'Dom Sylvester Houédard: tantric poetries' available to preview in Virtual Reality
26 March 2020
Whilst Lisson's physical gallery spaces are closed, our current exhibition 'Dom Sylvester Houédard: tantric poetries' is available to experience in virtual reality through the GalleriesNow 360 degree views. Click through to explore the exhibition.
Interconnecting with his first exhibition at Lisson Gallery in 1967, this show reveals the linguistic mysticism and the breadth of influences synthesised by the artist, beatnik and monk Dom Sylvester Houédard. At the time known variously by his pen name Sylvestre, ‘the Dom’ or by his signature and initials: ‘dsh’, he was also conspicuous for his sartorial combination of cloak, habit, dark sunglasses and black beret. Most of the collages and typewritten arrangements in this exhibition have never been seen before, aside from a few that were first shown by Nicholas Logsdail in the inaugural year of the gallery’s existence, which included, in dsh’s own words: “extracts from the mantra jrim, hum, ho, ho phat, some cosmic patches (attempts at repairing the universe) and some particles of antimatter from Gloucestershire.” This new display is curated by Nicola Simpson, an expert in Houédard’s life and work, who has further drawn on his religious grounding and far-ranging intellectual interests to create an immersive environment that responds to the ideas, forms and grammar of his meticulously constructed textual compositions.
The first gallery introduces the Tantric practice of weaving and transforming matter into spiritual, bodily experience. A floating constellation of laminated vinyl works greets visitors like a fluttering array of prayer flags, each one collaging the visible matter of words and detritus collected from newspapers and Houédard’s travels – feathers, leaves, sand and dust and also the invisible, his so-called ‘antimatter’. The second room leads visitors through a central, cross-shaped display that encourages movement from the edges of the gallery to the centre and out again, mapping the ritualistic paths of inner and outer Tantric mandalas.