John Wood & Paul Harrison

Words made of Atoms

Words made of Atoms

DEC 19, 2020 – FEB 27, 2021

von Bartha, S-chanf

Please find our Opening Hours below

Von Bartha is pleased to present Words Made of Atoms, a solo exhibition by British artist duo John Wood & Paul Harrison in the gallery’s S-chanf space, 19 December 2020 – 27 February 2021. The exhibition is an exploration of language and its manifold interpretations, including over 40 new and recent text-based works across the media of video, painting, drawing, audio, print and installation. Running concurrently with the gallery show, a series of external artworks by the artists will be installed in the nearby village of Zuoz.

Playing with words and their meaning, the exhibition will feature a series of recent drawings and new paintings of words, about words, such as This Is A Painting In A Room (2020). The show will feature Demo Tape (2020), a new video work in which two men perform a strange demonstration using a series of placards; a silent film about saying something. Words Made of Atoms will also feature John Wood & Paul Harrison’s first vinyl record, This is a Circle (2020), featuring spoken word lyrics by Lloyd Cole. Additionally, a series of twelve works will be installed outside the gallery, in the nearby village of Zuoz. These text-based works will continue the artists’ investigation into language, appearing as a series of signs that direct nowhere, advertise nothing and generally provide very little information.

The works in Words Made of Atoms form part of John Wood & Paul Harrison’s longstanding mission to ‘compile an encyclopedia of the largely useless’, which began when the duo first met in art school in the early 1990s. The artists are known for their video work which straddles the lines between tragedy, comedy and irony. These works, which are minimalist, sculptural and have elements of installation and performance, oscillate between failure, calculation and randomness. They often experiment with size, volume and movement of the human body in relation to the surrounding architecture, which the two artists have usually built themselves.

John Wood & Paul Harrison have been investigating written and spoken language in the development of their artwork since 1993. This key element of their practice has remained largely hidden in the working process, until recent years when the artists started to directly and visibly incorporate text into the works themselves. Words Made of Atoms is the first exhibition by the duo that focuses solely on this element of their practice.

Stefan von Bartha, Director, commented: “Especially in these times, it means a lot to us to have an eloquent exhibition in our gallery in S-chanf. “Words made of Atoms” will start our season in the Engadin, and I look forward to a very entertaining and joyful exhibition“.

To coincide with the exhibition John Wood & Paul Harrison will produce A Large Piece of Paper on my Wall, an unlimited edition poster available to purchase from the gallery.

Opening Hours
December 23, from 3 – 6.30 pm
December 28 – January 9, daily from 3 – 6.30 pm except for Sundays and January 1
January 10 – February 27, by appointment only, in-line with federal recommendations
Please contact our S-chanf representative Julia Paas: +41 77 507 23 06

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