A survey exhibition across two venues:
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
1 April - 3 June 2023
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art [NGCA]
6 May - 3 September 2023
Belvedere [Mowbray Park] detail.
Digital print on vinyl banner 400x500cm
Weighting Time is a survey exhibition across two venues - Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art - exploring 30 years of work by British artist Fiona Crisp.
From the subterranean world of dark-matter laboratories to the midnight sun of the Nordic summer, Crisp’s work explores how we might connect to spaces and ideas beyond our own lived experience. Her practice interrogates the ontology of the photographic image – a branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being - to reveal new understandings of our changing relationships to space, place and time.
Across the two venues, Weighting Time reconfigures and recontextualizes elements of Crisp’s large-scale installations from the last three decades, using bespoke seating to encourage viewers into a physical encounter with her powerfully sculptural photographic and film objects. Included are works made in the Early Christian catacombs of Rome, a Second World War underground military hospital in the Channel Islands and a Dark Matter Laboratory sited deep underneath the bed of the North Sea.
Projects undertaken at these and other sites of historic or scientific significance are brought together with a new large-scale public commission made by Crisp for Sunderland’s Mowbray Park.
Belvedere (Mowbray Park) is a photographic work made at Lanthwaite Hill in the English Lake Districk where the artist JMW Turner worked. The site was purchased by the National Trust in 2019 as the first acquisition made by the charity specifically for a view.
Weighting Time at Sunderland Museum explores Crisp’s long-term engagement with the construction and framing of a ‘view’ in visual, political and philosophical terms. Across her photographic and filmic objects, we see Crisp’s preoccupation with thresholds – liminal spaces or states where there is tension between public and private, interior and exterior or light and dark. In her Still Films series from the 1990s, life-sized figures are suspended in action, caught on the thresholds of buildings; within other projects Crisp uses cars, caravans or architectural models as framing devices to mediate our world view/view of the world, all the time drawing our attention to the camera’s own ‘act of looking’.
By contrast, Weighting Time at the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art brings together several bodies of work created by Crisp within enclosed, hermetic or subterranean spaces. This collection of still and moving image work made in mines, theatres, laboratories and catacombs, come together to form a trope of ‘otherworlds’ or ‘underworlds’ that re-order our coordinates of space, place and time. In the film Boulby/Hubble we move from footage of a truck travelling through mined tunnels underneath the bed of the North Sea, to an animated simulation from the Hubble telescope, where we fly back through the formation of galaxies towards the moment of the Big Bang.
For further information go to Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art or follow NGCA on social media @NGCAsunderland
The Live Creature and Ethereal Things:
Physics in Culture
Edited by Fiona Crisp and Nicola Triscott
Published by Arts Catalyst, London.
“When we think about astrophysics and particle physics, we tend to see them as esoteric and impenetrable. The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture re-presents these areas of physics as human, cultural and material activities through physicists’ personal reflections, conversations between artists and physicists, and artists’ works.”
– Dr Nicola Triscott
The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture – edited by curator Nicola Triscott and artist Fiona Crisp, published by Arts Catalyst – is a collection of texts, images and conversations that present fundamental physics and the physics of the universe as human activities and cultural endeavours. Contributions by physicists, artists and curators examine the role of personality, power and culture in physics and discuss the value of cross-pollination between the practices of contemporary art and physics. These reflections shed light on the people and material practices of physics: from the vast underground particle physics laboratory at CERN, Geneva, used by half of the world’s particle physicists, and deep underground neutrino observatories in the UK, Italy and Antarctica, to super-computers that construct astonishing visualisations of the evolution of the universe.
Supported by The LeverhulmeTrust, Arts Council England and the Science & Technology Facilities Council.
Full Publication Details
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Fiona Crisp Hyper Passive
Monograph published by Matt's Gallery, London
'Crisp's work, with a striking clarity and purpose, challenges 'photography'...' Christopher Townsend
Hyper Passive is a celebration of Fiona Crisp's large-scale photographic work made over the past decade, including major projects realized during residencies at The Berwick Gymnasium, The National Trust and The British School at Rome.
Through focussing on work from the last ten years, Hyper Passive reveals the quietly persistent process of destabilisation running throughout Crisp's practice whereby coordinates of architectural space, time or states of being are re-ordered.
This lavishly illustrated 80-page colour publication, designed by the artist in collaboration with Phil Baines and Kate Lyons, includes an essay by Professor Christopher Townsend (Royal Holloway, University of London) and an interview with Alessandro Vincentelli (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead). Published in June 2009 by Matt’s Gallery, London to coincide with the solo touring exhibition Subterrania (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall).
For further information and to purchase a copy of Hyper Passive, follow the link: