© Mark Titchner

Mark Titchner: Voices You Cannot Hear Tell You What To Do, 2004
courtesy: Vilma Gold

the music of the future

Kate Davis
, Dee Ferris, Laurence Kavanagh, Ian Kiaer, Colin Lowe, Andrew Mania, Lucy Skaer, Mark Titchner

"the music of the future" examines the idea of the artist as a link between the fragmented elements of culture in society. Assembling and re-appropriating historical ideologies and art forms, the artists in the exhibition have created works that show deeply personal visions of the present.

The exhibition takes its title from a tongue-in-cheek article on the composer Richard Wagner, published in 1877 in Vanity Fair magazine. Wagner believed in the "Gesamtkunstwerk", the idea of an all-encompassing ideology unifying the arts - a total art. Through "Gesamkunstwerk" Wagner aimed to construct art that was a "second nature", so perfect that it re-configured the boundaries between art and nature itself. Inevitably this ideology was subject to the disparity between reality and aspiration. Wagner believed that the concealment of reality, formally within the music and also socially, was the point at which the "poetic aim" of art emerges. Critics believed that it was the necessary denial of reality that was the flaw in Wagner's work. The artworks in this exhibition have been selected for the way in which they explore these conflicts and tensions, and in doing so, re-interpret and unravel many of society's aspirations.

The exhibition presents work of an emerging generation of British artists. It includes Mark Titchner's film, "Voices We Cannot Hear Tell Us What To Do" - a visual and aural bombardment of graphic slogans and subliminal messages taken from multiple sources, including the Fugazi track "Suggestion" and the Judas Priest track "Better by you. Better by me". This work raises many questions, including: what drives the creative act and at what point do we lose control of, or submit to, social structures and beliefs?

In Andrew Mania's video work "Reception", a poetic construct is used as a means of escape. A hand held video camera captures the intensity of a moment - sunlight passing over the face of a figure in an old master painting. The boundaries of this private and constructed world are questioned as the camera zooms outwards, moving its focus away from the face, exposing the work in its entirety and its surrounding environment.

Ian Kiaer's work, "Bruegel project/grey file", is inspired by Bruegel's "Hunters in the Snow". Kiaer has placed a cardboard file against the wall with a silver tin foil bird motif on the front of it. Contained within this simple office format, Kiaer not only explores ideas of romantic fictions within the confines of the everyday, but also across artistic disciplines.

The title of the Vanity Fair article "the music of the future" is a reference to the phrase the "drama of the future", Wagner's term for "Gesamkunstwerk".

The exhibition is guest-curated by London-based artist Laurence Kavanagh. Previous curatorial projects include "Wider than the Sky", 2004 (co-curated with Lizzie Carey Thomas), "Corpa Nova", 2003, and "Gate 13", 2001.

Exhibition: 8 December 2005 - 15 January 2006
Gallery hours: Wed-Sun 12 - 6 pm or by appointment

Gasworks Gallery
155 Vauxhall Street
The Oval
GB-London SE11 5RH
Telephone +44 (0)20 7582 6848
Fax +44 (0)20 7582 0159
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