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28th Feb - 31st Jan

Magic Show

The premiere of a new Hayward Touring exhibition curated by Jonathan Allen and Sally O’Reilly, organised in collaboration with QUAD.

Magic, like art, thrives in the gap between representation and misrepresentation.  Magic Show considered how artists adopt the perception-shifting ploys of the theatrical magician to summon wonderment while simultaneously performing critique. Divisive applications and emotive manipulations are rife, not only in the artist’s efforts to move us or spur us to imaginative leaps, but also in the arena of politics.

Magic Show consisted of work by 24 international artists across all media, as well as an archive of artefacts from the theatrical magic world. The exhibition was augmented by a programme of film and video screenings, live performances and a full-colour catalogue with newly commissioned texts by writers from the art and magic communities.

Magic Show Artists: Jonathan Allen, Archive (Chris Kubick & Anne Walsh), Zoe Beloff, Ansuman Biswas & Jem Finer, Joan Brossa, Rick Buckley, Brian Catling, Center for Tactical Magic, Jackie & Denise Chapwoman, Tom Friedman, Brian Griffiths, Colin Guillemet, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Susan Hiller, Alexandra Hopf, Christian Jankowski, Janice Kerbel, Annika Lundgren, Juan Muñoz, Bruce Nauman, Ian Saville, Ariel Schlesinger, Suzanne Treister and Sinta Werner

A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London.

Magic Poster Exhibition
Throughout QUAD Corridors

This exhibition complemented the work in the Gallery and was an opportunity to see rare magic posters from the collection of magician, stage effects designer and magic historian Paul Kieve.

The selection ranges from early 20th century shows to contemporary magic spectacles, exhibited according to the thematic areas of the magician’s persona, outrageous claims, the magician’s context, the (often pretended) non-Western magician and the female identity in magic.

Magic Video Exhibition
QUAD Digital Screens

A selection of archive videos and footage material was on the digital screens throughout the building  showing unexpected angles on magic and its relation to politics, history, economics, media representation, journalism, live performances and manipulation acts.

Plus ‘Magic Entertainers’ from MACE (Media Archive Central England): an archive compilation dedicated to the magicians who are waiting for their big break – from the London Palladium to a working men’s club.  All they have at their disposal are their nimble fingers, a glamorous assistant, the mystical craft of the illusionist and an unshakeable belief in the Big Time!

Image Credit: Graham Lucas Commons


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