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.
Remember the garden in Cambridge, and the tree that taught Newton gravity⠀ ⠀ ⠀ It’s the final week of Es Devlin’s Memory Palace! Our last #BookoftheWeek #19 is Isaac Newton’s The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (translated by I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman). This week marks Newton’s birthday. Born in 1643, his scientific discoveries are the cornerstone of physics and explain natural phenomena we experience in our daily lives. This includes the law of universal gravity he famously discovered whilst sitting under a tree. Many of his principles are still used as the foundations of physics today.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Be sure to catch Memory Palace before it closes on Sunday! You can check out all of our #BookoftheWeeks and more on our exhibition reading list, downloadable from our website.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #IssacNewton #Physicist #Newton #Anniversary #Apple #Gravity #Physics #MemoryPalace #EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #bookstagrammer
Remember the office in New York City where the term ‘PR’ was conceived Before New York City, there was New Amsterdam, New Netherland, and other Dutch settlements. Nearly 400 years ago this week, three Dutch settlements would merge to become one colony, one which would later grow into the sprawling Big Apple. Tyler Anbinder’s City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York is our #BookoftheWeek #18. It documents the history of immigration in New York from immigrant colony to America’s most multicultural metropolitan city, in which the first public relations business was founded. #NewYorkCity #AmericanHistory #NYC #Immigration #Urbanisation #NewYork #MemoryPalace #EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #Bookstagrammer 📷 @petermalletphotography
📸 Our #selfie competition is still open! Visit Es Devlin’s #MemoryPalace exhibition, take your best selfie and use the hashtag #MemoryPitzhanger or tag @Pitzhanger to enter the competition. 🏆 The winner will secure two tickets to the exclusive private view of our next exhibition and the runner-up will win a delicious cake and coffee for two at @soaneskitchen
Open until 9 February. Full T&Cs apply, find more on our website.
Remember the library at Lincoln’s Inn Fields where Soane kept seven thousand books
Architect Sir John Soane died #onthisday in 1837 in his London city home, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The house-turned-museum still holds a large collection of artefacts, many of which were originally housed in Pitzhanger, as well as the extensive library of books covering a variety of topics. To celebrate Soane’s legacy, our #BookoftheWeek #17 is Crude Hints towards an History of My House in Lincoln’s Inn Fields by Sir John Soane himself. First transcribed and published by @soanemuseum in 2015, nearly two centuries after his death, it imagines the Lincoln’s Inn Fields as a future antique ruin, where people are speculating on its origins and purpose. The text reflects his unique imagination and love for all things classical. Have you spotted Soane’s city home in Es Devlin’s Memory Palace?
Remember the watchmaking streets in Geneva where Rosseau first learned of inequality Martin Luther King Jr. was born 91 years ago today. He would become one of the leading activists during America’s 1960s civil rights movement, where he peacefully fought for racial equality through nonviolent civil disobedience. Some of King’s writings and actions were inspired by our #BookoftheWeek #16. Jean-Jacques Rosseau’s The Social Contract was written in 1792 and today is still regarded as an influential piece of political philosophy. In it, the Genevan philosopher discusses how best to establish political community against societal problems. Rosseau advocated that freedom shared equally among a community led to an optimal society, arguing slavery as illogical. Spot the streets in Es Devlin`s Memory Palace, now open until 9 February! #JeanJacquesRousseau #Philosophy #Rousseau #Politics #IHaveADream #CivilRights #MemoryPalace#EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #Bookstagrammer
Remember the Chicago speech that led the first black American President to office
Eleven years ago this month, @barackobama was inaugurated as America’s first African American president. Our #BookoftheWeek #15 tells the defining story of Obama’s phenomenal journey to historic election as America’s 44th president. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick paints a portrait of Obama through interviews with friends, teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself and places his career in the context of the human rights movement.
Remember the rooms in Clarendon Square where Wollstonecraft wrote of the rights of women
A declaration of female independence, today we mark the 228th anniversary of the publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792, our #BookoftheWeek #14. This early work of feminist philosophy that laid out the principles of female emancipation as deserving as the same fundamental rights of men: equal education, an end to prejudice and for women to be defined by their work rather than their partner. Wollstonecraft wrote the book at her home in the Polygon, a Georgian housing estate with 15 sides and three storeys in Somers Town, demolished in the 1890s. Can you spot the Polygon in Es Devlin’s Memory Palace? #MaryWollstonecraft #feminist #wollstonecraft #emancipation #MemoryPalace #EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #Bookstagrammer
Remember the research lab in Menlo Park, where an incandescent lightbulb first glowed Millions of people are illuminating their Christmas trees with miniature lights this festive season but #didyouknow that Thomas Edison made the first public demonstration of his incandescent lightbulb 140 years ago this month? Our #BookoftheWeek #13 is The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall Stross. The first great celebrity of the modern age, Thomas Edison was an American businessman who was credited with inventing the lightbulb, telegraph and phonograph, which radically changed the way people lived. Randall Stross’s critical biography reassesses Edison’s life and career and separates his true achievements from his colossal failures. Read it in our library at Pitzhanger #MemoryPitzhanger where you can find all the books that inspired Es Devlin’s Memory Palace! #thomasedison #lightbulbmoment #lightbulb #inventor #christmaslights #changetheworld #MemoryPalace #EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #Bookstagrammer
Remember the label on Berners-Lee’s desk that read ‘do not power down’: his server alone powered the fledgling World Wide Web Can you remember life before social media? 30 years ago, the British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in Room 12, Floor 2, Building 31 at the European research organisation @cern in Geneva, Switzerland. The web was originally conceived and developed for scientists to share information across universities and institutes across the world but is now used by 3.5 billion people across the world. Our #BookoftheWeek is Where Wizards Stay up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon which tells the story of the pioneers responsible for creating this most far reaching and influential communications breakthrough. Can you spy Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s study in Memory Palace? #worldwideweb #web30 #timbernerslee #beforeinstagram #changetheworld #MemoryPalace #EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #Bookstagrammer
Remember the railings in Parliament Square to which Pankhurst is said to have chained herself. ⠀ It’s General Election day! 102 years ago this week, some women were able to vote in a general election for the first time. We dedicate our #BookoftheWeek #11 to Emmeline Pankhurst’s Suffragette: My Own Story: The Origins of the Suffragettes, published in 1914 and a crucial proponent of achieving women’s suffrage. ⠀ ⠀ This is the story of the political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who dedicated her life to the cause of advancing women’s rights, in her own words. She chronicles the beginnings of her interest in feminism to becoming a guiding light of the Suffragette movement via extreme strategies including chaining herself to the railings on Parliament Square which ⠀ Es Devlin has featured in her monumental Memory Palace.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Read it in our library at Pitzhanger #MemoryPitzhanger where you can find all the books that inspired Es Devlin’s Memory Palace.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #generalelection #generalelection2019 #electionweek #election2019 #votesforwomen #vote #suffragette #suffrage #suffragettecity #emmelinepankhurst #pankhurst #parliamentsquare #MemoryPalace #EsDevlin #bookstagram #ReadingTime #ReadingNook #Bookstoread #Bookstagrammer
Don`t miss your opportunity to see Es Devlin`s Memory Palace at Pitzhanger! ⠀ ⠀ Step into this vast chronological landscape and discover the pivotal shifts in human perspective chosen by Devlin across history, from the caves where humans made their first drawings to the Swedish parliament steps where Great Thunberg began her climate strike.⠀ ⠀ See the street where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus to the study in Switzerland where the world wide web was conceived to the tower where Copernicus drew the first heliocentric map of the universe.⠀ ⠀ Interdisciplinary artist Es Devlin OBE is known for her ambitious sculptures and environments across art, theatre and music from major public installations on Trafalgar Square and the V&A to stage sets for Beyonce and the National Theatre. ⠀ ⠀ "This is a memory palace that asks you to look beyond the monuments of kings to see the ideas and acts of courage that changed the world" – Jonathan Jones, the Guardian ⠀ "Well worth a visit" – John Wilson, BBC Radio 4 Front Row ⠀ ⠀ "A marvel, and something not be missed if you are in London" @carolineissa ⠀ ⠀ "Transported into another realm visiting Es Devlin`s incredible `Memory Palace` at Pitzhanger" @thegreatwomenartists⠀ ⠀ "Es Devlin: Memory Palace takes you to a place you`ve never been.. This 18-metre-wide sculpture physically fills the entire gallery space and the mirrored planes multiply its dimension to the whole space looks so unfamiliar to the senses. I can`t even imagine how much work was put into building it… very beautiful and surreal." @minilondoners ⠀ Find out more and book now – link in bio!⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #MemoryPitzhanger #EsDevlin #PItzhanger #LondonExhibition #Sculpture #Landscape #Mirror #Map #Reading #RosaParks #GretaThunberg
Remember the house in Brunswick, Maine, where Stowe composed Uncle Tom’s Cabin
#Onthisday in 1865, Slavery in the United States was officially abolished when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. Our #BookoftheWeek #10 is Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the abolitionist novel was hugely popular and vividly dramatised the experience of slavery. It had a major effect on attitudes toward African Amerians and slavery in the US and is said to have helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War. On meeting Beecher Stowe in 1832, Abraham Lincoln supposedly said “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” Spot the house in Brunswick, Maine where Stowe composed Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Es Devlin’s Memory Palace!