KALEIDOSCOPE has consistently played with the concept of an 'exhibition', and The Vanished Reality takes this further, the pieces themselves manipulating the norms of exhibiting. Forming the last stage of the year-long Kaleidoscope exhibition, the show features work from Marcel Broodthaers, Hans Haacke, Iann Issa, Darcy Lange, Louise Lawler, Maria Loboda, Kerry James Marshall, Katja Novitskova, and Hardeep Pandhal (and Yoko Ono). As with the previous exhibitions, it again meanders between the old and the new. Maria Loboda's 'To separate the sacred from the profane', for instance, was specially commissioned for the exhibition. A huge circle covered in bamboo, it sits in the centre of the Upper Gallery - reminiscent of a chinowa (a sacred Shinto threshold). Broodthaers has returning pieces from his 1975 exhibition, including 'Mademoiselle Riviere and Monsieur Bertin' - a series of 9 photographs - situated on the wall opposite Loboda's installation.
In the Upper Gallery, Iman Issa's 'Heritage Studies' plays with conventions of piece and display. The 'information' on the walls recites false materials and fake museums. There's a pervading sense of unreliability around the exhibition, questioning the responsibility of the artist as narrator of their work. The name for the exhibition comes itself from a fictional interview between Marcel Broodthaers and Rene Magritte, in which Broodthaers acts as critic, discussing Magritte's work.
The Middle Galleries feature two contrasting cases of video art. Broodthaers's returning piece 'ABC-ABC Image' is a double projection from two carousel slide projectors, showing 80 different slides. In the adjacent room is Hardeep Pandhal's 'Career Suicide', a mixed media installation. You can sit on a seesaw and watch the incredibly graphic and entertaining video, where a grotesque face is straddled by a green torso and legs. Or else poke your head through an old fashioned photo-board, decorated with garish and fleshy muscles and feet, adorned with British flags. Placed closely together, music from Pandhal's piece filters through into Broodthaers, both collaborative and jarring.
In the Piper Gallery, Katja Novitskova's 'Approximation' prints showcase re-purposed stock images of animals made giant: penguins, parrots, iguanas. Sheet-thin, the prints are vivid and striking, yet pixelated and aesthetically associative with advertisements and 'the viral'. This is coupled with Louise Lawler's fascinating 'No Drones', which features her own photographs turned into vinyl installations. The piece explores the context surrounding art - a living room, a restaurant, storage units, auction houses.
The Vanished Reality seems an appropriate end to the entire KALEIDOSCOPE project - engaging with the role of 'the gallery', and the power dynamics of exhibiting - aspects that so often lie hidden under the walls. The metamorphosis of the gallery throughout the year - perhaps most strikingly seen in the reformulations of the Piper Gallery - has revealed a myriad of ways to interpret space and art in conjunction. (I'm thinking Metzger's 'Crystal Light Environment', where rugs littered the floor, to Sillman's 'Stills from 13 Possible Futures: Cartoon for a Painting', which felt (in a good way) like walking into a work-in-progress, and now giant penguins.) It's been a fitting tribute to the 50th anniversary of the gallery, showcasing some of the past giants of the artworld, and new innovative faces. It feels apt to finish with Yoko Ono, the only artist to be exhibited in each exhibition, whose final 'instruction painting' reads:
'"PAINTING TO EXIST ONLY WHEN IT'S COPIED OR PHOTOGRAPHED"
Let people copy or photograph your paintings.
Destroy the originals.'