch Town Hall. The exhbition draws on the work of Edgar Poe - who I remember from my teens. His writings are very dark, drawing on mythic imagery of the shadow-side of life.

The Gallery exhibition had this to say....

Poe is now recognised as an artist far ahead of his time, particularly for the charged psychological facets of his work, which seemed to foretell psychoanalysis, pre-dating Freud by more than half a century. His famous detective, Dupin, became the blueprint for many future detectives, including Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple, and he is also a pioneer of what we now know as science fiction, influencing such writers as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. However, Miller felt that Poe had become synonymous with whatever is merely gothic or dark, a misconception that he wanted to address by curating this exhibition. ‘There’s a real distinction here’, says Miller. ‘It was really telling when we’d approach people and they’d say, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this painting which is nearly all black!” That was really disappointing.’ Miller sought to address this glib association by selecting a dozen of Poe’s stories that seemed to lend themselves most to a more contemporary interpretation. Wherever he noticed a connection to an artist’s existing work, life or practice, he approached them to read the stories and asked them to respond in any manner they saw fit and to interpret the story with a new work.

This exhibition has got me thinking, and I love the new labyrinth rooms in the town hall.