Bonington Vitrines #13: Wayne Burrows – Works from the Hallucinated Archive

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Bonington Vitrines #13: Wayne Burrows – Works from the Hallucinated Archive
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Bonington Vitrines #13: Wayne Burrows - Works from the Hallucinated Archive

In Works from the Hallucinated Archive, Wayne Burrows brings together material by six artists (five real, one fictional) who work across a range of media and traditions but all share an interest in ideas around folklore, spiritual belief and art as psychic manifestation or transmission.

The vitrines and foyer are occupied by works from the fabricated archive of an entirely fictional British artist, Robert Holcombe (1923 – 2003). Gathered into an exhibition that might be read as a scholarly contribution to a previously unknown (and wilfully esoteric) chapter in the story of Post-War British Art. Or perhaps a fiction exploring ideas of authenticity, class and cultural identity by ‘restoring’ to our attention a figure who might plausibly have existed, but failed or refused to fit the standard narratives and frameworks of his time.

This archival fiction is further layered and complicated by its deployment as a framing device for a group of works by five other artists, mostly contemporary, sometimes hallucinatory in effect, and all real. Their shared fascinations with altered states, fringe beliefs, folklore and ritual, play against their own (and our) ingrained sceptical instincts with humour and a strong awareness of absurdity. After all, whatever the precise nature of any particular psychic or paranormal phenomenon might be, such subjective experiences plainly share conceptual ground with the transformative, healing and wish-fulfilling objectives of art itself. Just as a fiction is a very literal kind of alternate reality, a song, a form of spell-casting or invocation, and any film or photograph in existence is a very literal kind of ghost.

The artworks and fictional ephemera featured work together as something that exists between a curated group show and a single installation to generate a kind of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rabbit-hole: a collage portal into a parallel world that may already exist within the familiar yet often nightmarish one we currently inhabit.

Artists include » Aslı Anık » Arianne Churchman » Maryam Hashemi » Robert Holcombe » Chloe Langlois » Z.K. Oloruntoba

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