The Bloomberg Commission – Josiah McElheny: The Past Was A Mirage I’d Left Far Behind @ Whitechapel Gallery

American sculptor, writer, glass blower, performance artist, writer and filmmaker, Josiah McElheny has been invited by The Bloomberg Commission to produce a new artwork (previous commissions involved artists Goshka Macuga in 2009 and Claire Barclay in 2010), which has been installed and is now on show at the Whitechapel Gallery.

McElheny has transformed the gallery space into an imposing hall of mirrors. Entitled ‘The Past Was A Mirage I’d Left Far Behind’, the work consists of seven large-scale glass and mirror sculptures that are arranged as multiple screens to project a series of experimental abstract films, programmed to change throughout the year.

The use of glass, flashing imagery, music and light variations create a new environment as soon as a visitor enters the space; it is a new reality where transparency is the dominant theme. The film on show contains a vast selection of known symbols/items and colours borrowed from modern and postmodern art with clear references to an array of movements such as that of cubism, geometric abstraction, suprematism, constructivism, pop art.

The installation is accompanied by a series of events, lectures and film presentations exploring the concept of abstraction in the moving image.
|Kostas Prapoglou