Signatures of the Invisible
Signatures of the Invisible was produced by Candlestar director, Michael Benson. The exhibition was the result of an extensive collaboration between thirteen of Europe’s leading visual artists and physicists from CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire in Geneva, Switzerland), the world’s largest centre for research in particle physics. The projects aimed to present artistic responses to theoretical particle physics.
Participating artists included Roger Ackling, who burned precise lines with sunlight on wood found on beaches and riverbanks with a magnifying glass; Jérôme Basserode, who presented large metal spinning tops to address the concept of time and its boundaries; a videotaped conversation between CERN physicists and John Berger, a distinguished essayist, broadcaster, artist, novelist, and critic; Sylvie Blocher, a multimedia artist whose video and film installation pieces explore otherness, representation, and art’s political responsibility; Richard Deacon, a Turner Prize-winning sculptor whose complex manipulations of surface allude to the human body and industrial techniques; Patrick Hughes, whose painted reliefs using reverse perspective create an optical illusion of three dimensions; Ken McMullen, an artist and organiser of the collaboration who is an independent film-maker and has produced works with, among others, the French theoretician Jacques Derrida and the Scottish poet, artist, and gardener Ian Hamilton Findlay; Tim O’Riley, who explores the relationship between real and visual spaces, often by incorporating computer technology and optical imaging devices; Paola Pivi, an artist with a long history of collaborating with physicists and experiments with energy fields in her interactive installation; and the late Bartolomeu dos Santos, who has produced an impressive body of public art in Portugal, Macau, and Tokyo using etched stone and ceramic tiles. Other artists associated with the Signatures project in the exhibition include Monica Sand and Gustav Metzger. For the final exhibition in New York, Leo Villareal installed a sequenced light work on the scaffolding that enveloped PS1.
Photograph: Ken McMullen, The Edge of the Shadow 2000-2001, Signatures of the Invisible (detail)