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Book Launch: The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Deep red clouds over a red sky
Gray Wielebinski: The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low (2023), cover (detail)

‘This eponymous publication represents a different instantiation of the exhibition’s thesis, lovingly brought into being by the collaborative efforts of Wielebinski, Asa Seresin and Joe Shakespeare. Part artist’s book, part discursive response, it is a textual and archival collage of the cross-pollination of cultural and political themes of the exhibition – and the relevance of Delany’s writing – with essays by Seresin, Larne Abse Gogarty and Maxi Wallenhorst, and a visual narrative compiled from the Library of Congress. Seresin’s text orbits around the motif of the sun, specifically alighting on modes of defamiliarisation towards an interpretation of the exhibition as an ‘excavation of the apocalyptic in the mundane, foregrounding of the here-and-now within the imaginary of other worlds.’ Abse Gogarty traces Wielebinski’s chain of associations from public toilets to Don DeLillo, to Mike Kelley’s Harems, addressing the motif of concentric circles in Wielebinski’s work with a correspondingly telescoping essay. Within an appropriately genre jumping text, Wallenhorst situates the artist’s work in the context of a trans poetics of the literal, ultimately spelling out an emancipatory horizon for literalness. The book is but one example of the defining generosity of Gray Wielebinski’s practice, and of the artist himself, in approaching our shared existence from a deeply curious and dialogic perspective. Built into this is a perpetual openness to revision – i.e., hope – and as such a gift with which to continue our pre-apocalyptic moment into 2024.’
– An excerpt from the Introduction by Andrea Nitsche-Krupp
Gray Wielebinski is a multi-disciplinary artist based in London. His work explores the intersecting themes of power, nationhood, desire and memory. Recent work has focused on surveillance, strategy, and secrecy, specifically regarding questions of gender, sexuality, and the social. Wielebinski holds an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK.

Andrea Nitsche-Krupp is an art historian and curator based in London. She is Exhibitions Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and curator of Gray Wielebinski: The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low.

Asa Seresin is a writer and researcher based in London. He writes about sexuality, genre, art, comedy and psychoanalysis, and is completing a PhD in English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Larne Abse Gogarty is a writer and art historian from London who teaches History and Theory of Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her most recent publication is What we do is Secret: Contemporary Art and the Antinomies of Conspiracy (Sternberg Press, 2023).

Maxi Wallenhorst is a writer living in Berlin. Next to dance dramaturgy, translation and art writing Maxi works on dissociative poetics in capitalism. Recent texts have appeared in e-flux journal and Texte zur Kunst.

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