Exhibition. Portikus Gallery, Frankfurt 2014

God is Great (10-19) 2014
John Latham | Neal White

Portikus Gallery, Frankfurt.
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“Portikus presents the work of late British conceptual artist John Latham (1921-2006) and a new work by artist and professor of art Neal White. By facilitating a dialogue between these two practices, the show decodes Latham’s expansive and hugely complex oeuvre and the conceptual legacy of art in relation to the ‘event’ as a structural entity.“

Undertaken with Portikus in conjunction with Stadehlschule, Latham Foundation and Flattimehouse, London.

For more information and DVD see NOIT 2, edited by Lisa le Feuvre.

Curated by Sophie Von Olfers for Portikus. With thanks to Claudia Famulok, Jose Segebre, Nick, Reece, Amy, Andrew, Stewart, Dana and Christian.

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Dislocated Data Palm (2014) 

Consisting of a 14 metre high data or cell tower camouflaged as a palm tree. The installation of the object was in two parts; 5.5 metres suspended inside and 8.5 metres placed outside, within view from the rear window of the gallery and set against the backdrop of the islands woodland flora and fauna.

During this project, further research was conducted locally into Frankfurt’s advanced data landscape. Fieldwork and live video streams connected sites ranging from the NSA's European Cryptology Dagger Complex just outside Frankfurt, to the Quantum Trading facilities of the Frankfurt’s stock exchange and Europe’s largest financial trading data hubs. Broadcast back though the network, viewers were able to connect to these sites from home, by-passing the gallery, or formal video presentation.

A project developed with Office of Experiments and Field Broadcast, London.

Skoob Performances

As part of the supporting programme developed with Sophie von Olfers and Stadehlschule, Neal White coordinated a series ofJohn Latham performance works; 'Skoobs'  (a word and a sculpture in reverse).

Realised by White with students and with close guidance from old friend Barbara Steveni, former partner of John Latham, both performances and the exhibition of ‘God is Great’ by Latham addressed the complex issues involved in exhibiting conceptual arts most radical works (see postscript), highlighting both moral and ethical limits of the work and the gallery.

Skoob Performance at Stadehlschule, Frankfurt. 

Post-event image with ‘God is Great’ by John Latham absent.

Post script - Unexpected events

As publicised widely in the German media, John Latham’s controversial work ‘God is Great‘ was violently vandalised shortly after the exhibition formally opened. 

A text prepared by the Latham Estate and Lisson Gallery was agreed with Portikus and displayed alongside documentation of the work that was physically removed for repair. As a result, Dislocated Data Palm remained the only artwork on display in the gallery.