Behind The Scenes At The Museum Minus The Dinosaurs

Opens Tomorrow Morning: Pablo Delgado At Howard Griffin Gallery ★★★★☆

Rachel Stoplar
By Rachel Stoplar Last edited 32 months ago
Behind The Scenes At The Museum Minus The Dinosaurs Opens Tomorrow Morning: Pablo Delgado At Howard Griffin Gallery 4
You're going to need a torch: Delgado is all in the detail.

Mexican maverick Pablo Delgado returns to the Howard Griffin Gallery with immersive art at its most playful. Opens Tomorrow Morning is so playful, in fact, that one hopeful visitor came and went four times without making it inside, waiting perpetually for tomorrow morning to arrive.

As the title hints, the concept of the show is a gallery the night before opening, a work-in-progress. Delgado takes this idea to its extreme, actually altering and repainting different sections of the exhibit at night. He's so spontaneous that the poor gallery assistant is constantly walking unsuspectingly into fresh paint and ruining her clothes.

There's a complicated blurb about simulacrums and it's all very meta, but all you really need to know is that this is great fun. You're an adventurer exploring the gallery at night — you stumble around in the dark, bumping into things (there's refreshingly scant regard for health and safety) using a torch to discover what's around you.

Elements of his last exhibition return in modified form: this time you use a torch to reveal silhouetted landscapes and on the walls and ceiling, and because you operate the light you can both control and alter the visuals. Reflections from fragments of mirror do a dazzling dance when you shine your torch on them at different angles.

Delgado plays with various dichotomies in the exhibition: light/dark, day/night, indoor/outdoor. So the silhouetted scenes in this dark interior are all of beautiful parks with intricate details, while glow-in-the-dark paint smeared on the walls makes for a rainbow only visible in the dark.

At times the theme is taken a little too literally: planks of wood leaning against walls don't add much except as obstacles and discarded banana skins and half-drunk coffee mugs make us worry about hygiene. But generally this literalness is the show's strength — don't wait until tomorrow morning to catch it.

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The first room, with paintings directly on the wall seen through empty frames. Photo by Marcus Peel.
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Take a peek behind the tiny door. Photo by Marcus Peel.
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Light reflects off shards of mirror. Photo by Marcus Peel.
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A silhouetted wire-tree scene. Photo by Marcus Peel.
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The glow-in-the-dark rainbow. Photo by Marcus Peel.
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The great outdoors, indoors. Photo by Marcus Peel.
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Another silhouette. Photo by Marcus Peel.

Opens Tomorrow Morning: Pablo Delgado is on at the Howard Griffin Gallery, 189 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU. Open Tuesday to Sunday noon to 8pm. Admission free.

For more exciting exhibitions see our top 10 picks for this autumn and September. There's still time to catch some of our most talked about exhibitions in August.

Last Updated 30 September 2015