There is more than meets the eye to Angela Bulloch’s work. Her solo exhibition SHORT BIG DRAMA at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art plays with this red herring – the illusion of simplicity – and highlights the theatricality of Bulloch’s practice. Focusing on three types of works – namely her monumental wall paintings, colorful pixel installations and interactive drawing machines – SHORT BIG DRAMA presents a selection of existing works together with specially commissioned new pieces.

In this exhibition, contradiction takes center-stage and reveals the inherent beauty of Bulloch’s complex artworks. Playing with the nature of drama, whether epic or mundane, big or short, the project adapts the form of a play to structure a sequence of commissions and a new suite of works by the artist. For Witte de With, Bulloch interprets and manipulates earlier potentially clashing installations into a seemingly harmonious whole.

Bulloch adopts an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating references from a wide array of sources, be it history, film or music. In her wall paintings, specific references to artistic, political or social groups are deconstructed and graphically assembled. Through this process of détournement, the artist questions the informational status of an artwork, as well as the possibility of narrating history. Bulloch’s drawing machines are interactive pieces, triggered or altered by the engagement of visitors. In this way, her drawing machines explore the dialectic between technology and labor, making us conscious of our place, and that of others, within the gallery space. With her Pixel works, Bulloch ‘programs’ our experience of art by encoding specific references in the technical programming of her modular light and sound installations. Though the complexity of the workings behind these installations is invisible, a predefined experience of the work is imposed upon the viewer, thus challenging the viewer’s subjective input.

A common thread in Bulloch’s artistic practice is thus the manipulation of codes and a sense of control. Whether that code is music or text-based, the artist plays with and orchestrates our perception and experience of art. She proposes that this experience can be ‘subliminally programmed’ and her work stages that which is beyond our grasp.

Curated by Amira Gad & Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Click here to download the exhibition guide (English, PDF).