Two years in the making and developed in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition charts Clark’s forty-year career to date, featuring rare archival material alongside sculptures, films, paintings, costumes and photographs by Clark’s artist collaborators. Charles Atlas’s A Prune Twin (2020) – large-scale installation – spans across nine hanging screens and four monitors. With an aim to “translate to the screen the kinaesthetic experience you get from watching live dance,” Atlas, who has designed lighting for almost every Clark production since 1984, has, for the exhibition, re-edited two films: Hail the New Puritan (1986) and Because We Must (1989). The result is an immersive, electrifying experience that jumbles together the psychedelic, looping dance sequences, interviews, practice sessions, and club nights.
Other highlights include Sarah Lucas’s Cnut (2004), a concrete cast of Clark’s body, cut at the torso, sitting on a toilet that rests upon the sculpture of a giant ham sandwich. In another room, Wolfgang Tillmans captures the choreographer in intimate portraits taken over the period from 1998 to 2014. Elsewhere, a collection of programmes, posters and flyers trace the history of Michael Clark Company; Peter Doig’s Portrait (Corbusier) (2009) is exhibited alongside silent 16 mm footage, shot by Clark in 2008, depicting the performance on the rooftop of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse.