Shows & Exhibitions
In Pictures: See Inside Mike Nelson’s Eerie and Remarkably Ambitious Takeover of London’s Hayward Gallery
It is one of the most technically demanding exhibitions the institution has ever staged.
Mike Nelson, who has exhibited in many top museums and biennials around the world for decades, is known for eye-opening presentations that immerse audiences into his strange visual universe. For “Extinction Beckons” at Hayward Gallery, on view until May 7, the British artist has brought his epically-scaled installations to London, in what has been billed as the artist’s first major survey exhibition.
The landmark show does not disappoint; from a gigantic maze of nearly two dozen interconnected rooms and corridors to a monumental installation made with 40 tonnes of sand, the show’s curatorial team and installation crew have completely reconfigured and transformed the gallery’s exhibition spaces in order to bring the artist’s unique vision to life. It took more than 30 builders and technicians over a month to install the show, which has been described by the museum as one of the most technically demanding exhibitions it has ever staged.
Alongside new commissions are many key works, some on view for the first time since they were originally exhibited. The Deliverance and The Patience (2001), a mesmerizing maze that was originally commissioned for a Venice Biennale 2001 collateral event staged at a former brewery building on Giudecca is on view, as is the enormous installation Triple Bluff Canyon (the woodshed) (2004), which is recreated with sand sourced from a river in Bedfordshire. Next to this surreal sand dune is a secret passage into I, Imposter (the darkroom), a meticulous recreation of the 2011 Venice Biennale installation that was drawn from his earlier installation in Istanbul Biennial 2003; also on view from the 2011 British pavilion is the dark red room of I, Imposter (2011).
There are many cultural and political references to be unpacked at “Extinction Beckons,” which is like a conceptual, time-traveling puzzle. While it may not be the most comforting exhibition on view, it is definitely a highlight in London so far this year.
See exhibition views of “Extinction Beckons” at Hayward Gallery below.
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