press release

Art of the Lived Experiment addresses the idea that both art and life are in a state of continual change and uncertainty. Both are subject to flux and transformation.

In contrast to the objectivity of modern science, the ancient practice of alchemy – turning base metals into gold - believed that the presence of the experimenter was integral to the experiment itself. In contemporary art, can the artist’s own subjectivity be incorporated, like the alchemist’s, into their work in new, experimental and challenging ways?

The artists in this exhibition address this question, not through the fixed certainties of autobiography or illustration, but by acknowledging that the unfixed, mutable nature of existence demands constant adjustment and experiment.

Curated by artist Aaron Williamson for DaDaFest International 2014, the exhibition brings together a range of artworks, including sculpture, video, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics and performance by UK and international artists, several showing for the first time in this country. Process-based and performative work is strongly featured, and includes Brian Catling’s durational performances in the gallery.

An introductory ‘Ignition Room’ presents an eclectic range of historical ephemera that illuminates the exhibition’s themes and includes an acoustic chair, a gold disc and hearing aid as worn by singer Johnnie Ray, and material relating to Goya, Kafka, Isaac Newton, Sarah Bernhardt and Yves Klein. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.

Exhibiting artists: Katherine Araniello, Bobby Baker, Anna Berndtson, Brian Catling, Ellie Collins, Stephen Cripps, Ellen Friis, Joseph Grigely and Amy Vogel, Tony Heaton, Melanie Jackson and Esther Leslie, Floris Kaayk, David Lock, Kate Mahony, Maurice Mbikayi, Sinead and Hugh O’Donnell, Mike Parr, Bekki Perriman, Simon Raven, Adam Reynolds, Juliet Robson, Dimple B Shah, Terry Smith, Matthew Thompson, the vacuum cleaner, Aaron Williamson