Pink Does Not Exist re-framed a longstanding debate on the nature of perception and reality through the works of eight artists, each of whom represented a unique strategy in dealing with problems of observation and representation.
The title of the exhibition was a nod to Newton’s discovery of the additive nature of the spectrum of light: white light is a mixture of all the colours in the spectrum – ROYGBIV – while pink, or magenta, is the only colour which does not actually have its own frequency. As such, one could legitimately claim that pink as a colour does not exist, and yet, because of the human brain’s extraordinary malleability, of course we see pink every day. But does this make pink real?
Exhibited at Flat C Gallery in a private flat in north London, Pink Does Not Exist considered the relationship between questions of perception and the practice of viewing art. The relationship between reality and perception has long been a complex one, but no more so than today. In light of quantum mechanics – in particular, the notion promulgated by Thomas Young’s famous double-slit experiment that reality is fundamentally altered by observation – the works in the exhibition brought to the fore the problem of the observer in perceiving reality.
The exhibition included: Ross Sutherland’s documentary about creating a computer programme to write poetry; Henrietta Williams‘ photographs of the physical and virtual barriers guarding the City of London; two perceptibly threatening installations from Ben Woodeson’s Health & Safety Violations series; composite images of transgenic tadpoles from the laboratory of researcher Nick Love; photographs and drawings of an experimental light-based long-exposure memory experiment by Freddy Tuppen; paintings that play on the experience of looking at “painting as painting” by Trevor Kiernander; photographs by Catherine Hyland depicting the strange juxtaposition of one reality superimposed on to another; and a project by Gregory Sale which explores fragments of love poetry through the curious medium of the badge.
Each visitor to the exhibition received a free, limited-edition badge produced by Gregory Sale for the exhibition.
Artists: Ross Sutherland, Freddy Tuppen, Trevor Kiernander, Catherine Hyland, Henrietta Williams, Nick Love, Ben Woddeson, Gregory Sale