Performing No Thingness

East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts.
27 September – 29 October 2016.
An exhibition curated by PhD student Nicola Simpson to explore the kinetic work of Dom Sylvester Houédard, Ken Cox and Li Yuan-chia.

This exhibition was curated by Nicola Simpson whose doctoral research is in this area, and showed a selection of works demonstrating each artist’s interest in how the art object is dependent on performance to come into being. This was a rare opportunity to see the iconic balloons made by Ken Cox in 1968, previously un-exhibited poem-scores by Dom Sylvester Houédard and magnetic reliefs or ‘points’ by Li Yuan-chia. Through the interplay of these works the exhibition examined the relationships between the three artists through correspondences, sharing of ideas and memorial.

There seems a moment in the late 1960s, as Vajrayana Buddhism in particular first migrated to the west with the exiled Tibetan Lamas, when it was accepted that and of interest to a group of international artists. A moment of real openness and fluidity; a complicated ‘matrix of transmission’ (as Simpson has called it) of this alternative phenomenological insight, that can be found in the artwork, group exhibitions, performances, letters and conversations of these artists.