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Con Art: Magic/Object/Action surveys contemporary Western art as it relates to one of the basic principles found in magic; sleight of hand or conjuring.

The works demonstrate the ways in which art and magic share a similar goal of ‘cunning and conning’ while casting a critical glance at everyday reality. The exhibition in particular highlights a shared premise peculiar to art-making and magic performance, the requirement of a willing viewer to agree in participating in creating illusion and deception.

Con Art: Magic/Object/Action explores magic and art’s shared imaginations by surveying existing artworks and commissioning new works. The exhibition tests out the ways in which the rhetoric and imagery of conjuring offer a critique of representation and a model for art production and consumption. Amidst mysterious levitations, smoke-and-mirror vanishings, and close-up chicanery emerges the notion of art as a kind of perceptual sleight which sets in motion a wilful play of confidences between viewer and spectacle.

Artists include: Jonathan Allen, Anna & Bernhard Blume, Sarah Charlesworth, Christian Jancowski, Ingeborg Luscher, Simon Patterson, Keith Tyson, Mark Wallinger, Aura Satz.

The exhibition will take place at Site Gallery with elements also sited at the Showroom Cinema and the Lantern Theatre. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication and a one day conference. Co-curated by Helen and Pier Giorgio Varola with Carol Maund.

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