In 1977, American artist Dan Graham placed a large mirror in a room. In front of it, he placed rows of chairs. When the audience took their seats, Graham began describing himself, the audience, his own reflection, and the audience's reflection, in various stages of continuous commentary. He filmed the entire thing, and called it Performance/Artist/Mirror.
This ultra-conceptual piece is typical of the somewhat high-minded artist. His aim was to explore the relationship between performer and viewer, as well as the new medium of film, its implications and possibilities.
In Graham's words, he sees his work as “models to define the limits of an idea of representation as the conventional limits which necessarily define the situation between the artist and spectator.”
Eek. Heavy stuff. And your heart might sink a bit when you hear that the Lisson Gallery's Summer Exhibition is an exploration of video art, organised into three sections that draw on Graham's work - performance, audience and mirror.
But fear not. A lot of the work is much more accessible than it sounds. The Performer section of the programme highlights the association between
performance and film through the works of artists such as Marina Abramović, tying such work to more traditional media of theatre and comedy.
The ‘Audience’ programme takes place within Dan
Graham’s pavilion, Greek Meander Pavilion, Open Shoji Screen Version (2001). The pavilion
creates an intimate sculptural environment. Films by artists including Art & Language, Cory Arcangel, Ceal Floyer, Ryan Gander,
Jonathan Monk and Santiago Sierra will be screened on monitors housed in the large-
Screened in the third gallery space, the ‘Mirror’ programme reflects the social, political
and historical significance of film and its potential to act as a mirror on society
|What||Performer/Audience/Mirror exhibition, Lisson Gallery|
52-54 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA | MAP
|Nearest tube||Edgware Road (underground)|
15 Jul 16 – 25 Aug 16, Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday, 11am-5pm
|Website||Click here for more information|