“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there” – Miles Davis

Play What's Not There brings together significant works from the sixties to the present, including new pieces created especially for the exhibition by Katharina Wulff and Cerith Wyn Evans as well as a film by Linder, which has never been shown before.

The works in the exhibition conjecture an attainment in art in which the seductions of consummate style or cleverness are sacrificed to gain access to a greater artistic, philosophical or spiritual reality. To that end the works deploy varied strategies: invoking states of invisibility or self-negation, adopting mythical identities, transforming repetition into incantation, or converting aphoristic elegance into gestures of transcendence.

Play What’s Not There includes a pamphlet revealing sources for Bracewell's ideas, with short extracts from the existentialist writings of Søren Kierkegaard on the nature of subjectivity and faith, and from a poem by W. H. Auden directly inspired by Kierkegaard.

Michael Bracewell is the author of six novels including Perfect Tense (2000) and three works of non-fiction, among them England Is Mine (1997, 2009). He writes widely on modern and contemporary art; his most recent publications include Richard Hamilton: Late Works (National Gallery, London), and Letters to Lucy McKenzie (Artists Institute, New York). He has co-curated a number of exhibitions, notably The Secret Public: Last Days of the British Underground 1978–1988 (Kunstverein Munich and ICA, London) and The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art (Tate St Ives).

Raven Row Gallery
56 Artillery Lane
London E1 7LS United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)20 73774300

Opening hours
Wednesday - Sunday
From 11am to 6pm

Related images

  1. Cerith Wyn Evans, A Community Predicated on the Basic Fact Nothing Really Matters, 2013, Neon, steel cables, Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Photo: © Jens Ziehe/TBA21, 2013
  2. Linder, The Working Class Goes to Paradise, 2000, Photographic documentation of four-hour performance in Manchester
  3. Edward Krasinski, Spear, c. 1963/64, Photograph by Eustachy Kossakowski, © Hanna Ptaszkowska and archive of Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Courtesy Paulina Krasińska and Foksal Gallery Foundation