The Jump Room

Richard Whitby

24 September – 5 November 2017

The Old Waterworks is pleased to announce The Jump Room by Richard Whitby. This is the third iteration of Whitby’s project, which will incorporate a newly commissioned two- screen video installation with a set of drawings, a performance in Southend-on-Sea this Autumn with Sooyon Kim and Siôn Parkinson, and a publication with texts by Honor Gavin and Virginia Woolf. The Jump Room takes its name from a conspiracy theory alleging the existence of devices allowing teleportation between Earth and Mars, installed in the form of ordinary looking elevators in several buildings in the US. 

Theories such as this one seem to explain the world through complex but linear and apparently evidenced narrative. Whitby is interested in how various kinds of narrative accrue credence and value, be that within fiction, the service industry, the conspiracy theorist ’Truth Community’ or mainstream political campaigning, as Whitby explains:

“Whilst on the one hand many might accept that the world and its systems are deeply complex and incomprehensible, we still give attention (and therefore value) to relatively simple and therefore palatable versions of these systems. This is something that conspiracy theory arguably shares with, for example, contemporary ethical consumption and connoisseurship. Neither really provide ‘the answer’.” 

He uses these ideas, alongside tropes from cinema, performance and contemporary communications media, to explore the nature of political and commercial fictions today. Working from a written script performed by actors, but also with various collected footage. Whitby has developed a science-fiction about storytelling and labour, contrasting grandiosity and confidence with banality and fatigue. 

During the run of the exhibition, several workshops will be held at the Old Waterworks relating to the subjects of the work. A limited edition screen-printed t-shirt by the artist is also available for sale at the Old Waterworks. 

Richard Whitby (b. Liverpool 1984, works London; makes videos and performances, and writes. He studied at Wimbledon College of Art and the Slade and took part in the LUX Associate Artists Programme in 2012/13. He has a PhD in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium. In 2012 he produced a solo show with the Royal Standard, Liverpool and has since worked with Focal Point Gallery (2013) and the Bluecoat (2014). In 2015 he completed residencies with CCA Glasgow and Seoul Museum of Art. 

More information on the project is available at, designed by Seungyong Moon. 

Item added to cart.
0 items - £0.00