AboutMagic Cabaret: Saturday 30 July, Chapter Theatre, 7pm
Exhibition: 30 July 12 September
Jonathan Allen, Archive (Anne Walsh & Chris Kubik), Zoë Beloff, Ansuman Biswas & Jem Finer, Joan Brossa, Rick Buckley, Brian Catling, Center for Tactical Magic, Jackie & Denise Chapwoman, Tom Friedman, Brian Griffiths, Colin Guillemet, Joà £o Maria Gusmà £o & Pedro Paiva, Susan Hiller, Alexandra Hopf, Janice Kerbel, Christian Jankowski, Annika Lundgren, Juan Muà ±oz, Bruce Nauman, Ian Saville, Ariel Schlesinger, Suzanne Treister, Sinta Werner
For some, the idea of magic suggests fantasy and illusion, while for others it signals a license to practice deception. âMagic Show' considers how art and magic often share common ground, and how some contemporary artists adopt the perception-shifting tactics of the theatrical magician to influence the viewer and explore the power of suggestion.
Magic Show includes work by 24 international artists, with new commissions and performances, and an archive of historical posters, curious props and off-beat ephemera from the world of theatrical magic. The exhibition demonstrates how art and magic both flourish in the grey area between fact and fiction, where the audience is not sure whether to believe their own eyes, and considers the potential of trickery and illusion to undermine logical thought. Artists include Joan Brossa, Tom Friedman, Christian Jankowski, Janice Kerbel, Juan MuŠ Ëoz, Ian Saville and Suzanne Treister.
Among the artists and works in the exhibition are the Los Angeles-based Center for Tactical Magic's Ultimate Jacket, designed for âprivate investigators, magicians and ninjas', which has 50 pockets for optimum concealment and retrieval and will be worn by the gallery assistants; Susan Hiller's Homage to Yves Klein incorporates found photographs of people levitating, ranging from the low-tech sham to highly sophisticated ruse, while Failing to Levitate documents Bruce Nauman's similar attempts to get off the ground; Sinta Werner's site-specific installations mimic architectural features within the gallery to distort space and trick the viewer.
Highlights of the archive section include magician Paul Kieve's collection of historical posters from theatrical magic's âGolden Era' (c1890-1930) that play up to the idea of the magician as the princely commander of unearthly forces and a card finding duck, a staple of TV magicians of the 1970s, belonging to Tommy Cooper.
A Magic Cabaret night will take place on Saturday 30 July in Chapter Theatre. For further details check our website at www.chapter.org/theatre
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition priced at £13.95 and is available to buy from The Shop.
A Hayward Touring Exhibition from Southbank Centre, curated by artist Jonathan Allen and writer Sally O'Reilly.