Curated by Annushka Shani
16 July – 21 August 2004
White Cube Hoxton Square
An eclipse is an interruption of the everyday that occurs when the moon crosses between the earth and the sun, casting them into shade. With the source of the visible veiled, new conditions are set up and other things come into view. Eclipse, then, serves as a metaphor for a different kind of seeing and experiencing. This international group exhibition brought together the work of fourteen artists of different generations, who work in diverse media including painting, sculpture, drawing, film and performance, yet who share an ear and an eye for the subtle interpenetration of things – the silent ground.
The artists exhibited in this show make works that cross borders, opening up the in-between spaces, where shadows fall between the visible and the invisible, the image and its undoing, the action and its trace. Mona Hatoum's kinetic sculpture, entitled + and – charts the space between the mark and its erasure. It is a circular floor-based structure filled with sand across which an arm slowly rotates, grooved on one end and flat on the other, so that as it turns it rakes circular lines into the bed of sand and simultaneously erases them. Many of the works in the exhibition gather under the sign of the ‘index’ – a trace of something that has been before, the residue of an action, evidence of a history or clue to some prior transgression.
In opening up transitional spaces, these works disrupt notions of fixed visual space and the absolute measure of the grid, instead revealing other less visual and more liminal structuring devices – conditioning horizons or measures – such as boundaries, beats, cycles, frames, traces and horizons. When absolute measures do appear they are usually undermined; the grid appears as imperfect rather than ideal in the works of Agnes Martin and Sergej Jensen and the singular authority of time is subverted in works by both Darren Almond and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
Many of the works in the exhibition appear dematerialised. Isa Genzken's two simple frame-like structures orchestrate and create spaces through the sparest material means, whereas Cerith Wyn Evans' mirror mobile has the text ‘I call your image to mind, call and recall' cut out of mirrored bars so that as the mobile moves and shifts in space the text virtually disappears, continually interrupted and broken.
Throughout the exhibition the image slips and loses its spectacular grip. In Runa Islam's film work it appears with sudden brevity and in Paul Pfeiffer's video and photographic work the image is radically erased, present only as a negative. In Neal Tait's paintings partial images appear reclaimed and recovered through the painting process and suggest almost forgotten memory sensations. Many of the artists in this exhibition are able to make felt and give tangible form to experiences and feelings that elude language.