Currently on show at the Schunk* museum in the Dutch city of Heerlen is a new exhibition by Radiohead collaborator and artist Stanley Donwood, titled Red Maze…
The show is based on the myth of the Minotaur and the labyrinth, which also formed the inspiration for Donwood’s artwork for the Radiohead album Amnesiac. Donwood has turned the cellar at Schunck* into a maze of rooms and hallways that visitors are encouraged to explore. “The exhibition begins some distance outside Schunck*,” he explains, “as from several points within Heerlen there is the start of a red line; a painted representation of the red thread given by Ariadne to Theseus, the thread that enables him to find his way to the heart of the Minoan maze, slay the Minotaur and make his escape.”
The red lines all lead down to the cellar at Schunk* where the viewers are, according to Donwood, “confronted by a 20m length of dilapidated red wall, a wall constructed from corrugated iron, reclaimed plywood, old doors that do not open; the sort of wall that is hastily erected around a scrapyard. Several entranceways loom darkly from the wall, beckoning the visitor into the Red Maze.”
Donwood cites the Italian graphic artist Giovanni Batista Piranesi, who created a number of fantastical etchings of dungeons, as an influence on the exhibition, as well as “the ordered chaos of the scrapyard, or the crude functionality of a 20th century military bunker”. But the Red Maze also represents the disorder and confusion of the human mind. “There appears to be no logical reason or order inside,” says Donwood, “but in fact the construction and the embellishments are all carefully considered and do make perfect sense … if only to their creator.”
During the show’s run, visitors will be able to use a printing press that forms part of the exhibition to print their own versions of a Donwood linoprint, titled Fleet Street Apocalypse. The exhibition will run until March 14, more info is at schunck.nl.