Preview: Richard Grayson at De La Warr Pavilion

Video Still from The Magpie Index. © Richard Grayson/Locus +.

Exhibition: Richard Grayson – An Exhibition, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, until March 14 2010

The show is simply called An Exhibition, but music and words feature as heavily as visual art in this five-year retrospective of works by Richard Grayson.

A Country & Western band, from Australia, play tunes that occasionally borrow from the score of Handel’s Messiah. Hay bales are provided to sit on.

Another gallery, decked out like a chapel, shows footage of a 26-piece choir who sing about the end of the world. Their lyrics are adapted from a cultish religious website.

Then there is Roy Harper, the English singer-songwriter, who appears on video as a  talking head in The Magpie Index.

This new commission looks at the philosophies and attitudes that have ensured Harper remains outside the mainstream, where you’ll also find aussie C&W and apocalyptical cults.

Grayson is fascinated by the narratives and texts used to stake out these positions. The show includes several works on paper which take blogs, star charts and Internet-based prophecies as a starting point.

Indeed the web is the place where outsiders can remake the world using language and image. Various sites theorise about the location of the tomb of Jesus Christ. Grayson downloads the results and draws pictures from the jpegs.

He takes wayward voices seriously or at least plays with the possibility of doing so.

Written for Culture24.

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