Photo: Reza Modjabi
Over seven weekends Raven Row celebrates Gallery House, one of the most influential and extraordinary contemporary art spaces in London in the early 1970s. Through performances, screenings and discussions, accompanied by a changing presentation of artworks and archival material, This Way Out of England charts Gallery House’s exceptional programme, led by director Sigi Krauss and assistant director Rosetta Brooks.
Between March 1972 and August 1973, in a vacant mansion provided by the German government next to the German Institute (now the Goethe-Institut) in South Kensington, Gallery House hosted exhibitions, residencies, performances and events as well as pioneering ‘expanded cinema’ and much new film and video work. For many of the featured artists Gallery House would prove a formative experience with a lasting influence on their subsequent careers.
Gallery House favoured heterogeneity, colliding the multiplicity of forms and styles co-existing at the time, from performance and expanded cinema to cybernetic, social and conceptual practices. Ultimately, the radical nature of Gallery House’s programme led to its abrupt and contested closure by the German Institute.
Neither a retrospective nor an archival exhibition, This Way Out of England seeks to emulate the spirit of Krauss’ and Brooks’ space by inviting a number of artists to rethink their original interventions at Gallery House. The episodic nature of this survey acknowledges the impossibility of framing what was an ephemeral experiment.
With contributions by, among others, John Blandy, George Brecht, Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley and Maya Balcioglu, Victor Burgin, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, John Dugger, Michael Druks, Robert Filliou, Gerard Hemsworth, Ed Herring, Susan Hiller, Darcy Lange, John Latham, Anthony McCall, David Medalla, Gustav Metzger, Carlyle Reedy, Graham Stevens and Stephen Willats.
Programmes of film screenings will include work by John Du Cane, Stephen Dwoskin, Peter Gidal, David Hall and Tony Sinden, Mike Leggett, Bill Lundberg, Denis Masi, Lutz Mommartz, Tony Morgan, Stuart Pound and Carolee Schneemann. The formative event in the history of expanded cinema, Filmaktion will be revisited with its original participants – Gill Eatherley, Malcolm Le Grice, Annabel Nicolson and William Raban – curated by Mark Webber.
The project is curated by Antony Hudek and Alex Sainsbury.