LondonEs Devlin: Memory Palace
Memory Palace is a vast chronological landscape mapping pivotal shifts in human perspective over 75 millennia by artist and designer Es Devlin. Interdisciplinary artist Es Devlin OBE is known for her ambitious sculptures and environments across art, theatre and music from major public installations on Trafalgar Square and the V&A to stage sets for Beyoncé and the National Theatre.
In this new large-scale work, commissioned by Pitzhanger, visitors are immersed within a vast chronological landscape mapping pivotal shifts in human perspective over 75 millennia. From the African caves in which humans made their first drawings, to the steps of the Riksdaghuset in Stockholm where Greta Thunberg began her School Strike for Climate, the street where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus to the tower where Copernicus drew the first heliocentric map of the universe, the locations and moments represent a personal and subjective cartography.
The 18-metre-wide sculpture physically fills the entire gallery space, with mirrored planes multiplying its dimensions to enable a reimagining of time and space. Memory Palace is named after the classical mnemonic technique which catalogues memories within familiar locations. Devlin identifies a series of rooms in which significant shifts in human thinking took place and plots them within identifiable fragments of cities and buildings to create a personal atlas of the evolution of thought.
Memory Palace reflects Sir John Soane’s own prolific creation and collection of architectural models and Devlin has also transformed Soane’s library at Pitzhanger into a reading room filled with the books that informed her installation.Photo: Peter Mallet
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