Opening March 2018 - dates to be announced soon
Fiona Crisp explores how we might encounter spaces where the frontiers of knowledge are pushed back. Material Sight is a new, large-scale commission that uses photography, moving image and sound to approach the material environments where experiments that challenge the limits of our imagination are carried out. For nearly two years Crisp has worked with three world-leading research facilities for 'fundamental science': Boulby Underground Laboratory, sited in the UK's deepest working mine, Durham University's Institute of Computational Cosmology and Laboratori Nazionale del Gran Sasso, the world's largest underground laboratory for particle physics, housed inside a mountain in central Italy.
Across all these sites, knowledge is pursued at scales and distances beyond our human sensing, from the macro scale of the multiverse to the micro scale of the sub-atomic world. In Material Sight, Crisp explores how we might counter this sensory remoteness, not through a documentary narrative but by being placed into a physical, tangible relation to the spaces and laboratories where the science is performed; to this end Crisp builds a landscape of image and sound, augmenting the gallery architecture with scaffolding walls that support a cycle of eight large-scale photographs accompanied by four moving image works.
Boulby Underground Laboratory is over a kilometre beneath the Earth's surface and is, in the team's own words, " a special place: ' a quiet place in the universe' where studies can be done almost entirely free from natural background radiation." Within environments such as these, some of the most complex questions about the structure and history of the universe are being trialled, yet the sites themselves, as well as the science that is performed in them, are often invisible or inaccessible to the public at large.
Material Sight invites us into an embodied relationship with the spaces of fundamental science where knowledge, imagination and the capabilities of photography itself are all at stake. In summer 2018 Material Sight will be exhibited at Arts Catalyst Centre for Art, Science & Technology, 74-76 Cromer Street, London, WC1H 8DR.
Following a capital redevelopment project in 2017, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art will reopen a new 3200sq/ft, 5m high exhibition gallery at National Glass Centre, part of the University of Sunderland. Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019 having been one of the very first contemporary art galleries in Britain. It has provided major international figures with their first UK exhibitions, including Harun Farocki (Germany) and Cory Arcangel (USA), and exhibited fourteen Turner Prize nominees.
Arts Catalyst plays a leading role in the development of artists' engagement with science, through commissions, exhibitions and events. Over 22 years it has commissioned 140 projects with figures including Tomas Saraceno, Aleksandra Mir, Critical Art Ensemble and Jan Fabre. In 2016 Arts Catalyst opened its Centre for Art, Science and Technology near King's Cross.
Safe Haven, Fiona Crisp