Mark Wallinger: Cave


27 January - 25 March 2001

Mark Wallinger has been developing significant interest in his work since coming to prominence in the mid 1980s, exhibiting at both national and international levels. His public sculpture Ecce Homo in Trafalgar Square, London, received considerable acclaim and he has been selected to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale exhibition in 2001. One of Britain’s most respected contemporary artists, Wallinger has worked across diverse media and is using video as part of his exploration of identity, class and religion. Cave provides British audiences with a timely opportunity to experience the artists’ work. Cave is a new large-scale video installation that displays Wallingers’ hallmark style of an unedited single take with the minimum of manipulation.

Wallinger’s reference to sport features significantly in his work. Football and horseracingare used to exaggerate the social divisions of race, class and religion. The artist combines his interest as a fan with critical observation fuelling a personal and passionate interest. Cave develops Wallinger’s use of sport as subject by changing the context in which spectator and viewer interact. The boxing ring is the arena recreated in the gallery space in the form of a large four-screen video installation in which two boxers fight a round at quarter the normal speed. As the three minutes stretch to twelve, it is the clarity of the space itself that comes to impress us. The individual shouts and group encouragement from the audience become animalistic howls as the fight replays in slow motion. Drawing on all the noise and feeling surging in the arena, with its particular sound and imagery, Cave explicitly magnifies the conflicting emotions aroused by the sport, from the collision of desire and disappointment to the coexistence of anticipation and revulsion.

Press Release