31 October 2008


Louise Weiss and Kazimierz Jankowski

9 October to 3 December 2008


Curzon Soho Cinema
9 October – 3 December 2008
private view Tuesday 4th November, 6 – 9 pm

An exhibition for the Curzon Soho Cinema by Kazimierz Jankowski and Louise Weiss, The light of lamps uses all of the public spaces in the building and comprises thirteen works including video, posters, sound and installation. Some of the artworks have been produced in response to the specific context of the show, an exhibition within a cinema, and some pieces have developed from the title,The light of lamps.

A series of extracts from Charles Baudelaire's poem, Le Voyage, the title of the exhibition expands or contracts every time it appears, from the shortest version, a single word used as the address of the website accompanying the show, to the longest version, around twenty lines from the poem, which can be heard in the voice-over to a video, And the, and then what else? The title is also included on posters, flyers, in the bi-monthly Curzon programme, in the names of works in the exhibition, on t-shirts worn by Curzon staff, and on the canopy on the front of the building alongside the titles of films currently showing, where it changes weekly to fit the space available.

Parallels are drawn between these two main materials: the specific architecture of the cinema building, and the poem used as the title. This approach to space could be compared with the way in which the printed page is occupied by Stéphane Mallarmé's poem Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard. Like a concertina, the title has been stretched through the entire height or depth of the cinema, an idea that resonates with a particular interpretation of the space in the building, unfolding from a central staircase.
In the lift, an 'unfolded' plan of the cinema indicates where the artworks are located. The exhibition is presented as a series of discrete interventions in an urban landscape that can be located with the help of a guide, or discovered accidentally. Alternatively, the exhibition can be approached as an art museum in reverse: the cluttered, functional spaces of the cinema stand in for the clear, white galleries, which instead of ascending towards natural light, sink three floors below the ground towards dark cinema rooms illuminated by the light of lamps.

Kazimierz Jankowski's work makes edits and additions to the central space of the bar and stairs through the introduction of intersecting circles on the walls and ceilings. The circles are made of reflective vinyl, coloured according to other works in the exhibition, which highlight or repeat different parts of the space. Visitors to the bar are involuntary participants in a theatre of light and shadow, projected into the stairwell, where the sound of a hovering helicopter can occasionally be heard, and the profile of an oversized mirrored shoe offers visitors a last glimpse of their face before they enter the cinema rooms below.

Louise Weiss has made several works that reference cinema. Glitter, in colours chosen to represent those of an imagined exhibition set in Jacques Tati's film Playtime, covers the floor of the lift cabin, from where it gradually spreads throughout the building; and a mise-en-scène constructed around a pillar in a corner presents a project for a film set in Monaco. As yet unrealised, a work for the cinema rooms themselves involves screening 'blind films'—short films to appear before a feature by the same director, wherein the picture is removed to leave only the soundtrack—the silent movie inverted. A programme will follow.

Other works have replaced functional objects with new versions. For the duration of the exhibition the dustbins have been swapped for exaggerated plastic versions of wooden barrels, similar to those which often appear as props or as part of the backdrop in cartoons. The staff uniform has been substituted for oversized t-shirts - here bearing the title as a slogan, We Imitate the Spinning Top. At the bar the drinking glasses also function as architectural models, printed with a design for a rollercoaster-bridge with a small cinema at its summit.

Some of this is documented in a series of three posters, which, by overlaying different sets of information, including the number of dustbins per floor, alongside developments in the unrealised design for a children's playground by Isamu Noguchi and Louis Kahn, occupy the same position on the ceiling at every level of the cinema, and create a kind of slow animation.

Finally, Jankowski and Weiss will leave the Curzon Soho Cinema with a permanent intervention, extending the duration of the exhibition to the lifespan of the building itself. A large hole, through which the sky is visible, has been created in the concrete over-hang high above street level on the facade of the building at the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Frith Street. Acting as both an introduction and a conclusion, this work takes its name from a short edit of the exhibition's title: A lamp, a cloud, a hole.


3 posters for a small animation, paper collage

Signature T-Shirts (XXXL), screenprints on t-shirts

Cartoon bins, modified plastic barrels, steel

Shall we leave, self-adhesive vinyl

An exhibition in Playtime (glitter), glitter

Display 2008, self-adhesive vinyl

A folded film (Monaco), sand and LED lights

The Shoe, self-adhesive vinyl

Horizontal Figures, self-adhesive vinyl

A helicopter approaches…, audio, looped

Drinking glasses (wooden rollercoaster-shaped pedestrian bridge with cinema),
glasses with decalcomanie

And then, and then what else?, video and audio, looped

A lamp, a cloud, a hole, intervention on the facade of the building

Kazimierz Jankowski studied at Central St Martins and has recently finished an MA in Aesthetics at Goldsmiths. Previous exhibitions include I am for the art of…, auto-italia south east, London, 2007;Foundation, Ghent, Belgium, 2007; The Dark Show, the Wallis Gallery, and The Dark Show, FormContent, London, 2008. In December 2008 he will have a solo show at 79A Brick Lane.

Louise Weiss is one of many identities adopted by the artist Olivier Castel, whose previous exhibitions include La Neige et la Nuit (Giorgio Silverio), the Clockwork Gallery, Berlin, 2007; A GOOD HOST IS A GHOST (Francis Frederick), auto-italia south east, London, 2007; The Dark Show, the Wallis Gallery, and The Dark Show, FormContent, London, 2008. Olivier Castel will contribute to Jennifer Bailey's forthcoming project The Book of the Film and will also have a solo show at 79A Brick Lane in December 2008.