Damien Roach – SCHEMA

11th September – 6th November 2021

Seventeen is excited to present SCHEMA, Damien Roach’s first solo exhibition in over a decade.

The exhibition’s title, SCHEMA, refers to both of its meanings, that of a diagrammatic presentation and also the mental codification of experience. The formal logic of the show is laid out squarely before the viewer in a series of broken patterns, inversions and duplicates. The detail and content of the works foregrounds our experience of encountering these systems, as themes of hacking and rewiring emerge throughout. 

Roach’s works are devices intended to play with audience’s cognition, which he regards as his primary material and interest. The formal gestures throughout SCHEMA are a series of attempts to offer the viewer a means to look laterally at the systems and frameworks deployed in the work, with the hope that this mode of engagement might be carried back from the exhibition space into the world outside.

Each gallery wall holds a large format image pasted across its entirety, the first room is filled with a rich warm glow of a sunset over water, while the second room is cooled by a moon rising over the sea. Four suns and four moons are centred on each wall, though does one sun seems to be out of register? Mirage (2021), overlooked by this sun, is a stack of caffeine free, calorie free soft drinks, that form a golden plinth supporting a presentation of inedible, replica nigiri. Facing this is Everywhere (2021), a wall mounted jigsaw from which two landscapes are trying to escape. 

In the following room, two works face each other, an animated render of a figure reading a perhaps familiar (?) poem and an image that reminds you of that Dutch painter you like. The works list reveals that each has been made by repurposing AI programmes, one reworking and regenerating the poems of Emily Dickinson and the other reforming a canvas by Gerrit van Honthorst, the image has the outline and structure of his ‘Granida and Daifilo’ (1625). Endless searching leaves the eye unable to find the resolution that the mind seeks to construct. 


Damien Roach is a London-based artist, researcher and lecturer. His projects span art, design & creative direction, publishing, sound/music and audiovisual.

He has exhibited internationally, including at the 51st Venice Biennale, ‘Learn to Read’ at Tate Modern, Art Now at Tate Britain, ‘Housewarming’ at Swiss Institute NYC, and solo presentations at institutions including DRAF, London, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, Arnolfini, Bristol, Gasworks, London and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Germany.

Damien Roach, Duality, 2021
Lenticular prints, board

Damien Roach, Portal, 2021
Acrylic discs

Damien Roach, Mirage, 2021
Decaf Diet Cokes & facsimile sushi

Damien Roach, There Is Loving Fortune In The Many Great Attempts To Entertain, 2018-20
Unique archival pigment print on cotton rag mounted to aluminium. Hacked AI/machine learning algorithms, Ribera, ‘Saint Paul the Hermit‘ (1640)

Damien Roach, Everywhere, 2021
Puzzle pieces

Damien Roach, Entropy, 2021
Facsimile spills. Paper, resin, wood, glass in four parts

Damien Roach, Entropy, 2021
Facsimile spills. Paper, resin, wood, glass in four parts

Damien Roach, Speed (ii), 2021
Black Mitsubishi Lancer tailgate, stickers, Monarch butterfly

Damien Roach, SIM, 2021
Etched anodised aluminium

Damien Roach, ‘O’ is for…, 2021
Facsimile orange

Damien Roach, Total Surrender, 2021
White flag and fan

Damien Roach, Noise, 2021
Lego bricks

Damien Roach, Gravity, 2021
Video animation, iPhone, cable

Damien Roach, Like Cathedrals Forming In Maps, 2018-20
Unique archival pigment print on cotton rag mounted to aluminium. Hacked AI/machine learning algorithms, Honthorst, ‘Granida and Daifilo’ (1625)

Damien Roach, Chronos (Totem), 2021
VHS tapes

Damien Roach, Entropy, 2021
Facsimile spills. Paper, resin, wood, glass in four parts

Damien Roach, Entropy, 2021
Facsimile spills. Paper, resin, wood, glass in four parts

Damien Roach, Cond(uit), 2021
Paper cutout, wall

Damien Roach, Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov (1997), 2021
Screen print on paper mounted on Dibond

Damien Roach, Dasein/Kinetics, 2021
Shaped LED pizza neon

Damien Roach, Diffraction, 2021
Pigment substrate on aluminium