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Psycho Buildings Opens at The Hayward Gallery in London
Rachel Whiteread ‘Village’ 2006-2008 © Rachel Whiteread. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

LONDON.- As the highlight of the Hayward’s 40th anniversary season, ten artists from around the world will transform the entire gallery in PSYCHO BUILDINGS, running from 28 May – 25 August 2008.

The Hayward’s huge spaces will be filled with artist-designed architectural environments, which will spill onto the three outdoor sculpture terraces, radically altering the interior and exterior of the gallery. Inside a village made from over 200 dollhouses and a room frozen in a moment of explosive disaster are amongst the installations that will both enchant and disconcert visitors. Outside on the Gallery’s sculpture terraces, installations including a huge iridescent observatory and a working cinema will alter the exterior face of The Hayward. Visible from the surrounding area and across the Thames and illuminated by night, they add a significant public dimension to this major exhibition.

The ten artists are: Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Michael Beutler (Germany), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Gelitin (Austria), Mike Nelson (UK), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Do-Ho Suh (Korea), Rachel Whiteread (UK).

Borrowing its title from a book by the artist Martin Kippenberger, the exhibition brings together the work of artists who create habitat-like structures and architectural spaces that are mental and perceptual spaces as much as physical ones. The exhibition invites visitors to immerse themselves in a series of ten atmospheric, enthralling and unsettling installations. Combining architectural and artistic design with the use of light, colour and smell to trigger responses, these dynamic constructions actively encourage viewers to become adventurous participants. The scale and ambition of the exhibition means many of the artists will be working in the gallery for over a month in order to realise their installations.

Ralph Rugoff, Director of The Hayward and curator of exhibition “This ambitious exhibition takes the unique architecture of The Hayward as its starting point. The Gallery's 'brutalist' concrete exterior and the sculptural quality of its spaces have always proved an inspiration for artists. The extraordinary international artistic response to Psycho Buildings shows just how challenging, exciting and playful the The Hayward can be. It is a fitting way to celebrate our 40th birthday.” Tomas Saraceno’s design for his observatory on The Hayward sculpture terrace © Tomas Saraceno

Brazilian artist, Ernesto Neto will create a spatial and sensory labyrinth for visitors to explore. A ceiling of transparent fabric will divide the gallery space into two halves, linked by several openings. By climbing up ladders to elevated viewing platforms, visitors can scan the floating landscape of the upper level and also view the lower level from a different perspective, as if through a layer of translucent skin.

Two artists, Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez, form the Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters). They are reworking their sculptural installation Frozen Study of a Disaster especially for the exhibition. The sculpture depicts the suspended moment of an explosion ripping through a series of rooms filled with furniture.

Mike Nelson is recreating his little seen installation To the memory of H. P. Lovecraft (1999), which transforms the gallery into a scene of utter rabid devastation, as if an unseen beast had freed himself from the space by violently clawing through the walls.

Slovenian artist Tobias Putrih will present Venetian, Atmospheric (2007), a beautifully created sculpture which is also a working cinema. Designed with curved wooden walls and a ceiling onto which twinkling stars and moving clouds are projected, Venetian, Atmospheric will place the spectator in an ever-changing environment. Situated on the sculpture terrace facing Waterloo Bridge, Putrih’s structure will show a specially-curated programme of films about artists and architecture.

Outside on another of the gallery’s sculpture terraces, the Argentinean artist, Tomas Saraceno will install a large shimmering air-supported observatory made of translucent, iridescent fabric. While completely transforming the facade of The Hayward, his domed sculpture will also provide an immersive experience for visitors who, upon entering the sculpture terrace, will be surrounded by an environment in which to observe the sky.

Korean-born artist Do-Ho Suh will present a major new sculpture, Fallen Star (2008), which features 1:5 scale model of the artist’s childhood home in Korea colliding into the New England apartment where he lived as an art student. He will also recreate Staircase (2004), a ghostly evocation of an apartment staircase that the artist fashioned from vibrant red semi-translucent fabric.

Rachel Whiteread’s will present a new, larger version of her acclaimed installation ‘Village’, which has never been shown in the UK. It brings together more than 200 dollhouses that the artist has collected over the past 20 years and is a radical departure from previous work. The dollhouses are arranged in rows as on a hillside, and each is illuminated by a single light bulb, creating an eerily atmospheric scene of a neglected village.

Atelier Bow-Wow, Michael Beutler, and the artists’ collective Gelitin will be creating major new installations for the exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, Director of The Hayward, in collaboration with the artists.

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