Grey Literature

Co-curator: Thomas Rummelhoff
18. March - 3. April


At RAKE, Berlin-based Scottish artist Rosemary Hogarth will bring together sculptural objects and digital prints under the title Grey Literature.

The exhibition makes reference to little known, unofficial documents circulated among businesses. These documents can relate to any subject but often include technical and statistical reports, standards and specifications, non-commercial translations or market research reports. We tend to think of the daily grind of bureaucracy as dull, but does this ‘grey’ perhaps also refer to the quality of the material produced? Grey literature texts are quickly thrown together out of necessity, widely distributed on the internet and never officially published. Could this ‘grey’ aspect be suggestive of a lower standard; a washed-out, copy and paste affair?

Despite wide online distribution, grey literature is difficult to access. Both in the sense of ‘finding’ material and in terms of understandability, the sheer volume of data gives it an intangible, elusive character. Irrespective of this, and somewhat paradoxically, grey literature governs to a great extent the efficient functioning of the economic world. It can structure business meetings or give shape to industrial processes and products.

In contrast to its name, grey literature does not only consist of text but also has a strong, often colourful, visual language. Flow charts, pie charts, graphs and other geometric, diagrammatic forms, as well as PowerPoint presentations, create a specific aesthetic that is easily recognisable but, for the uninitiated, appears completely abstract and almost impossible to comprehend.

The works on display in Grey Literature represent Rosemary Hogarth’s first responses to this mode of communication and its aesthetics.