Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

Donate now

Who's blogging?

Latest post

Weekly Blog 10: HALLUCINATIONS by Suki Chan - Film Premiere

published by The Bluecoat

This week we are thrilled to bring you a UK exclusive premiere of acclaimed artist Suki Chan’s new film HALLUCINATIONS. It follows ...


Book Tickets

Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 |

Stay up to date


16 February – 14 April 2013

Turner-prize winning artist Mark Leckey curates The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, the latest of Hayward Touring's artist-curated exhibitions. Opening at the Bluecoat, Liverpool on 16 February 2013, the exhibition includes work by Thomas Bayrle, Louise Bourgeois, William Blake, Prunella Clough, Jim Shaw and Tøyen.

The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things explores the tenuous boundaries between virtual and real worlds. As modern technology becomes ever more sophisticated and pervasive, objects communicate with us: phones talk back, refrigerators suggest recipes and websites anticipate our desires. This exhibition explores the concept of techno-animism, whereby the inanimate seemingly comes to life. Through a conceptual assemblage of archaeological artefacts, contemporary artworks and visionary machines, Mark Leckey creates a network of objects - communicating, talking to one another and, implicitly, looking back at us.

The marvels and oddities in The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things include a clay concept car; a medieval stone gargoyle; an Egyptian cat mummy; a 13th century silver reliquary in the form of a hand; a version of Temple Grandin's Squeeze/Hug Machine (designed to calm hyper-sensitive persons); a mandrake root; the original bronze cast of the famous Lindow bog man's reconstructed head; and a 1940s model of a cat used to demonstrate reflexes.

Artists in the exhibition include: Thomas Bayrle, Louise Bourgeois, Prunella Clough, Robert Gober, Nicola Hicks, Alex Hubbard, Dwight Mackintosh, Pierre Molinier, James Rosenquist, Jim Shaw, William Blake, Il Guercino, John Tenniel and Tøyen.

The Bluecoat’s Artistic Director, Bryan Biggs, said: ‘We are delighted to host this Hayward Touring exhibition curated by Mark, his first major exhibition project in the place where he was born and grew up. It represents an exciting opportunity to present a provocative meditation on the power of objects to communicate, whether they are works of art, museum objects or scientific instruments, and whether they were created last year or a thousand years ago’.

For further PRESS information please contact Holly Blaxill on 020 7921 0672

Listings Information

The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things: Curated by Mark Leckey, a Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre opens on 16 February and runs until 14 April 2013 at the Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX

Tour details

NOTTINGHAM Contemporary

27 April – 30 June 2013

BEXHILL, De La Warr Pavilion

12 July – 20 October 2013

End of Tour


A fully-illustrated catalogue is published to coincide with the exhibition. It includes an introduction and remarkable visual essay by Mark Leckey alongside essays by the author Erik Davis (TechGnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information) and medieval historian Dr Alixe Bovey (Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts). Myth, monstrosity, animism and the articulate are the subjects of this highly original statement on our increasingly technologised world.










Related posts you may like

There are no related posts.


Be the first to leave a comment below...

Leave a comment

Welcome, Guest. Please or to have your say.

About the Bluecoat

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

Opening hours

Mon - Sat 9.00am - 6.00pm
Sun 11.00am - 6.00pm

Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 |

Tweets from @theBluecoat


Please use this form to tell us about your experience of our website.

There was an error with your details, please try entering them again.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to the Bluecoat free mailing list and we'll send you all the details of our new events

Log In

There was an error with your details, please try entering them again.