Given the physical nature of Chisenhale Gallery at present, the space provides a most fertile ground for the work of artists who consider the space where their work will be seen to be as important as the work itself. This offers the opportunity to reveal different facets of the gallery in each exhibition, reminding one that Chisenhale is in fact not a tabula rasa but a building redolent with history and meaning, and that each exhibition has the chance to exploit that context.
The exhibition's curator, Sharon Kivland, has wanted every part of the gallery to be used. The space functions well when treated as a whole, and has been divided radially into segments. Some artists have created 'rooms' while others have simply dominated their allotted area. The amount of space that each artist has been able to use has lead to the devising of some ambitious, almost theatrical schemes, which are in keeping the alchemical, magical, transformatory themes of the exhibition.
Text written by Emma Dexter, taken from the exhibition catalogue for The Consumption of Elements, November 1988.