Sunday, December 03, 2006
Cerith Wyn Evans, And if I don’t meet you no more in this world / Then I’ll, I’ll meet you in the next one / And don’t be late, don’t be late, 2006, negative neon, 15 3/4 x 94 1/2".
Daniel Birnbaum in Art Forum: Dec 2006
Cerith Wyn Evans (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris) This year belonged to Wyn Evans, unparalleled collector of striking references and creator of spaces that convey a sense of total weightlessness. In the presence of his art, you begin to think that the sky is thin as paper (as one work’s title states) and that if you shot a hole in it, everything you believed to be solid would be exposed as a fabrication. A dilettante par excellence, Wyn Evans often takes literary and historical texts and images as his starting point—among them works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pierre Klossowski, and John Cage—and uses light and space to reconfigure their presence in the world. Plants, fireworks, LEDs, mirrors, and slides are brought together to produce emptiness and beauty. The adventurous journeys Wyn Evans invites you on are pure joy, even when you end up face-to-face with a frightening headless figure representing pure desire—as in Acéphale, 2001. I’m grateful to the ICA London for staging “take my eyes and through them see you,” and full of admiration for Suzanne Pagé, who for almost two decades ran an extraordinary program at the Museé d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, where one of her last shows was the Wyn Evans exhibition “. . . in which something happens all over again for the very first time.”