Currently on show at the Hayward Gallery is an array of playful installation artworks concerned with spatial perception, featured in group exhibition ‘Space Shifters’. On display are works from 20 artists including Jeppe Hein, Yayoi Kusama and Alicja Kwade. Kwade’s installation piece ‘WeltenLinie’ particularly stood out for me; the iron structures divided the room with panes of mirrored glass in some yet some were left open to play with the viewer’s perception of what was real and what was not. When navigating the space it is impossible to be sure what you are approaching.
The work is both aesthetically beautiful whilst also being remarkably cerebral. After winding my footsteps carefully around this exhibit multiple times I still found it perplexing, constantly checking and retracing my steps to remember which sections were real or otherwise. The non-reality of the space intensifies the feeling of a large maze-like piece. It must not be misunderstood that the mirrors do not simply intervene with your path but they are also in place to create questions regarding the objects that fill the spaces within the structures. In the left side of the image below it is possible to see a mass that appears both green and silver, this is in fact one green mass, behind the mirror, and a separate yet similarly shaped silver mass that is in front of the mirror. Here the artist has employed an acute attention to detail in order to create this optical illusion, as the viewer stands at a corner and moves from left to right they reveal more of the green mass in front of them or more of the reflection of the silver mass. At a first glance this threw my mind into a wild spiral of questions at which point I truly did not know whether or not to believe what my eyes were seeing. This motif is explored through other illusions throughout the installation, all contributing to a greater sense of confusion within the space.
The illustrious 20:50 installation masterminded by British artist Richard Wilson in 1987 is also on display. Unfortunately, due to time restraints I could not wait the near two hour wait to see the work having spent so much time exploring the rest of the exhibition. However, I intend to revisit soon so that I may take in this exquisite piece and experience it in real life surpassing the images I have seen of the work in photographs.
‘Space Shifters’ is on show at The Hayward Gallery until 6 January 2019. Buy tickets here.