“Walking in My Mind” at the Hayward Gallery (June 23 – Sept. 6)


[Posted by BR]


Keith Tyson, Jan 2009 – Locked Out Of Eden – Viewing The Children Playing In The Garden From The Safety Of My Cerebral Fortress (2009); click on image to enlarge

I’ve just heard of a very interesting looking art show on exhibit at the Hayward Gallery in London from June 23 through September 6, 2009, entitled Walking in My Mind (for more information about the show, see below). The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s weekly radio show All in the Mind recently aired an episode related to the exhibit, featuring interviews with the Hayward’s chief curator, Stephanie Rosenthal, and Semir Zeki, who is Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College, London. You can access this particular All in the Mind episode by clicking here. One need not, of course, be an advocate of “neuroesthetics” to find all this deeply interesting and philosophically significant; indeed, I see both the show and the recent burgeoning interest in the “biological bases” of various human practices (not to mention of human consciousness as such) as intimately connected to philosophical issues I gestured towards in an earlier post about the National Humanities Center’s website “On the Human.” The philosophical significance (and ambitions) of recent art that takes the mind (even the brain) as its primary concern — should one have any doubts on this score — is made clear by the following remark by Keith Tyson (2002 Turner Prize winner, who created the artwork reproduced above, which is part of the Hayward show):

The outside world is a complete construct of my inner mind. My mind, the place where I sit, is on a frontier; a portal between an inner and outer world. The external world passes through this portal via the artwork. The internal world does the same. Walking in My Mind is the act of endlessly crossing this frontier.

Here is the gallery’s own description of the show, with a list of the artists who have pieces in the exhibit:

Walking in My Mind explores the inner workings of the artist’s imagination through immersive, large-scale installation art. Ten international artists transform the Hayward Gallery’s indoor galleries and outdoor sculpture terraces into a series of gigantic sculptural environments, each of which represents an individual mindscape. Interior worlds of emotions, thoughts, memories and dreams collide with exterior reality, blurring the boundaries between inner and outer space. Artists include: Charles Avery, Thomas Hirschhorn, Yayoi Kusama, Bo Christian Larsson, Mark Manders, Yoshitomo Nara, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Chiharu Shiota and Keith Tyson.

The Hayward Gallery has created a very cool website for the show which you can access here.

And here is a short video about the show, featuring the show’s curators:

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