The exhibition presents the work of international artists who play with ideas, materials and situations. At a time when art can no longer be defined through a single dominant movement or school of thought, the exhibition identifies a number of artists who share an attitude of irreverence and wit, and a lightness of touch increasingly visible in contemporary art making today.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster
State of Play presents the work of international artists who play with ideas, materials and situations. At a time when art can no longer be defined through a single dominant movement or school of thought, the exhibition identifies a number of artists who share an attitude of irreverence and wit, and a lightness of touch increasingly visible in contemporary art making today.
The artists included typify this attitude in a number of different ways. Their work ranges from the humorous to the ironic, from the poetic to the absurd, and from the light-hearted to the dark. Working in a variety of media, they create imagery and scenarios that have in common a sense of informality and an air of spontaneity.
Whether they embrace an economy of means and use everyday or discarded materials, play off the architecture of the gallery or devise situations that are deliberately self-mocking, they create playful and provocative statements about contemporary art and the world at large.
All of the works included in State of Play were selected in close collaboration with the artists and many were created especially for this exhibition. State of Play is curated by the Serpentine's Chief Curator, Rochelle Steiner.
Artists in the exhibition include Italian-born artist-provocateur Maurizio Cattelan, much of whose work functions as spectacle, challenging the conventions of the art institution; British Turner Prize winner Martin Creed, whose self-effacing approach results in deceptively simple yet highly subversive works of art; and New York artist Tony Feher who, with common materials such as coloured tape, string and filled or partially filled water bottles, creates restrained yet playful interventions inside and outside the gallery space.
The mundane and often absurd scenarios in the videos of German-born Christian Jankowski are infused with a sense of irony and deliberate self-mocking. Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri brings out the poetic potential in everyday objects and materials to reflect on consumer behaviour and the function of art within capitalist society.
German artist BjÃ¸rn Melhus samples popular culture sources including daytime
television, telemarketing, popular film and music, and televangelism, moulding himself into all the characters that inhabit these contrived realities. Polish-born, New York-based artist Aleksandra Mir works at the crossroads between performance, conceptual art and political action resulting in an art that always directly involves the artist, and is tinged with the tragic-comic. British duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster create installations that explore the status of the artist within consumer culture, using light projections to turn discarded materials into arresting self-portraits.
Combining elements of performance art, poetry, music and sculpture, the video
installations of Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist envelop the viewer in a total environment that is sometimes mesmerizing and intriguing, sometimes arch and witty. Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley makes deliberately faux naÃ¯ve drawings and sculptures that focus on the absurdity of everyday life. German artist Andreas Slominski infuses everyday materials with sly humour to create cunning works of art that require closer examination to unveil their hidden meaning. Sarah Sze creates elaborate systems and whimsical arrangements that reflect on complex relationships and networks within contemporary life.
Apple Tree Innocent On Diamond Hill (Apfelbaum unschuldig auf dem DiamantenhÃ¼gel)2003
1 video projection, 1 laser disc player, 1 tree branch, parts of 'The Innocent Collection 1985 - approx. 2032', hanging from the branch, silent
Courtesy of Galerie Hauser & Wirth, ZÃ¼rich and London
Photo: Tse-Ling Uh
Â© 2004 Pipilotti Rist
State of Play
A full-colour publication, State of Play, will be on sale to accompany the exhibition.
The State of Play catalogue will include photographs of all of the works in the exhibition at the Serpentine as well as other works by the artists. It will also include an essay by Rochelle Steiner, Chief Curator, Serpentine Gallery, and provide essential information about the artists in the show.
Designed by Daniel Eatock of Foundation 33, it will capture the spirit of this group exhibition.
Available from Gallery Lobby Desk or by telephoning 020 7402 6075 Price Â£12
Kensington Gardens W2 3XA