A chess board is laid out on the floor. On Tuesdays and Fridays recorded music identifies each chess piece; on Wednesday shoes with the right feet on one side and the left feet on the other; on Thursday the players bring their own pieces (16 for each side), with the winner keeping them all, and on Saturday the players bring their relatives to act as chess pieces. (Hopefully the winner will not keep them all!)
The American artist Darren Baker (born 1978) has filled Sadie Coles HQ with an apparently random arrangement of photographs, prints and sculptures where unrelated objects are brought together to question perceptions and relationships. Why for example is the flag of Cuba next to those of Kyrgystan and Equador or the flag of the United Kingdom next to those of Fiji and Singapore? Why does a chair have a bent back and who is going to play boules on the floor? What music is the well-worn garden statue listening to from the grid of speakers on the wall?
Collections of photographs and printed images which may have text added are hanging alongside the bent chair, the precise geometrical frame, the rotating sign “(n)e(u)”, the tap pouring out coins and other sculptures. Is there a relationship between the works or is Bader’s creative imagination exploring how collections come together and how different objects sit in space? What would happen if the objects were moved around in different ways, as on an imaginary chessboard across the whole floor? This is the question for the viewer to explore once he or she has played the game of chess.