Hayward’s Alternative Guide to The Universe show celebrates the work of outsiders

In a far-fetched celebration of outsiders the Hayward Gallery is putting on its Alternative Guide to The Universe, which shines a light on the unorthodox perspectives of the self-taught.

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Untitled 1940s

Source: 2013 Lewis B. Greenblatt, all rights reserved. Courtesy Lewis and Jean Greenblatt

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Untitled 1940s

Indeed architects, ‘fringe physicists’ and inventors have turned the Hayward into a glorious soap box where fictional identities are explored, imaginary cities designed, ‘healing machines’ built, and the unseen energy flows of our bodies recorded.

We’re led to believe that their leftfield thinking will bring with it the creation of time travel devices, communications with other planets, and – most excitingly for some of you – fashioning new letter-forms designed to liberate the alphabet from the structures of civilisation.

Lee Godie - Lee and Cameo on a chair, (mid 1970s)

Source: Courtesy Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection

Lee Godie – Lee and Cameo on a chair, (mid 1970s)

To anyone proclaiming that this is all impossible, we’d recommend leaving any cynicism at the door, as this is of course an exploratory embrace of those who trump perceived wisdom. Nobody will actually time travel.

There’s logical wisdom indeed in the work of numerical savant George Widener who embeds complex mathematical puzzles in his drawings in order to address a future audience of intelligent machines.

William Scott SFOs The Skyline People of Wholesome Encounters of A New Science Fiction Future (2013)

Source: © Creative Growth Art Center Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center

William Scott SFOs The Skyline People of Wholesome Encounters of A New Science Fiction Future (2013)

Several photographers in the exhibition explore fictional identities and alter egos, including a homeless artist from Chicago whose creates theatrical photo-booth self-portraits.

It’s worth noting that not everything in this exhibition is deliberately or self-consciously odd. Moreover, the work it includes is by individuals who haven’t received the conventional schooling of their established peers.

Marcel Storr 1978

Source: Liliane and Bertrand Kempf Courtesy Liliane and Bertrand Kempf

Marcel Storr 1978

The brilliantly irreverent Museum of Everything, which made a name for itself celebrating the uncelebrated will also be involved.  https://www.designweek.co.uk/home/blog/everything-in-its-right-place/3029561.article

Rammellzee Color Letter Racer Z (c.1988)

Source: Estate of Carmela Zagari Rammellzee Courtesy The Suzanne Geiss Company. Photo: Adam Reich

Rammellzee Color Letter Racer Z (c.1988)

The Alternative Guide to the Universe is on at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvadere Road,  SE1 from 11 June – 26 August

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