28. May - 29. Jun 14 / ended Cafe Gallery


11am - 5pm (Closed Monday and Tuesday)

Exhibition | Multi-disciplinary | London

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Group exhibition curated for Cafe Gallery by Frances Loeffler

Thinking Things takes the relationship between art and the activity of thinking as its subject, exploring thinking’s ambivalent entanglement with sculptural and visual forms through the practices of a number of contemporary artists, among them Richard Bevan, Vanessa Billy, Emilie Pitoiset and Zin Taylor, as well as through the work of the writer, film-maker and educator Fernand Deligny (1913-1996). The exhibition takes its name from an essay by literary theorist Steven Connor entitled Thinking Things, in which he writes "thinking, which is properly nothing and nowhere, can only lay hold of itself in the form of a thing. But not just any thing will do, for it seems that it needs to be a special kind of thing, a thing apt to embody thought – a thinking thing."

Complicating the dichotomy between things (materials, objects) and thoughts (ideas, concepts), the exhibition focuses on the contradictory alliances and uneasy co-dependencies of mind and matter, object and idea. It looks at how thinking often depends on material forms and becomes thing-like, and how objects can become abstract like thoughts.

A thinking thing has all the qualities of thought, while no longer being only a thought. It is an atmosphere, cloud, storm, gas, air, secretion, ooze, balloon and bubble: all things that in their puzzling incompleteness capture the drifts and vagaries of thought. It is also language, in that thought has recourse to the world through words, but also in the unique ability of language to oscillate between object and idea.

At the heart of the exhibition is a concern with the fundamental processes of art's conception: how thinking about form and how forms of thinking in art come about.

With special thanks to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Gisèle Durand Ruiz and the estate of Fernand Deligny and Sandra Alvarez de Toledo.

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