November 2nd 2017
Yuri Albert's performance at the National Gallery, London

White Space Gallery is delighted to share with you the footage of Yuri Albert’s Performance at the National Gallery in London on 19 October 2017. During the 45 minute guided tour of London’s National Gallery renaissance collection participants had their eyes covered with blindfold. Performance was filmed and photographed by the artist and one of the blindfolded participant, who “could trust only his ears”. White Space Gallery would like to thank all the participants, the gallery wardens and the tour guide Alexander Kolesnik. Special thanks to Courtauld Institute Professor Sarah Wilson and collector and philanthropist Igor Tsukanov for their support.

“I have always thought that imaginary or memory-based art is more interesting than what we see in reality. For this reason I have made a few projects devoted to imaginary and memory-based art. In 1998 I started a project addressed to viewers aimed at investigating “viewerness”. It consisted of a series of guided tours in several museums where the participants walked around blindfolded. This allowed them to better understand the concept of “viewerness”. Usually, these people were artists, curators and art historians. The guide would tell them the conventional information which they would normally tell the museum audience: “Look there, in that painting you can notice…”. Throughout the tour – which would last about one hour – the participants were imagining the painting presented to them by the guide. At the same time, they were struggling with the fear of stumbling, falling, or bumping their heads against a wall. I have repeated this performance in many museums, including the Berlin Picture Gallery, the City Museum in Perugia, Italy, the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.” – Yuri Albert

Performance was organised by White Space Gallery, London to coincide with an exhibition From Pages to Sculpture: Artists Books from 1430 to the Present. Photographs by Yuri Albert. Video by Anya Stonelake. Courtesy White Space Gallery, London

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