Dust to Dust

Dust to Dust,Zabludowcz Collection

Taking place this summer, Dust to Dust is a programme of installations, workshops, and live music events, featuring works by Wolfgang Tillmans, Zander Porter and Tianzhuo Chen.

Dust to Dust positions Wolfgang Tillmans’ collection work, Lights (Body) (2002) in dialogue with two more recent works, Zander Porter’s Emoji-bot and Tianzhuo Chen’s The Dust (both 2021). Installed across three galleries, each artist’s work alludes to a space of human interaction, of sociality and gathering: the rooms journey from the nightclub, through online space and into the spiritual realm. Yet, the human body is noticeably absent from each work; literally in the case of Tillmans and Chen, and appearing as a speculative avatar for Porter. As a trio, the works push against definitions of liveness, temporality, and the performative.

Known for his photographic work, Lights (Body) is one of the earlier moving-image pieces by Wolfgang Tillmans. Filmed in two crowded clubs but focused on the automated movements of the lighting systems, the only indication of the bodies below are dust moats floating in beams of light. The mechanical movement, the captured light, and the pulsating soundtrack transforms a dense corporeal environment into an abstract experience. Presented large-scale on the altar of the former Methodist chapel, the work takes on a dramatic and reverent quality, alluding to the shared aspects of community, spirituality and ritual in the church and club.

In the middle gallery, Emoji-bot by Zander Porter creates a simulation of liveness; three performers on three screens cycle through a choreographic score that syncs them in a ‘live’ digital temporality. The dramaturgy of the installation carries a theatricality that further blurs the boundaries between virtual and physical performance.

In Tianzhuo Chen’s The Dust, presented in the back gallery, tools and relics are the primary protagonists. From prayer wheels to a celestial burial ground, the work tells a story from the beginning of life, through evolution and into death. Conceived by the artist as a performance without the presence of human figures, the work could be understood as therefore free from social order; its events derive from whatever we understand as the world’s ‘original source’.

Across the three works, the physical body becomes felt through suggestion, flesh as an abstract notion. The body of the viewer therefore becomes the body in equation with the work, inhabiting the visceral space of the dancefloor, confronting the digital body onscreen, sensing the mortality of the corporeal. Locating these works within a specific moment becomes difficult, prompting the viewer to ask, where are we in time’s chronology?

Duration 13 July 2023 - 13 August 2023
Times Thursday - Sunday 12-6pm
Cost Free
Venue Zabludowicz Collection
Address 176 Prince of Wales Road, London, NW5 3PT
Contact / info@zabludowiczcollection.com / www.zabludowiczcollection.com