Opening 22 September 2014 - 14 January 2015
Finissage event 14 January. Draining the building
The doors and windows of the Hayward Gallery will be reinforced and sealed with silicon, and then flooded with water in the manner of a huge tank. On the outside of the building is a monitor showing a dreamlike ‘flight’ along the stairways, through the gallery space, the toilets, the staff areas etc. It will be filmed by a scubadiver. The inside of gallery will be closed for the public through the exhibition. The only permanent visitors will be a couple of carps and common eels.
The title source of abnegation refers to one of the key contradictions of modern living: the empty vampiristic promises of consumption. It suggests that the more you get the less you have. A negative flow, a stream of nothingness. As spectacular as the exhibition is, the show embraces the anti-spectacle by closing the gallery so that it might unfold in the imagination of the public. The flooding also questions the gallery as a space, its potential as a partner for life. What does it contain? The surreal video of the floating walk through the building touches on the past and the future of institutional exhibition spaces. We stroll through the Titanic, meander through a mental future space. The finissage on January 14 will be a public event when the building will be drained and visitors can watch the content of the gallery (including some carps and eels) running down the concrete stairways to unify with the River Thames.
This project is part of Hey We're Closed! Hayward Gallery Closure Programme.