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Preview: MIRRORCITY at Hayward Gallery

Wednesday 24 September 2014

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Words Darren Skene

London is arguably one of the world’s centres for contemporary art and MIRRORCITY, opening 14th October at the Hayward Gallery, showcases key artists working in the capital today who seek to address the dilemmas, realities and consequences of living in a digital age.

J. G. Ballard believed that reality had already exceeded the visions conjured by science fiction by the end of the 20th century. Utilising the fact that we live in a new digital era, the artists in this exhibition address this new perception of the world. Artists have always created alternative realities, but recently they have been exploring where the digital and the physical space cross over and fold into each other. MIRRORCITY considers questions specific to our time such as: how can we navigate the space between the digital and the physical? What new emotional, conceptual, physical tools have we developed? What are the new forms or new ways of using or inventing language? The exhibition further explores the question: “What is our current experience of reality and the condition of our existence today?”

Presenting artworks in a wide variety of media including painting, film, sculpture, sound and performance, the exhibition addresses the effect of digital media on our experiences. The engagement, innovation and complexity of the works selected also directly or indirectly mirror the multi-faceted character of London itself.

Nowhere Less Now, Lindsay Seers, 2012. An Artangel commission_SpindleLindsay Seers ‘Nowhere Less Now’, 2012. © the artist, 2014. Commissioned by Artangel; Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, Australia; Sarjah Art Foundation, Sarjah, UAE. Courtesy the artist & Matt’s Gallery, London

Artists in the exhibition are: Frank Bock, Nicola Conibere and Martin Hargreaves (Volumes Project); Michael Dean; Tim Etchells; Anne Hardy; Susan Hiller; Lloyd Corporation; LuckyPDF; Helen Marten; Ursula Mayer; Emma McNally; Karen Mirza and Brad Butler; Katrina Palmer; Pil and Galia Kollectiv; Laure Prouvost; Aura Satz; Lindsay Seers; Tai Shani; Daniel Sinsel; John Stezaker and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

A specially produced ‘alternative’ newspaper has been created by Tom McCarthy; conceived as collaboration between the author and the artists featured in the exhibition, artists have been have contributed a diverse and distinctive array of texts and pictures that McCarthy has edited into a startling and otherworldly reading experience.

MIRRORCITY is open between 14 October 2014 – 4 January 2015 at Hayward Gallery, London.

Featured Image: Anne Hardy ‘Suite’ 2012. © the artist, 2014. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London