Exhibitions / QUAD | Magic Show [art management]

28.11.2009 to 31.01.2010

For some, the idea of magic suggests fantasy and illusion, while for others it signals a license to practise deception. Magic Show, a new Hayward Touring exhibition in collaboration with QUAD (Derby's new centre for art and film) considers how visual artists often adopt the perception-shifting tactics of the theatrical magician to explore questions of creative agency, the power of suggestion, and the fragility of belief. Artists, like magicians, may manipulate and mystify not simply to entertain, but to redress fundamental relationships within the social, political or cultural realm. Curated by artist Jonathan Allen and writer Sally O'Reilly, Magic Show includes work by 24 international artists including Archive, Zoe Beloff, Ansuman Biswas & Jem Finer, Joan Brossa, Rick Buckley, Brian Catling, Center for Tactical Magic, Jackie & Denise Chapwoman, Tom Friedman, Brian Griffiths, Colin Guillemet, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Susan Hiller, Alexandra Hopf, Janice Kerbel, Christian Jankowski, Annika Lundgren, Juan Muñoz, Bruce Nauman, Ian Saville, Ariel Schlesinger, Suzanne Treister and Sinta Werner. The exhibition also includes an historical archive of rarely-seen props, paraphernalia and imagery from the world of theatrical magic. A richly illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, containing essays by the curators, as well as new writing on the cultural history of magic by Simon During, Brigitte Felderer, Peter Lamont, Pierre Taillefer, Helen Varola and Marina Warner, a fold-out collation of texts and images that explore the relationship between magic, art and power, and an appendix of extracts from André Breton’s L’Art Magique, translated into English here for the first time. The exhibition's opening event on Friday 27 November 2009, 6:30pm - 8:30pm, includes a performance of socialist magic and ventriloquism by Ian Saville. Whereas David Copperfield is content with little tricks like making The Statue of Liberty disappear, Ian Saville aims at the much more ambitious goal of making international capitalism and exploitation disappear. See him transform the prevailing conditions, if only for a little while. (image courtesy Zoe Beloff)