The Bluecoat: The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things – An exhibition curated by Mark Leckey

16 February – 14 April 2013

Free Entry, open daily

Turner prize-winning artist Mark Leckey explores in this exhibition how our relationships with artworks and common objects are being transformed through new technologies. He has included a provocative mix of historical and contemporary works of art, videos, mechanical objects and archaeological artefacts. Artists include, amongst others, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Hamilton, Robert Gober, James Rosenquist and Jim Shaw.

Leckey presents a kind of ‘techno-animism’, where the inanimate comes to life, returning us to “an archaic state of being, to aboriginal landscapes of fabulous hybrid creatures, where images are endowed with divine powers, and even rocks and trees have names”.

As modern technology becomes ever more pervasive, objects appear to communicate with us: phones speak back, refrigerators suggest recipes, and websites predict what we want. While taking us into the realms of science fiction, this also throws us back into the past and a more animistic relationship to things around us.

“The status of objects is changing,” argues Leckey, “and we are once again in thrall to an enchanted world full of transformations and correspondences, a wonderful instability between things animate and inanimate, animal and human, mental and material”.


A Hayward Touring exhibiton from Southbank Centre, London