Interdisciplinary artist Es Devlin OBE is known for her ambitious sculptures and environments across art, theatre and music.
In this new large-scale work, commissioned by Pitzhanger, visitors are immersed within a vast chronological landscape mapping pivotal shifts in human perspective over 75 millennia. From the southern African caves in which humans made their first drawings, to the study in Switzerland where the world wide web was conceived to the steps of the Riksdaghuset in Stockholm where Greta Thunberg began her School Strike for Climate, the locations and moments represent a personal and subjective cartography and have been chosen by Devlin and her studio team to invoke our collective memories/history and to provoke dialogue and debate.
The 18-metre-wide sculpture physically fills the entire gallery space, with mirrored planes multiplying its dimensions to enable a reimagining of time and space.
Memory Palace is named after the classical mnemonic technique which catalogues memories within familiar locations. Devlin identifies a series of rooms in which significant shifts in human thinking took place and plots them within identifiable fragments of cities and buildings to create a personal atlas of the evolution of thought.
Memory Palace reflects Sir John Soane’s own prolific creation and collection of architectural models and Devlin has also transformed Soane’s library at Pitzhanger into a reading room filled with the books that informed her installation.
Visitors are encouraged to enter individually or within small groups. At busy times, viewing time in the installation may be limited to five minutes.