A giant floating ear. A unicorn. A mathematical formula. Liam Gillick’s third solo exhibition with Alfonso Artiaco Gallery in Naples has the hazy feel of slipping in and out of a dream state—and that’s exactly the point.
The poetically titled show (“It should feel like unicorns are about to appear a.k.a. Half Awake Half Asleep”) features a series of new wall works by Gillick and takes its inspiration from the artist’s own 1997 book, Discussion Island/Big Conference Centre.
In the book, Gillick’s characters are described as existing in a half-conscious state, but it’s not as disorienting as it might seem: during moments between waking and sleeping, the characters experience the clearest perceptions of their personal and political surroundings and the abstract concepts that frame contemporary life.
Here, Gillick translates that literary sensibility into artworks that allude to both the scientific and the imaginary realms. A series of colorful abstract