Mike Nelson opens ‘psychologically charged’ show at London’s Hayward Gallery

‘Extinction Beckons’ transforms the gallery into a barren desert

Hayward Gallery’s new show, Extinction Beckons, takes gallery-goers through a succession of otherworldly, liminal spaces created by Turner-nominated artist Mike Nelson.

The exhibition is the first major survey of Nelson’s work and brings together some of the artist’s most compelling and immersive installations – recreated and rebuilt for the Hayward Gallery. Director Ralph Rugoff describes these works as ‘potent arrangements of culturally and psychologically charged props and architectural structures’.

Installations on display include new versions of Studio Apparatus for Kunsthalle Münster – which features concrete heads mounted on a scaffolding-like framework – and Triple Bluff Canyon (the woodshed), which sees an entire room filled with 40 tons of sand.

The Hayward Gallery also hosts a new edition of The Deliverance and The Patience – a vast, 18-room artwork originally created for the 2001 Venice Biennale. Installations are all made using reused and found materials, including pieces sourced from salvage yards and junk shops.

‘My intent has always been to make immersive works that operate on multiple levels,’ says the artist. ‘They should have a narrative, a spatial aspect, but also a psychological effect on the senses: you’re seeing and feeling one thing whilst your brain is trying to override this and tell you something else.’

Extinction Beckons is on display at the Hayward Gallery until 7 May 2023.

Installation view of Mike Nelson’s ‘Studio Apparatus for Kunsthalle Münster’, 2014. (Various Materials). Photography: Matt Greenwood. Courtesy the artist and the Hayward Gallery.
Installation view of Mike Nelson’s ‘Imposter’, 2011. (Various materials). Photography: Matt Greenwood. Courtesy the artist and the Hayward Gallery.

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