press release

The Straight or Crooked Way is a place where one can lose oneself, where decisions must be taken, surprise encounters negotiated, and unfamiliar lore observed. Each of the artists in The Straight or Crooked Way offers the visitor a heightened or unexpected experience. Together the works become an immersive environment, which invites the viewer to act as the protagonist in an unfolding scenario.

Ana Maria Tavares’s project, specially commissioned for the Royal College of Art galleries, will reconfigure our encounter with the space, using scaffolding, ladders and walkways. Henrik Plenge Jakobsen will present a new version of Nuit Blanche – a disorientating mirrored passageway with powerful strobe lights, while Sancho Silva promises to estrange the viewer’s position in the exhibition with his structural intervention.

Cerith Wyn Evans’s Dreamachine (1998) is perhaps the world’s first object designed to be seen with eyes shut, while viewers who wear Carsten Höller’s mirrored spectacles, Umkehrbrille (2001), will find their world turned upside-down. Embracing what has been described as ‘collective daydreaming and psychosis’, Finnish collective ROR (Revolutions on Request) accumulate paintings, sculptures and props according to their paradoxical nihilist-utopian worldview. By the simple act of saturating a room in yellow light, Olafur Eliasson changes the way we perceive everything around us.

The work of Jeppe Hein often catches the viewer unawares: a rest on his Smoking Bench conjures up a drama of smoke and mirrors. Goshka Macuga is interested in how we experience art objects, and will gather together a selection of paintings, maquettes and models to recreate the soaring landscape of a 19th century watercolour. Finally, Peter Fischli and David Weiss will offer a glimpse into the alpine adventures of Rat and Bear in their film Der Rechte Weg (1983).

The Straight or Crooked Way is organised by final year students on the MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-colour 112 page catalogue.

The Straight or Crooked Way Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU 15 March – 6 April, open daily 11am – 6pm, free admission.

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For press images and further information, please contact Erin Manns, Curating Contemporary Art on 020 7590 4494 or For information on the Royal College of Art, please contact Sue Bradburn, Media Relations Officer on 020 7590 4114 or

NOTES TO EDITORS MA CURATING CONTEMPORARY ART AT THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART The course was set up in 1992 and is the first postgraduate programme in Britain to specialise in curatorial practice relating to contemporary art. The course is designed to offer both a vocational training in and an academic study of curatorial practice, underpinned by an understanding of the wider cultural and critical context. The course provides an introduction to the ways in which the contemporary visual arts are funded, presented, interpreted and managed in Britain and internationally. Students gain practical skills in curating exhibitions and managing art commissions and meet a wide range of professional curators, critics, artists and administrators. The programme provides a professional preparation for curators, exhibition organisers, critics, arts administrators and those who wish to work with artists to present art outside a gallery setting. The course is co-funded by the Royal College of Art and the Arts Council of England.

THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART The Royal College of Art is the world's only wholly postgraduate university of art and design – fine art, applied art, design, communications and humanities – offering the degrees of MA, MPhil and PhD. Eight hundred students with an average age of 26 are taught by nearly 100 full-time and visiting staff, all of whom are distinguished practising artists, designers and scholars.

Olafur Eliasson (Denmark), Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Switzerland), Jeppe Hein (Denmark), Carsten Höller (Germany), Henrik Plenge Jakobsen (Denmark), Goshka Macuga (Poland/UK), ROR (Revolutions on Request) (Finland), Sancho Silva (Portugal), Ana Maria Tavares (Brazil) and Cerith Wyn Evans (United Kingdom).


The Straight or Crooked Way
Curated by final year students on the MA Curating Contemporary Art.
Ort: Royal College of Art Galleries

mit Olafur Eliasson, Fischli / David, Jeppe Hein, Carsten Höller, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Goshka Macuga, ROR (Revolutions on Request), Sancho Silva, Ana Maria Tavares, Cerith Wyn Evans