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Hayward Gallery opens Alternative Guide to the Universe

The Hayward Gallery presents Alternative Guide to the Universe an exhibition on view 11 June 2013 – Monday 26 August 2013.

Hayward Gallery Southbank Centre
Hayward Gallery Southbank Centre
Alternative Guide to the Universe surveys an artistic landscape that stretches to the far horizons of our imagination. Featuring contributions from self-taught artists and unlicensed architects, fringe physicists and visionary inventors, it serves up bracingly fresh perspectives on the world we live in. It also offers a rare opportunity to discover remarkable paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and architectural models created by an eccentric and inspiring group of individuals from around the world.

Alternative Guide to the Universe focuses on individuals who develop their ideas and practices outside of official institutions and established disciplines. Their work ingeniously departs from accepted ways of thinking in order to re-imagine the rules of culture and science. Some of their speculative visions rival the wildest inventions of science fiction – with the difference that these practitioners believe in the validity and veracity of all that they describe and propose.

Many of these mavericks make work that aspires to be practical or that explores the nature of empirical reality. They create plans for vast cities of the future; alternative calendars and languages; diagrams that track evolutionary networks of consciousness; and photographic portraits that question our notions of ‘self’. Whether speculating on mysteries of time and space or charting the unseen energy flows of our bodies and minds, their startlingly imaginative conceptions invite the viewer into a universe where ingenuity trumps received wisdom. In the process, it vastly expands the spaces in which our own imaginative thinking about the world may venture.

Alternative Guide to the Universe is complemented by a display from the Museum of Everything in the Hayward Project Space. The Museum of Everything presents an installation of sculptures, photographs and films dedicated to visionary builder and sculptor Nek Chand, who has spent over fifty years creating his legendary ‘Rock Garden’ outside Chandigarh, India, in a 20-acre magical kingdom fashioned from scrap materials.