Whitworth’s latest exhibition Dark Matter’s brings together the work of ten internationally acclaimed artists who have explored the ideas around shadows, illusions and darkness. This is the first time Whitworth art gallery has embraced digital technology allowing us to question how we perceive the digital visual culture that has quickly become an essential in our day to day life.
The first installation of the exhibition is Daniel Rozin’s ‘Snow Mirror’ which is a huge piece of material hung from the ceiling with what looks like tv static projected onto it. The viewer then stands in front of the projection only to see themselves appear in the static. It reminded me of when Mike Teavee was turned into a million little pieces in Willy Wonka, as when I was a child I was fascinated with the idea of being able to get into the television, and this installation makes you wonder and imagine things that aren’t possible.
Another fascinating installation by Daniel Rozin is the ‘Peg Mirror’ created by 650 wooden dowels, 650 motors, video cameras and control electronics. He has created something that can mirror your image by rotating and tilting to create subtle shadows. This interactive piece created quite an audience in the gallery with everyone wanting to have a go with both adults and children finding it fascinating.Across the gallery is where Barnaby Hosking’s installation ‘thoughts’ was on display, halves of butterflies are positioned across 3 walls which create beautiful light and dark shadows which look like the other set of wings from afar. His aim behind this piece was to show the positive and negative through elementary strategies of reflection and shadow, showing the duality of thinking. I found them very endearing, and they created quite a peaceful atmosphere in the room.
A beautiful but dark exhibition, testing the boundaries of truth, in a world captivated by digital communication. Showing a lot of calm but troubled imagery and interesting installations that are bound to make you wonder and question what we see in our day to day lives. Each piece of art giving of the impression that there is more to be understood than what can be immediately seen.