This stand-out show from 2016 might be finished now but Rory’s review introduces you to how to experience video installations and the captivating artwork featured.
The ‘Infinite Mix’ is an audiovisual delight, exploring of a wide range of emotions, feelings and concepts.
The exhibition certainly makes you think about the important link between visuals and sound, and how immersive an experience watching and listening can be.
A variety of themes and genres are explored including documentary, music video and theatrical performances. These genres are successfully combined to create a new kind of visually immersive storytelling, with the sound being as important as the visual material. Most of the artists exhibiting have composed a soundtrack or commissioned a piece to accompany their work.
Two works which struck a chord with me were by Martin Creed and Ugo Rondinone. I was interested in performance and how you can use voice and space to create the right impact and effect on your viewer. Both of these artists seem to do this in a remarkable way.
As you enter, turn immediately left and you’re greeted by Martin Creed – you can see a still from the video at the top of this page. Creed’s obsession with ‘the way people move’ forms the basis of ‘Work No. 1701’. It’s liberating to watch and focuses on the fact that everything we do in our life, whether it’s living or working, centres around the use of our body.
“Through this work, Creed makes out that our day-to-day lives ‘can look like a dance’.”
The camera follows all types of people, walking with a hobble, limp, alongside this a rollkicking pop song which lyrics include, “in my car, in my bed, in my head, you return”, Creed romanticises the way in which we carry out this unconscious action of walking. He tries to normalise and beautify disabilities, celebrating the different ways in which people move through the world.
The piece which was most intriguing to me was Ugo Rondinone’s completely immersive video installation and performance. Poet and performance artist John Giorno recites ‘THANX 4 NOTHING’, a poem giving thanks to “everyone for everything”. Giorno looks back upon his life, speaking with humour about the events and people that influenced his life.
At the beginning of the video you have no sense of place, location, any kind of context until the final stages of the video where we’re exposed to the television studio context. The way in which Rondinone has choreographed this piece – making use of three projections and multiple television screens – supports the pace at which the poem’s is being read, as well as the up and down nature of the content of the poem.
Interestingly, the three large projector screens seem naturally to be where your eye focuses upon. I found myself staring at one of the projections – however, don’t get caught up in that trap at future exhibitions! If you catch yourself doing this, make sure to completely immersive yourself in what the artist wants you to consider, the whole room and its multiple screens. Watch the performance twice through if it helps.
“Feel comfortable in the space, make yourself at home, dedicate a couple of hours to this show because it deserves the time.”
‘The Infinite Mix’ was a free pop up exhibition at The Store, 180 The Strand. Get to know all the artists featured on the exhibition website
Advisory note from the Hayward Gallery: some artists’ work features themes of an adult nature.