Katie Paterson: In Another Time is the largest, most ambitious exhibition of work to date by the artist named by The Observer in 2010 as one of the ‘best new artists in Britain.’
From transmitting Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to the moon and back, to providing a live phone line to a melting glacier, much of Katie Paterson’s work uses everyday technologies - from doorbells to record players – to make a connection between humanity and vast, intangible natural phenomena. Strangely intimate and inherently romantic, her work provides a poetic examination of the origins of time and space which is both understated and monumental.
Curated by Filipa Oliveira and Aldo Rinaldi, this exhibition is co-produced by the Mead Gallery with Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The multifarious meanings that can be accorded Katie Paterson’s practice will unfold over the duration of the exhibition tour with differing approaches and divergent selections of the artist’s work presented at each of the galleries.
The first of these exhibitions, In Another Time, which opens on 2 May at the Mead Gallery, explores notions of the primordial - of traces and recordings in the here and now which trigger our imaginations, linking us to distant times and unfathomable places.
Works presented include an archive of Vatnajökull (the sound of). Originally shown at Paterson’s graduation exhibition at the Slade in 2007, Vatnajökull comprised a live link to an underwater microphone placed by Paterson in Iceland’s Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, which detected and transmitted the sound of Europe’s largest glacier as it melted and moved via a mobile phone. Over 10,000 calls were made to the phone from 47 different countries.
The exhibition also features Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight, 2009 – for which enough light bulbs have been specially developed to provide a person with a lifetime supply of moonlight – and Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon), 2007, for which Beethoven’s famous work was translated into Morse code and sent to the moon via a form of radio transmission. Returning to earth fragmented by the moon's surface, the new 'moon–altered' score plays on a self-playing grand piano.
Other works include As the World Turns, 2010 - a turntable rotating in time with the earth, playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons; All the Dead Stars, 2009 - a map documenting the locations of just under 27,000 dead stars that have been recorded and observed by humankind; The Dying Star Letters, 2011 – letters of condolence for the death of stars; History of Darkness – an evolving archive of images of darkness from throughout the Universe; and Dying Star Doorbell, 2008, which was recently acquired for the University of Warwick’s Art Collection.
The exhibition’s international tour will also correspond with the development of a major new commission, Second Moon, for which a piece of moon rock is to be air-shipped around the world, echoing the lunar orbit. From presenting the terrestrially-bound moon rock at the Mead Gallery, to tracking the rock’s orbit and eventual landing, this work will provide visitors with a direct link in real time to the artwork and its journey through space.