Over seven weekends Raven Row celebrates Gallery House, one of the most influential and extraordinary contemporary art spaces in London in the early 1970s. Through performances, screenings and discussions, accompanied by a changing presentation of artworks and archival material, This Way Out of England charts Gallery House’s exceptional programme, led by director Sigi Krauss and assistant director Rosetta Brooks.
Between March 1972 and August 1973, in a vacant mansion provided by the German government next to the German Institute (now the Goethe-Institut) in South Kensington, Gallery House hosted exhibitions as well as residencies, performances and events by artists including Stuart Brisley, Victor Burgin, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, John Dugger, Robert Filliou, Susan Hiller, Anthony McCall, Gustav Metzger, Carlyle Reedy and Stephen Willats as well as pioneering ‘expanded cinema’ and much new film and video work. For many of the featured artists Gallery House would prove a formative experience with a lasting influence on their subsequent careers.
Gallery House favoured heterogeneity, colliding the multiplicity of forms and styles co-existing at the time, from performance and expanded cinema to cybernetic, social and conceptual practices. Ultimately, the radical nature of Gallery House’s programme led to its abrupt and contested closure by the German Institute.
Neither a retrospective nor an archival exhibition, This Way Out of England seeks to emulate the spirit of Krauss’ and Brooks’ space by inviting a number of artists to rethink their original interventions at Gallery House. The episodic nature of this survey acknowledges the impossibility of framing what was an ephemeral experiment.
With contributions by, among others, John Blandy, Stuart Brisley and Maya Balcioglu, Victor Burgin, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, John Dugger, Stephen Dwoskin, Michael Druks, Robert Filliou, Filmaktion curated by Mark Webber – Gill Eatherley, Malcolm Le Grice, Annabel Nicholson and William Raban – Gerard Hemsworth, Ed Herring, Susan Hiller, David Lamelas, Darcy Lange, John Latham, Anthony McCall, David Medalla, Gustav Metzger, Tony Morgan, Carlyle Reedy, Carolee Schneemann, Graham Stevens, John Stezaker and Stephen Willats.
The project is curated by Antony Hudek and Alex Sainsbury.