During the coldest and darkest months of the year, audiences were invited into a world of smoke and mirrors, psychological states, Hollywood glamour, ambiguity and vice.
Artists presented in the exhibition included: Thom Andersen (USA) Chris Burden (USA) Mike Cooter (UK) John Divola (USA) Douglas Gordon (DE / UK) Johan Grimonprez (BE) David Noonan (UK / AU) Hadrian Pigott (UK) Laure Prouvost (UK / FR) Fergal Stapleton (IR/UK), Sturtevant (USA), Nicole Wermers (UK / DE) Cerith Wyn Evans (UK).
'A Darkness More Than Night' explored contemporary art through 'noir', a genre most readily associated with stylish Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s and 50s, yet whose precursors date back through nineteenth century literature to Greek tragedy. Taking a forensic approach, the exhibition considered the aesthetics and mood of noir through key themes of the genre, and featured contributions by international contemporary artists working across a variety of media - including sculpture, installation, print and film.
Many of the themes that are central to noir are universal: a troubled mind, a fruitless or baffling pursuit of an impossible goal, vice, deceit and the isolating effect of the city. Owing to these enduring impulses, and the stylish and modern aesthetic that are associated with noir, the genre has remained influential for successive generations of practitioners across the arts. But whereas the links between the genre and recent cinema, graphic novels, literature and television are readily apparent through 'neo-noir', 'A Darkness More Than Night' was the first exhibition to consider the relationship between contemporary art and noir.
The exhibition was accompanied by Miscellany of Noir, a free booklet that expands on the ideas explored in the show through a selection of historical and recent texts, images and ephemera.
Gallery exhibition curated by Ariella Yedgar and Rosie Cooper, in collaboration with QUAD.
Emphasise, Exhibition in QUAD's Extra Gallery Spaces
QUAD's Youth Forum worked in collaboration with London based artists Kelda Hole, Arnold Borgerth, Carolyn Lefley and Neil Kelly in a series of workshops that explored techniques and ingredients of Noir.
The exhibition investigated and emphasised Noir as a 'genre' through photography, soundscapes and installation.
Following the exhibition in QUAD's Corridor Spaces, the work was then taken to the ART HUB gallery in London in February 2012. The show was curated by Neil Kelly, Marcus Reading and QUAD's Youth Forum.
Exhibition events included; Curators Tour, Exhibition Tours, a noir themed Murder Mystery Dinner, an Artist Talk by Mike Cooter and a Children's Activity Guide.
A Darkness More Than Night BFI Mediatheque Selection
A special Mediatheque Collection has been curated by QUAD and the BFI to reflect the ideas behind A Darkness More Than Night exhibition in QUAD Gallery, with films in the noir genre from the 1920s to the present day.