I See I Don’t See

Lewisham Arthouse
140 Lewisham Way
London SE14 6PD


Opening night:

Saturday 30 August 2014
6-9 pm

Exhibition continues:
31 August – 7 September 2014
Open daily 12-6 pm

Free entry
Step-free access

Luke Burton, Jack Tan, Miriam Austin, Andrew Munks, Claire Blundell Jones, Harry Lawson, Stephanie Mann and Claire Poulter

I See I Don’t See is a group show that explores contemporary notions of symbol and ritual, and its relationship with the idea of an artwork’s aura through specifically curated video, sculpture, photography and performance. The works in the show privilege the way ritual is formed through personal mythology or diffuse biography, as well as through the shared and formalised manners and repeated symbols of society.

As Walter Benjamin states, ‘“We know that the earliest art works originated in the service of a ritual – first the magical, then the religious kind. It is significant that the existence of the work of art with reference to its aura is never entirely separated from its ritual function. In other words, the unique value of the “authentic” work of art has its basis in ritual, the location of its original use value.”

If an artwork’s authenticity, as Benjamin proposes, is defined by its original purpose as ritual, then how easily can this ‘function’ be located now? How do artists consciously or unconsciously employ this authenticating function?

The exhibition will also include a specially commissioned performance by The Office of Public Ritual for Lewisham Arthouse’s centenary, and a panel discussion on ritual convened by The Onion Discussions.

Performances and Events:

2 September 2014, 7.00pm
‘Ome’, a performance-lecture by Claire Blundell Jones. ‘Ome’ explores the ins and outs of what a home is — as a comfort or confine — and will be given from within a homemade cardboard house.

6 September 2014, 2.00pm-4.00pm
On the hour, Jack Tan will perform his work Score From Guantanamo, a card-game performance score originally commissioned for Clifford Owens’ show at Cornerhouse Manchester 2014.

6 September 2014, 5.00pm
The Office of Public Ritual (OPR) will commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the opening of the Lewisham Arthouse building with a specially commissioned ritual and temporary installation. The ritual will be facilitated by Stephanie Farmer, a member of the OPR collective.

6 September 2014, 6.00pm
A panel discussion on ritual, convened by Elizabeth Porter from The Onion Discussions, with Ilona Sagar, Alex Stewart and Gabor Gyory.

Artists Bios