Runs from 31 October 2019 to 23 February 2020
“.…the Illuminating Gas” is the largest exhibition ever set up by the Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans (born 1958 in Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom; lives and works between London and Norwich, UK), whose installations employ a wide variety of different materials – mirrors, neon lights, plants, fireworks, projectors, strobe lighting – to create works of either tangible or ephemeral nature devised to prompt reflections on the evocative power of art and its capacity to generate clashes between different meanings, and to raise questions on the borders between the visible and the invisible, between material and immaterial. His works inquire into the phenomenon of synesthesia, and dovetail visual with aural stimuli coupled with movement, often tapping into a repertoire of cultural references that span the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and cover literature, music, philosophy, photography, poetry, art history, astronomy, and science. The outcome is a complex stratification of meanings, associations and interpretations that challenge the observer to decipher the dynamic system before them: Evans’s creations generate multiple scenarios, short-circuits, and juxtapositions of meaning that open new perspectives on our concepts of reality.
• Art and imagery
The purpose of the project is to help the students discover how scientific subjects such as astronomy can offer a crucial ingredient of art, which thanks to its power of suggestion can generate myriad narratives of perception that place the visitor as the central focus of the experience. Furthermore, Evans’s intention is to invite his young audience to understand how the various branches of science offer a point of departure for a new way of perceiving the world around us.
In the course of their exploration of the installation the young visitors’ attention will be channelled toward those works that focus on the various scientific fields and astronomy, such as in the piece entitled StarStarStar/Steer (totransversephoton) e C=O=N=S=T=E=L=L=A=T=I=O=N (I call your image to mind). After the tour of the installation, the students will be given the chance to split up into groups and devise their own working electrical circuit that fires up a bank of LEDs; each group will then be asked to identify a keyword that for them sums up the exhibition as a whole, and transform this into a sequence of intermittent show of LEDs flashing on and off corresponding to their home-made circuitry. The closing phase of the experience will involve all the groups sharing their “translation” into light-emission sequences, so as to weave together their separate ideas into a single narrative of the new knowledge acquired from the exhibition, but entirely visual instead of in words.