Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Richard Rigg: "Suns Neither Rise Nor Set" Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, UK

Richard Rigg Two Writing Desks, False Drawer 2009

Suns Neither Rise Nor Set

An exhibition curated by the first year MA Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art
Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, Stevens Building, Jay Mews, SW7 2EU
Opening Wednesday 9 December 2009, 6.30 — 8.30pm
Exhibition continues 10 — 18 December 2009

Suns Neither Rise Nor Set brings together work by Vanessa Billy, Richard Hughes, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, The Atlas Group / Walid Raad, Richard Rigg, and Kim Rugg. Using everyday objects, archival materials and collage techniques, these works call into question the processes through which reality and illusion are constructed in visual communication and perception.

Vanessa Billy's Suns neither rise nor set (2008), from which the exhibition takes its title, alludes to the fact that everyday events such as the rising and setting of the sun, are not objective truths but part of a subjective system of symbols and narratives that supports our understanding of reality and perceived position in it. Whereas Billy looks to expose such fictions, The Atlas Group / Walid Raad, claim new ones. Their renegotiations of contested historical memory take the form of presentations of archival documents of Lebanon's recent past, which are themselves of questionable authenticity.

Nina Beier & Marie Lund also engage with notions of the archive. In The Archives (2008), the content of second-hand peace posters is buried beneath the weight of a fold, denying the original authors their protest and quashing past, unrealised hopes for the future. Along with Kim Rugg's A Single Balloon Drifting Skywards (2008), an evocative reconfiguration of the language and graphic conventions of a daily newspaper, Beier and Lund's series points towards the hierarchies in place in the distribution of information and how these can affect our interpretation of events.

The reworking of everyday objects is also apparent in the playful and illusory propositions of Richard Hughes and Richard Rigg. Rigg has made a precise but flawed replica of his own desk, whereas Richard Hughes presents us with a shattered clock face, which provocatively questions the authority of time.

In different ways, each of the artists in this exhibition interrogate or deconstruct weighty or complex notions. In doing so, they bring to light the uncertainties that pervade the production and reception of knowledge, helping us to visualise the oscillating line between fact and fiction.

Gallery opening hours 10am - 6pm Monday - Saturday by appointment. Please contact Vanessa Boni at or 07595 154 220

With thanks to Laura Bartlett, Nazareno Crea, Nettie Horn, Limoncello, Anthony Reynolds, The Modern Institute, Workplace Gallery and Soraya Rodriguez for their kind help and support.