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Open Space Contemporary, helmed by Huma Kabakcı, presents Adventitious Encounters, a group exhibition with 20 internationally acclaimed, emerging and established contemporary artists, including Chloe Wise, Paloma Proudfoot, and Mustafa Hulusi. Running until 22 March 2018, and co-curated by Kabakcı and Anna Skladmann, the exhibition is held on the sky-roof of the historic Whiteleys Shopping Centre in London, a space rarely open to the public.

Founded in 2014, Open Space Contemporary exists primarily between London and Istanbul. It is an itinerant contemporary art platform that promotes cross-cultural dialogue and multidisciplinary exchange through international projects with artists, curators and other practitioners.



Adventitious Encounters explores the interwoven processes of human production and consumption, in response to nature as an object of desire. Reflecting on the transition of Whiteleys from a Victorian department store to bygone shopping centre and onward to future development, the show invites the audience to experience a multi-sensory stimulation, akin to William Whiteleys’ unrealised botanical vision. In its original design, the uppermost floor of the department store was organised around a dominant octagonal glass dome, in part inspired by the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851. This dome was envisaged to be at the centre of an elegant formal “Italian” garden, flanked by water ponds and reminiscent of classical orangeries; a distillation of nature in miniature.



The exhibition attempts to map out our dependence on nature through an extended sensory means that art and technology provide. Today, technology allows us to perceive hidden environmental process. Consequently, humanity is able to soberly survey the situation, which notably marks the gap between the role of the human being as an observing subject and as an observed object. As a result, we now have vast power at our disposal to explore this relationship and recreate nature according to our own desires. Scents, colours, textures and emotions elicited through art allow for the aesthetic reinterpretation of nature, consequently revealing our own entanglement with it. The show looks into the novel production of sensual desire and the re-combination of material reality.



The show features a collaborative installation with Conservatory Archives and a programme of performances and events, including a partnership with Block Universe. In addition, Andrew Osborne, PhD student at Goldsmiths and currently working at the Royal College of Art, has contributed to the catalogue essay ‘Anthropsensory: The New Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm’, which forms part of the exhibition material.

Exhibiting artists: Volkan Aslan, Augustine Carr, Alex Flick, Mustafa Hulusi, Soojin Kang, Radhika Khimji, Anton Lapov, Joshua Leon, Kate McMillan, Sarah Meyohas, Suzanne Moxhay, Goia Mujalli, Alexandre Mussard, Samuel Padfield, Paloma Proudfoot, Anna Skladmann, Magda Skupinska, Himali Singh Soin, Sigrid Viir, and Chloe Wise.


Feature image: Chloe Wise, Rope that counts your jumps, 2017. Oil paint, urethane, antique candleholder, cowhide (via Chloe Wise)

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