Within a Realm of Distance at Blenheim Palace
"This our second show after the phenomenally successful inaugural show by Ai Weiwei"
At Blenheim Palace until 20 December, Within a Realm of Distance showcases works conceived by Lawrence Weiner over the past several decades, in addition to significant works created especially for the Palace
Integrated throughout the ornate interior as well as the monumental exterior of the 18th century building, the exhibition demonstrates the artist’s practice of using language as a medium to create a multitude of sculptural forms; viewed in contrast to the traditional backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Lawrence Weiner is regarded as one of the most influential artists working today with a career spanning over fifty years. The exhibition, conceived by the artist in close collaboration with Blenheim Art Foundation and co-curator Christian Gether, Director, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, will feature a new and ambitious body of work presented in a building that dates back to 1704 and which famously became the birth place of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1874. Existing as an idea rather than a physical object, Weiner invites visitors to experience his work in tandem with the rich heritage of the Palace.
Using the Palace as a support structure for his artistic vision, Weiner has created several site-specific installations, allowing visitors to experience his work and the building’s historic collections simultaneously.
The work is made up of brightly coloured and three-dimensional urethane and vinyl lettering, strikingly situated on the frieze of the Palace’s main entrance. The ceiling of the Long Library, which runs the entire length of the Palace’s West Front making it one of the longest rooms in a private house in Britain, now features the work MORE THAN ENOUGH after being almost untouched for the last 200 years. Site-specific pieces have also been made for the west side of the Great Hall where the words NEAR & FAR & EQUAL MEASURE AT SOME POINT, are located above the arch, and the text SO FAR FLUNG adorns the Green Drawing Room.
Additional works include FAR ENOUGH AWAY AS TO COME READILY TO HAND, an almost four metre pvc banner with vinyl overlay, has replaced the tapestry depicting the Battle of Blenheim hanging in the First State Room. In the Chapel, is A PENNY HERE, A PENNY THERE, above the marble monument to the first Duke and Duchess and their two sons. FOUND ALONE AFTER ANY GIVEN TIME, consisting of seven embroideries displaying differing texts, are also hung in place of existing drawings and prints throughout the Palace and presented as a homily. The works are both subtly and strikingly juxtaposed against the art and architecture of the Palace, creating something completely unique.
WITHIN A REALM OF DISTANCE is the second exhibition by Blenheim Art Foundation, a programme of contemporary art which sees exhibitions presented at the Palace by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, and follows the inaugural exhibition Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace (2014). The Foundation was established by Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill, whose family have resided at Blenheim Palace since the early 18th century, and whose brother is the 12th Duke of Marlborough. A dedicated collector of contemporary art, Lord Edward has long held the ambition to launch a contemporary art programme at Blenheim Palace, and realised Blenheim Art Foundation in 2014 with its Director, Michael Frahm.
Michael Frahm, Director, Blenheim Art Foundation, said:‘During the months of October through to December, to visit Blenheim Palace will be a new experience and one that is rooted in a consideration of our own relation to objects and the world around us. Weiner’s sculptures meet history in a way that has never been done before at Blenheim Palace and we hope this will challenge, excite and inspire our visitors. The exhibition is a testament to Weiner’s past achievement and an assured demonstration of his continued creative exuberance.’
Lord Edward Spencer Churchill, Founder, Blenheim Art Foundation, said: ‘We are truly delighted and excited to be showing Lawrence Weiner ‘Within a Realm of Distance’ at Blenheim Palace. This our second show after the phenomenally successful inaugural show by Ai Weiwei. Lawrence’s work speaks for itself, and he is a giant of the contemporary art scene. One of the fathers of modern conceptualism and a man of vast intellect and humanity; we are so excited to welcome him and his ideas to Blenheim.’
Lawrence Weiner, artist, said: ‘...WHERE WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF WHERE WE WERE, THE RELATIONSHIPS OF OBJECTS TO OBJECTS IN RELATION TO HUMAN BEINGS.’
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