press release

She sees the shadows
14.07.2018 - 04.11.2018

MOSTYN, Wales UK is pleased to present a group exhibition of works by over 40 contemporary artists from the David Roberts Collection, marking the first off-site collaboration by David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF).

Works by: Caroline Achaintre, Horst Ademeit, Fiona Banner, Sara Barker, Phyllida Barlow, Neil Beloufa, David Birkin, Karla Black, Carol Bove, Martin Boyce, Lea Cetera, Susan Collis, Thomas Demand, Jason Dodge, Boyle Family, Theaster Gates, Isa Genzken, Rodney Graham, Harry Gruyaert, Jeppe Hein, Marine Hugonnier, Pierre Huyghe, Matthew Day Jackson, Tatsuya Kimata, Rachel Kneebone, Elad Lassry, Bob Law, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Kris Martin, Marlie Mul, Nika Neelova, Man Ray, Magali Reus, Pietro Roccasalva, Analia Saban, Erin Shirreff, Monika Sosnowska, Oscar Tuazon, Gavin Turk, Franz West, Douglas White

Curated by Adam Carr (MOSTYN) and Olivia Leahy (DRAF)
Gallery 3, 4 & 5

“She sees the shadows... she even counts the tree-trunks along a promenade by the shadows, but sees nothing of the shape of things.”(1)

In 1886, a 22-year-old woman in Lyon saw the world around her for the first time. Objects instantly recognisable by touch were hard to distinguish with her new sight, and shadows appeared more concrete than solid forms. Her doctors described the sudden strangeness of familiar environments, and her singular experience of the world as a newly-sighted person.

In his 1932 book Space and Sight, Marius Von Senden collated the patient’s experiences alongside testimonies of similar cases dating from 1020 to the present. These captivating accounts, which later inspired writers including Maggie Nelson and Annie Dillard, express how something familiar can show a previously unacknowledged beauty when seen in a new way.

She sees the shadows is a group exhibition of works from the David Roberts Collection that resonate with the ideas found in Space and Sight. Each artist has re-conceived day-to-day objects and materials in unexpected ways—a bench, plug socket, grate, section of railing or broom—inviting viewers to see alternative qualities and narratives therein.

Each of the works in a collection, like the testimonies compiled by Von Senden, speak of personal experiences and moments. She sees the shadows is accompanied by a new publication with responses to the project from writers Orit Gat, Claire Potter and Sally O’Reilly and artists David Birkin, Jason Dodge, Marine Hugonnier, Marlie Mul, Magali Reus and Douglas White.

(1) M. Von Senden (trans. P. Heath), Space and Sight: the perception of space and shape in the congenitally blind before and after operation, 1932, Methuen & Co. Ltd.: London, 1960.