Sensory Spaces is a series of commissioned solo projects presented in the Willem van der Vorm Gallery, located in the freely accessible exhibition space in the museum’s entrance hall. Artists are invited to respond to the architectural qualities of the space, emphasizing notions of transformation and surprise.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen invited the British artist Mike Nelson (Loughborough 1967) to produce a work for Sensory Spaces 8. Nelson will be presenting ‘Amnesiac Shrine’, an installation made up of a set of successive artworks that combine to form an extensive category in its own right within his oeuvre. The works of art on show in the Amnesiac Shrine act as metaphors; they make up a series of images that Nelson devised almost twenty years ago. They are members of an imaginary biker gang, born from the smouldering remains of the first Gulf War. In the umbrella installation ‘Amnesiac Shrine’, which can be seen from 13 February, Nelson uses these metaphors to challenge the perception of fundamental elements like time and space. By means of reflections, illusions and flashbacks, Mike Nelson unleashes a compelling experience at the interface of what can and cannot be defined as art.
The full title of the installation is ‘Amnesiac Shrine’ or ‘The Misplacement (a futurological fable): Mirrored Cubes - inverted - with the reflection of their inner psyche as represented by a metaphorical landscape.’ As the artist himself explained, ‘The Amnesiacs was a body of work made in the mid-90s at the very beginning of my interest in Soviet science fiction. I came across Stanis?aw Lem, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, who used science fiction in the Soviet Union to bypass the censor and to write intelligently about the human condition. The use of these metaphors was the start for this series of works.’