Hayward Gallery
exhibition

Alternative Guide to the Universe

Alternative Guide to the Universe, 11 June – 26 August 2013, Hayward Gallery. Alternative Guide to the Universe explored the work of self-taught artists and architects, fringe physicists and visionary inventors, all of whom offer bracingly unorthodox perspectives on the world we live in. Eccentric and inspiring, their work re-imagines our social and cultural conventions in ways that fearlessly depart from accepted ways of thinking. 

Contributors to the exhibition explored fictional identities and designed imaginary cities; they built healing machines and recorded the unseen energy flows of our bodies. They speculated on mysteries of time and space; created devices for time-travel and communication with other dimensions; and fashioned new letterforms designed to liberate the alphabet from the strictures of Western civilisation.

Taken together, their work conjured a kind of a parallel universe where ingenuity and inventiveness trumped common sense and received wisdom.

Artists included: Morton Bartlett, Philip Blackmarr, Emery Blagdon, James Carter, Jan Głuszak Dagarama, Lee Godie, Richard Greaves, Guo Fengyi, Karl Hans Janke, Alfred Jensen, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Paul Laffoley, Melvin Edward Nelson, Jean Perdrizet, Rammellzee, A.G. Rizzoli, William Scott, Marcel Storr, Ionel Talpazan, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Melvin Way, George Widener and Wu Yulu. 

The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated hardback catalogue featuring essays by authors including art historian Roger Cardinal, award-winning novelist Rick Moody, cultural chronicler Mark Pilkington, science writer Margaret Wertheim, art historian Valérie Rousseau and Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff.  

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Alternative Guide to the Universe explored the work of self-taught artists and architects, fringe physicists and visionary inventors, all of whom offer bracingly unorthodox perspectives on the world we live in. Eccentric and inspiring, their work re-imagines our social and cultural conventions in ways that fearlessly depart from accepted ways of thinking. 

Contributors to the exhibition explored fictional identities and designed imaginary cities; they built healing machines and recorded the unseen energy flows of our bodies. They speculated on mysteries of time and space; created devices for time-travel and communication with other dimensions; and fashioned new letterforms designed to liberate the alphabet from the strictures of Western civilisation.

Taken together, their work conjured a kind of a parallel universe where ingenuity and inventiveness trumped common sense and received wisdom.

Artists included: Morton Bartlett, Philip Blackmarr, Emery Blagdon, James Carter, Jan Głuszak Dagarama, Lee Godie, Richard Greaves, Guo Fengyi, Karl Hans Janke, Alfred Jensen, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Paul Laffoley, Melvin Edward Nelson, Jean Perdrizet, Rammellzee, A.G. Rizzoli, William Scott, Marcel Storr, Ionel Talpazan, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Melvin Way, George Widener and Wu Yulu. 

The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated hardback catalogue featuring essays by authors including art historian Roger Cardinal, award-winning novelist Rick Moody, cultural chronicler Mark Pilkington, science writer Margaret Wertheim, art historian Valérie Rousseau and Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff.  

Alternative Guide to the Universe

A fully illustrated catalogue featuring essays by celebrated authors including novelist Rick Moody.

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