Four artists were commissioned to create installations in each of the Serpentine Gallery’s four rooms.
The artists responded in very different ways to the architectural specifications of the site, but central to all their work is the direct physical involvement of the spectator.
Vong Phaophanit used neon tubes and rice to create what he described as “a ploughed field”, which filled the entire gallery. Nat Goodden sought to confound the visitors’ familiar perception of the Serpentine’s square, domed North Gallery by channelling all access to this space up a staircase towards a viewing platform, which encircled the gallery. From this perspective, the viewer looked down onto an intersecting network of large translucent veils. Changing light filtering through the four windows above lit the veils, made from hundreds of sheets of hospital X-rays.
Gladstone Thompson enveloped the central walls and ceiling of the South Gallery with sheets of plywood, by which means he anchored this difficult, perambulatory space and gave it a defined centre. Mona Hatoum drained the long West Gallery of all its natural daylight and constructed rows of cage-like lockers. A single naked bulb illuminated the gallery.