An exhibition exploring artists' relationships with the unknown and unpredictable, from the mid-20th century to the present day
Whether it be physical, emotional or political, many artists have engaged with the culture of risk to embrace the unforeseeable and often uncontrollable elements of human existence. This autumn Turner Contemporary presents more than 40 works of art representing a broad range of internationally-renowned artists who have engaged with the idea of risk in a myriad of forms.
Ground-breaking performance pieces such as Marina Abramovic and Ulay’s Rest Energy sees both individuals use the tension of a bow and arrow to suspend their bodies, while the threatening weapon constantly points to Abramovic’s heart. The relinquishment of human control can also be seen in the sculptural practice of Eva Hesse, who allows gravity to shape and distort her work, allowing this irrepressible force to become a central focus.
The notion of risk can also be perceived as a societal construct, where the threat of censorship or oppression puts individual freedom in jeopardy. Ai Weiwei is famous for the personal risks he has taken to defy the Chinese government, and this show will feature a marble replica of a security camera installed in front of his home.
Although the traditional interpretation of the title refers to the ‘potential of losing of something of value’ this exhibition also draws on the positive aspects of such an action, in which vast reward – whether it be through challenging audiences or furthering artistic practice – might be claimed for those willing to venture into the unknown.