Works from the Collection: Dark Matters and Idris Khan's The Devil's Wall at the Whitworth

By Ben Miller | 29 February 2012
Photo of a digital installation
© Idris Khan
Exhibitions: Works from the Collection: Dark Matters (until April 15); Idris Khan: The Devil’s Wall (until May 13 2012), Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

The acclaimed Birmingham-born artist, Idris Khan, likes to beautify minutiae – his previous works, for example, have seen him scan and then layer pages from the Qur’an, or sonatas written by Schubert while he was on his deathbed.

In his new installation, The Devil’s Wall, Khan draws inspiration from the Hajj pilgrimage made by millions of Muslims to Mecca each year, most recently highlighted by the British Museum’s elegant, scholarly exploring its rituals.

Khan has made three new sculptures and a series of drawings, repeating actions and texts in a journey through his own Islamic heritage which ultimately reflects the theme of pilgrimage by revisiting aspects of identity and memory.

He has worked with the Whitworth to complement the piece with key exhibits from the host collection, which also provides inspiration for Dark Matters, a survey of the ways in which artists have captured shadows and darkness, as well as the concepts surrounding them, in different types of media.

The small display formed part of previous exhibition Shadow – Technology – Art, which closed in January.

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