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Friday, 7 October 2011

Exhibitions - Dark Matters - Whitworth Art Gallery

Star rating 7/10

The current temporary exhibition at the wonderful Whitworth Art Gallery, ‘Dark Matters’ has unusually taken over the whole of the gallery, in an exploration of darkness, illusion, and technology.

Two of the most striking pieces are by Daniel Rozin, an Israeli artist based in New York. His interactive art, in the form of ‘Snow Mirror’ and ‘Peg Mirror’ is spectacular. In the former, a huge canvas is suspended from the ceiling, with digital light projected onto it like a snowstorm. When the viewer stands in front of the screen, their own image is projected through the snow, and the slower the movement, the clearer the image. It is a great experience.

With ‘Peg Mirror’, at first the piece just looks like a very interesting circle of wooden pegs rotating on the wall. But Rozin again uses cameras to convert the pegs into the shape of the onlooker. It is very clever and a fascinating experience as the use of technology to reflect the viewer reveals itself.

R. Luke DuBois has taken fifty iconic movie embraces in his film ‘The Kiss’, and re-animated them by using a web of points of light. If you look closely you can even see Lady and the Tramp.

These works are very visually striking and pleasing – the rest made a less lingering impression. Many of the paintings in the upstairs area are from the Whitworth’s permanent collection, just displayed in a different context to fit in with the dark theme.

May be I’m a bit biased as this is my favourite gallery in Manchester, for it’s beautiful setting and building, not to mention the wonderful cafe. But this is an interesting exhibition, but as always for me, whatever is showing, a great way to spend an afternoon.

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