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White Noise

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Lose yourself in the sensory overload of this major international exhibition exploring abstraction in a digital age.

I have ripped through the blue lampshade of the constraints of colour. I have come out into the white. Follow me comrade aviators.... Swim into the white free abyss, infinity is before you.

Kazimir Malevich, 1919

White Noise is an exhibition in real-time. With varying degrees of luminosity, tempo and volume the artworks invite the audience into a space that is both physical and reflective: not to view pictorial representations of something, or document another time or place, but to invite us in to the here and now.

The birth of the moving image inspired artists to exploit the potential of this new technology, imagining radical forms of expression that combined images and sound moving in time.

During the same period, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Russian painter Kazimir Malevich was using colour fields and the purity of geometric shapes to represent energy, speed and movement in the pictorial frame. For Malevich, the square was the 'zero of form' and a means by which the artist could start anew. Across Europe, his contemporaries were also exploring abstraction from a wide range of perspectives: formal, spiritual and political.

The dialogue between the moving image and abstraction continues almost a century later. What is driving the contemporary revival of interest in abstraction? Are the White Noise artists using similar formal strategies to their historical counterparts? What is the relevance of abstraction in the digital age?

The works in White Noise represent a wide range of approaches to these questions, but like their forerunners, they rigorously avoid narrative frameworks and literal representations of the world.

Suspended between the desire to work with the 'pure' formalities of light, sound, colour and motion and their immersion in computing and communication networks, these contemporary artists have created highly-charged sensory works. 

They are truly an invitation to 'swim into the white' noise.

Supported by

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When

18 August – 23 October 2005