An amazing duo – John Wood and Paul Harrison will have an impressive exhibition at von Bartha in Basel. These British artists are known for their video art, however they create in other mediums as well – photography, drawing, and sculpture. For the exhibition at van Bartha, John Wood and Paul Harrison will transform a huge gallery space into comprehensive exhibition with full range of their current practices. The visitors will be able to enjoy in the British artists’ work in a truly unique maze-like setting of their own design. Videos, photography, drawings, and sculptures by Wood and Harrison will be on view in what could be perceived as a huge installation that transforms the gallery space into a single and perfect piece of art.
The Art of John Wood and Paul Harrison
John Wood and Paul Harrison have been collaborating and working together since 1993. They are often compared with other duos, such as Laurel and Hardy or Morecombe and Wise, and artistic partnerships like Gilbert and George. They usually make single-channel videos, multi-screen video installations, prints, drawings, and sculptures that elegantly fuse advanced aesthetic research with existential comedy (if you like video art, you might be interested in work by Gilbert & George or James Nares). The video works, which include performance of the John Wood and Paul Harrison duo, take a position between tragedy, comedy and irony. These works are often minimalist, sculptural and have some characteristics of performance art. They could be perceived as experiments with the size, the volume and the movement of the human body in relation to the surrounding architecture, which two artists have usually built themselves. Their aesthetics can be described as minimalistic, while the artists often use low-tech objects and everyday items which make artists’ work to be seen as a simple scientific experiment. It does not matter what medium Wood and Harrison use – they subvert everyday objects or experiences into beautiful pieces of art.
Wood and Harrison at von Bartha in Basel
John Wood and Paul Harrison will transform the gallery’s large 850m² open plan space into a labyrinthine network of rooms. The artists invite viewers into their idiosyncratic, sometimes absurdist, world. Constructed like a maze, the whole installation will have walls constructed from cardboard with over-sized or miniature doors. These walls will echo the stage sets in their films and nod towards one of their newer pieces A Film About a City (2015), a large wooden architectural model of a dysfunctional cityscape. Works featuring everyday objects, such as Bench for Looking Up (2015), reference objects from within video works featured in other sections of the exhibition. Elsewhere, the sounds and visuals of films bleed into one another, both deliberately referencing and complementing the other.
Some Things Are Undesigned
The exhibition of John Wood and Paul Harrison at von Bartha in Basel is a perfect opportunity for all art lovers who like an amazing mixture of video art, installation, performance, and minimalist aesthetics. Transforming the whole gallery space into a single piece of art is something that should not be missed.
John Wood and Paul Harrison: Some Things are Undesigned is at von Bartha, Basel from 7 November 2015 – 23 January 2016.
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John Wood and Paul Harrison – Bench for Looking Up, 2015, bench, brass plaque, 920x1800x540 mm, Courtesy the artists and von Bartha; France 1994, 2015, mixed media, 810x1020x1020 mm, Courtesy the artists and von Barthal; Mid-January 2009, 2015, mixed media, 850x1820x820 mm, Courtesy the artists and von Bartha
All images courtesy of von Bartha.