Shadows before. James Bullimore, Ziad Nagy, Eva Wilkinson
private view Thursday 21 September 2017, 6 to 9pm
performance Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September at 7.30pm
exhibition open Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 6pm to 29 October 2017
1) In which Josella, who can still see, has been tied against her will by a blind man, and forced to guide him... In which having been freed from this ordeal she returns home with Bill to find a scene of devastation. In which both finally turn from shocked viewers and uncomprehending observers into active protagonists. Now, this is about survival.
2) Eva Wilkinson, James Bullimore and Ziad Nagy are each presenting new works and performance, related to their own practice, unrelated to the novel. I have not seen these works. As curator, I am that coercive blind man led by the seeing.
3) The imposition (or super imposition) of John Wyndham's narrative onto the artworks, that this text promotes, is a surplus reference to the exhibition itself. But in doing so the text makes evident the potential -and the viability- of concurrent narratives: to paraphrase Bergman, an invitation to the audience to dispose freely of what is put at their disposal.
4) The novel was written a long time ago, a time of mounting global geopolitical tensions, of countries asserting their might through nuclear tests, of raging war in Korea and, with Operation Wetback, the US ramping up the mass repatriation of millions of Mexican people. The current context provides a grim scenography.
5) As goes the wizard's warning: 'Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of day! / For dark and despairing my sight I may seal, / But man cannot cover what god would reveal / 'tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, / and coming events cast their shadows before'.
6) Optimism prevails, as indeed optimism wants. We persist in believing our endeavours are a valid alternative to the socio-economic logic, when they might just be its validation. For a moment we fool ourselves that freedom gained is acquired for good. We change tack. We cut our wins. We make inconsistency our ally: breaking the continuum is the only modus operandi against intellectual death. This is about personal survival.
news of the world
50 Resolution Way, London SE8 4NT
previously at news of the world...
Will Kippax, Boyle Family, Susumu Shingu (the day of the triffids episode 3)
'The world we lived in then was wide, and most of it was open to us, with little trouble. Roads, railways and shipping lines laced it, ready to carry one thousands of miles, safely and in comfort... You could go just as you were to wherever you wished, with nothing to hinder you... A world so tamed sounds utopian now'
In this episode of the Day of the Triffids, Wyndham flashes us back to a once simpler past: 'It must be difficult, for young people who never knew it, to envisage a world like that. Perhaps it sounds like a golden age - though it wasn't quite that to those who lived in it. Or they may think it dull - but it wasn't that either. It was rather an exciting place'.
That simpler past yet incubated the seeds of its demise. It gave them fertile manure, with its bent for cost-cutting, its leaning for productivity, an inclanation for disruptive innovations, a proclivity for greed, a bias on all-out competition, a tracker for growth and a turn for the worst.
Today in the space, seeds gathered randomly with consideration for neither beauty nor scent or utility, germinate slowly, determinedly, inhaled by the sun, gorged up by the down rain, drunk with life.
Simple lines arise, billowing across, winding, invading forth, curving to the sky; waves sweeping the ground, drawing the infinite ahead; simultaneously yet independently, without hierarchy but in relation with each other.
And a lone tree mushrooms, a forest sprouts, an abstract world rhythmed by the vagaries of weather and childhood past.
But right now I see not the space, but the room, the vertical containments, the closed book, the plastered brick walls, the glass Samsung screen, the grey cement floor, the boxes, the double glazed door, the wan strip lights, the limit.
Movements fulgurate that the confines swiftly occlude.
Unfolding gestures are foiled in vivo, fleetly.
The very essence of these moments turns obsolescent as they reach for air.
Artworks are kettled in the space, corralled into enacting a bygone freedom. And in that room where do you stand?
The Day of the Triffids (Ep.2: the groping city)
Exhibition open 28 April to 26 May 2017
...Having realised that seemingly everyone has gone blind from the event of the previous night, the protagonist makes his way alone from west London to the West End, through the stillness, lifelessness and desolation of the suburbs. As he reaches Piccadilly, he witnesses the unseeing crowds groping and colliding, and soon, disorder and the breakdown of the rule of law. He finds a society alienated from itself at a stroke, where esurience and necessity are the mothers of selfishness, randian opportunism, gratification and abuse. At this pivotal moment, exploitation is man's first response to others' dependency. As abject lack of humanity becomes a human feature, a future emerges fraught with fear...
Anna Hughes, David Stearn, Dominik Germanek, Ingrid Berthon-Moine, Luke Gottelier, Michael Cox, Reindeer Werk and Susie Hamilton star in this second instalment of the Day of the Triffids.
The exhibition is based on the lie that their works tell that story.
It is based on the belief that their works might tell that story.
Of exhibition as compound, whose properties are unlike those of its constituent elements, and which creates matter new and else, distinct from the individual endeavours. Of curating as coalescing disparateness, not gathering the homogeneous voices of one's echo chamber.
Some chronotopes: in the 10 minutes it will take you to go from Cannon Street to Deptford, the life expectancy of those around you will have fallen by 7 years. In the gallery space, the narrative orders the artworks from the left to the right, you move clockwise as the day progresses and as society fragments further.
A paradox. The exhibition aims to show you something that is not there. Yet in order to see it, you must be there.
More simply. A good story. The rest should not get in the way. This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative.
|The Day of the Triffids (Ep.1)
Simon Bedwell, Vesta Kroese, Ange Leccia, Lionel Soukaz
Premiere: Friday 30 September 2016
The first episode in a new adaptation of John Wyndham's the Day of the Triffids:
Bill Masen is lying in his hospital bed as he recovers from an accident with a triffid -a poisonous and carnivorous plant, that left him temporarily blind. What he doesn't yet realise is that, overnight, the world has changed...
Episode 1 is part of Art Licks Weekend and the DeptfordX Fringe programme
Teow Yue Han, Hanoi Doclab
Mercredi 19 Octobre 2016: 6 - 9 sur invitation
à Asia Now Paris, 9 Avenue Hoche, 75008 Paris
Teow Yue Han
L’installation de Teow Yue Han 'Performing the Smart Nation' s’interroge sur ce qui défini une 'Smart Nation': une technologie avancée qui permet la gestion intelligente des bâtiments, du transport, de l'énergie, des déchets? une communauté hyper connectée, performante et efficace? Mais une nation peut-elle être régie par des algorithmes, où tout est quantifié et quantifiable, et où le tout est la somme de ces informations?
'Performing the Smart Nation' utilise cette vision du collectif technologique pour trouver de nouvelles stratégies de performance au sein de la chorégraphie - un système qui se base avant tout sur l’expression physique individuelle et sur ses potentialités. L’installation évoque une nouvelle kinesthésie sociale en transformant l'espace d'exposition en un site ludique de transmission, de partage et d’expression de nouveaux modèles relationnels.
Whilst many smart cities are emerging around the world, Singapore’s Smart Nation seeks to establish itself as the world’s first to incorporate a holistic, all-round vision. Technology builders and entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage Singapore’s smart infrastructure and use the nation as a ‘living laboratory' to test new ideas with global potential. With a prosperous economy and 99% of its households 'connected', Singapore is deploying a strategy which brings together government, private sector and citizens working as partners towards a sustainable algorithm-based future.
Teow Yue Han’s installation 'Performing the Smart Nation' interrogates what defines a Smart nation: the use of advanced technology to manage the city’s infrastructure and processes? A hyper-connected community deployed to its most efficient capability? Can a nation be governed by algorithms, where all is quantifiable -and quantified-, for which the whole is the sum of mass data? The artist projects the viewer into this near-future, visualising human-technology interactions. How do bodies move within this apparatus of interfaces and sensors? What can or cannot be quantified? How are the citizens of a Smart nation connected, mobilised and even integrated within this new urban development?
‘Performing the Smart Nation’ seeks to engage this corporate vision by finding new performance strategies through choreography — a system which itself thrives on bringing the potentialities of physical expression to the fore. It reimagines the social kinaesthetic by transforming the exhibition space into a site of transmission, play, collaboration and new relational models.
A AsiaNow, news of the world présente six films documentaires courts produits par Hanoï DocLab. Les films documentent les aspects quotidiens et ordinaires de ce processus de mondialisation autoritaire. Ils sont aussi le produit de cette nouvelle ouverture: Hanoï DocLab est fondé en 2009 à l'initiative de Nguyen Trinh Thi, qui a pu étudier à l'étranger, et hébergé par le Goethe Institut.
De nombreux obstacles subsistent, réseaux de distribution locale ou censure. Pourtant l'obstacle principal dans la réalisation de films (ou de l'art) au Vietnam vient d'abord du manque d'exposition des createurs aux pratiques cinématographiques internationales et à la pensée critique. Ce qui nous semble acquis: la valorisation de l'expérience personnelle, l'importance de l'expression individuelle sont des concepts qui doivent s'apprendre.
For over a half-century under socialism, Vietnamese art and film have been largely steered by the State with an emphasis on conformity, unity of message and collectivism. There was practically no independent film-making scene due to the lack of production budgets, lack of distribution channels for documentary films and training opportunities. The introduction of 'socialist-orientated market' reforms -mixing statism with pragmatism, modernity and neo-feudalism, allowing small entrepreneurship within a controlled framework, also amplified the inequality, poverty and precariousness of many situations.
Through individual, ordinary, experiences, the films presented at AsiaNow by news of the world document aspects of this authoritarian globalisation. But they are also a product of Vietnam’s new openness: Hanoi Doclab was founded in 09 as a documentary filmmaking centre by Nguyen Trinh Thi who was able to study overseas, and it is supported by the German Goethe Institute.
Independent documentary filmmaking in Vietnam still faces many obstacles. Yet a frequent problem for people in making films or art in Vietnam is not so much technical, that in the lack of exposure to global and diverse filmmaking practices and, importantly, critical thinking. The exhibition shows six short documentary films produced by Hanoi Doclab participants. The subjectivity on display here has not gone through a western contemporary art filter, which can warp and manage the other’s voice into a script acting out the artist’s agenda for a targeted audience. A very different dynamic presents itself here where an intimate, personal, exchanges take place between the filmmaker and the subject using the film for real, personal disclosure. They carry through Chris Marker’s words: 'To try to give the power of speech to people who don't have it, and, when it's possible, to help them find their own means of expression.'
|With grateful thanks to Adrian George and Alexandra Fain for their kind support
Preview Friday 29 April 2016, exhibition to 22 May
In Monochrome Lagos (2013-) photographer Logo Oluwamuyiwa is creating an extensive archive of arresting images of life in one of the world's most populated and fastest growing mega-cities. Yet Oluwamuiwa's photography strips Lagos of its most recognisable features, its intense dazzling colours, its unrelenting noise, the sprawling chaos and fast-paced transformation, as he seeks to uncover 'a subtle story of what it is like to be young and urban-living at a time like this'.
One of many, millions, relative newcomers to Lagos, Oluwamuyiwa takes photo-walks across his city. Recurrent motifs within Monochrome Lagos include theatrical arrangements of outdoor commerce, the human form in juxtaposition with background surface and the play of light and shadow under the city's harsh, bright sun -the artist says 'the most torturous natural element that the resident will have to battle as he or she goes about life outdoors'. Recurrent too are images that capture moments of human isolation in crowded shared spaces.
The artist's image-making draws on both documentary and conceptual modes to combine narrative with an exploration of form as he maps the visual landscape of the city, its architecture and street life. Conceived as an ongoing study rather that a definitive statement, the series foregrounds Oluwamuyiwa's preoccupation with the individual stories and personal narratives that make the city.
Monochrome Lagos exists as a digital archive, a cache, of black and white images that Oluwamuyiwa continues to disseminate through Tumblr and Instagram. As a physical manifestation of this archive, the exhibition focuses on selected works on a theme central to the series, as it asks us to pause for a moment and consider that life in a mega-city, amongst the bustling crowd, is a solo journey.
This is Oluwamuyiwa's first exhibition in the UK and the first session of Future Assembly, a London-based artists' development programme for emerging practitioners from Africa and its diaspora supported by Arts Council England. Each session focuses on one artist who takes part in a bespoke four-week residency programme that includes networking, gallery visits, research and practical skills development in response to the artist's own areas of need and interest. Future Assembly is founded by Hansi Momodu-Gordon who co-curates the programme with Orla Houston-Jibo.
Images: Logo Oluwamuyiwa, Monochrome Lagos (2013-), courtesy the artist. Text: Hansi Momodu-Gordon and Orla Houston-Jibo
Preview Friday 25 March 2016, screening 26 and 27 March
The drawing anticipates the pen. A pen progresses where the line on paper already preceded, like a narrative running ahead of itself. I follow. A hand, the artist's hand? guides me, the rise of a soundtrack, repetitions, recalls, and continuity editing intimate a sense of narrative.
I gather certitude from the reinforced material qualities of objects: the screen supported by tripods, the speakers visible on each side, the dust on the glass, the lens flare, the projection going blurred and focusing again.
The object-ivity is emphasised, but simultaneously, the tools that constructed its very physicality -the surface of paper, the structure of a tripod and colour of a Chroma key background- have been left in the frame.
Other certainties: Where the finger meets the screen, it leaves a smudge, yet there is no finger and that is not the screen. Or. If I walk over the cliff edge and do not look down, I will not fall. Neither, if I hold on to the reality dictated by the video sphere even as it bares the artifice of its own construction.
Through implacable, progressive slippages, glitches, derapages, the work's coding structure builds to destroy, contradicting its own output, undermining the reality it purports to show, cracking under its own lightness. And I, falling. Floating. Lucid. Dreaming. Aka living.
Preview and artist talk Thursday 18 February, 6 to 9pm. Exhibition open to 13 March 2016
|To John Galsworthy
text MS POSK; Danilewiczowa
Dearest, best Jack
I haven't the pluck even to look at a journey of any sort. And to start on a pilgrimage without faith is the worst thing one can do. Here at any rate I do some work. I've got into the gro(o)ve. A change would unsettle me I fear. Thank you my dear fellow for all you say; and no doubt you are right --but.......
Everything seems frightfully difficult and writing most of all.
Our best love to you both. Yours ever
|Friday 29 January 2016, 6pm to 9pm|
In the two video works presented, Absalon is performing life.
('au moment ou tout est perdu, tout est possible' Emmanuel Levinas)
With very grateful thanks to Philippe Picoli, Dani Eshel, Chantal Crousel and Galerie Chantal Crousel
|Maud Sulter / Natasha Magigi|
|Performance: Friday 27 November 2015, 7pm to 9pm.|
Born in Glasgow in 1960, of Scottish and Ghanaian descent, Maud Sulter was an artist, writer, activist and poet. She consistently and persistently engaged herself, as a Blackwoman, with questions of race and gender inequality, particularly amongst African diasporas in Europe.
|Hanna Haaslahti, Sophie Salffner and Maria Tzika|
| Opening Friday 30 October 7pm to 9pm
Exhibition to 15 November 2015
|Hanna Haaslahti, Real-time family, installation grab. Rasaki Ajape working on the community computer (in the background: Festus Obaude in conversation with a guest).|
|Story telling in Aparisu quarters; left to right Juliana Adeyanju, Bola Oloyo and Ruth Adeoba, who is wearing the headset microphone (pic Asya Gefter). Hanna Haaslahti, installation view in Dresden.|
'The horse is suffering and we say it is dancing' Ikaan proverb
A wordbook for the visitor
Languages are disappearing even faster than the world’s species, with many estimates projecting the extinction of one language every two weeks. The distinct voice developed by communities to express specific details about their unique environments and cultural customs is rooted out.
In contrast, 55 million images are uploaded every month on Flickr's servers, creating a growing visual stockpile on every imaginable topic. Because of its sheer size the structure appears permanent, but the images' obsolescence is built in the files' format and changes in operating systems. Individual expressions will dissolve to invisibility, as personal records become mass data.
Sharing personal moments and experiences.
Sharing personal moments and experiences with a worldwide audience.
|Frank Cole: Life Without Death|
|Evening previews on Friday 25 September and Thursday 1 October for Art Licks Weekend
Screenings to 4 October 2015 at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm
The film is 86 minutes. Entrance is free.
'Life Without Death' is a minimalist, death-obsessed first-person account of Frank Cole's record-breaking solo trek across the Sahara in 1990.
With grateful thanks to Francis Miquet.
|Robbie Fife, Paulina Michnowska, Jacopo Natoli|
|Opening Friday 28 August, 7 to 9pm
Exhibition to 13 September 2015
The Labour politician's concern that making any statement beyond mainstream banality might serve as a hostage to fortune, perhaps displease a particular demographics or alienate influential individuals, and so the desire to be all things to all people translate itself in repeated keywords showing an awareness of the contemporary context, cautious nods to trending issues, whilst operating within the narrow field of differentiation dictated by the market. With everyone else playing the same game, this should work of course.
|Jonathan Kipps / Article 25|
|Opening Friday 29 May, 7 to 9pm. Exhibition to 4th July 2015|
|Jonathan Kipps. All the crows (2015), Inkjet print / Article 25: construction phase, Lesotho Child Counselling Unit, 2007-08|
Article 25: Contruction phase, Former Child Soldiers' Training Centre, 2011-12, Uganda / Jon Kipps, Wilko (detail), 2014, burnt sugi, Photo Credit: Luigi Honorat
Ways to read the exhibition:
1) That the works of Jonathan Kipps and that of Article 25 are not connected. One is a sculptor from Southend trained at Slade, the other a leading architectural aid charity which designs and delivers sustainable buildings in areas affected by disaster, need and poverty.
2) A move away from the flown-in, transported and delivered. Cheap materials are used, wood, paper, rubble, plasterboard, stones, mud bricks. The parts are found locally. For Article 25, they can be replaced, later, by local people. For Jon, they can be discarded.
4) Site-specific means the structures work in relation to their location. Adapted to their environment. Earthquake risks, instability, heat are addressed through intelligent and simple design. The sculptures read the space, appropriate the architecture and create an accommodation for smaller individual objects to operate, a protection of sorts, a shelter.
5) That structures carry their own obsolescence, but these constructions are a gesture in defiance of transience. The object points to the method of its making; the building contains the knowledge of the process. The brick-pressing, adjusting, mixing and assembling; the wrapping, rolling, folding, creasing and crumpling. The structures can be replicated.
6) Weight, materiality, density, surface and the idea that what is inside and unseen affect our perception of the structure as much as its visible characteristics. This is a rock made of paper. This is a school for former child soldiers.
7) That adequate standard of living is a right. That continuity of the present is not the way to be future-proof.
|Trân Thanh Hiên
Dãng Dúc Lôc
Dõ Vãn Hoàng
Pham Thu Hãng
Dõ Tuòng Linh, Ngô Thanh, Nhã Thuyên
Nguyên Tiên Dat
Opening 27 March, 6 to 9pm. Exhibition to 26 April 2015
'To try to give the power of speech to people who don't have it, and, when it's possible, to help them find their own means of expression.' Chris Marker
For over a half-century under socialism, Vietnamese art and film have been largely steered by the state with an emphasis on conformity, unity of message, and collectivity.
Documentary films were the exclusive realm of the government-run Vietnam Documentary & Scientific Studio. There was practically no other film-making scene due to the lack of production budgets, distribution channels, training opportunities, contacts with the international scene and knowledge about the development trends of documentary films elsewhere in the world. This was compounded by the pressure of censorship and the lack of interest of the general public, which equated documentary films with propaganda.
The introduction of 'socialist-orientated market' reforms -mixing statism with pragmatism, modernity and neo-feudalism, allowing small entrepreneurship within a controlled framework, globalising the economy- promoted strong economic growth and put the country on the map for foreign investment. Yet the changes further amplified the inequality, poverty and precariousness of many situations. Through individual, ordinary, experiences, the films document aspects of this authoritarian globalisation.
But the films are also a product of this new openness: Hanoi Doclab was founded in 2009 as a documentary filmmaking centre through the initiative of Nguyen Trinh Thi who was able to study overseas, and it is supported by, and within the building of, the German Goethe Institut, which up until recently, as a foreign institution in Hanoi, was less subject to censorship.
With a focus on education, art, research and experimentation, Doclab runs a basic 3-month course during which the students produce their own short film. Participants are students and recent graduates in diverse fields of study, but also include artists and filmmakers. It offers specialist workshops, such as sound production and post-production. Editing suites, cameras and sound equipment are available free of charge to filmmakers and students. Former participants continue coming to DocLab as a meeting point and a place where they can share with others in the field.
Independent documentary filmmaking in Vietnam is still fragile. Although programs at Varan, TPD, and Hanoi Doclab have provided an important impetus in establishing the scene for independent documentary films in Vietnam, the local context still presents many obstacles and resistance against efforts to sustain these initial momentums, among which are the lack of distribution channels for such films and strong government censorship. It might be taken for granted elsewhere that personal interests and experiences can be the basis for filmmakers and artists to make their works.
Yet Hanoi Doclab found that the biggest problem for people in making films or art in Vietnam is not technical, but the lack of exposure to the diverse filmmaking practices in the world and, importantly, critical thinking. 'We start with basic documentary film techniques. I try to gear people towards personal documentaries, to think firstly and honestly as individuals. That sounds quite simple, but in Vietnam, that is not an easy concept to embrace as for so many years, art was not a practice that spoke of individual's issues.' Nguyen Trinh Thi
This exhibition shows six short documentary films produced by Doclab participants, most of whom did not have a background in film. The subjectivity on display here has not gone through a contemporary art filter, which can so often warp and manage the other's voice into a script that acts out the artist's agenda, authored for a targeted audience. A very different dynamic presents itself in these films where an intimate exchange takes place between the filmmaker perfecting a technical approach and the subject using the apparatus of film for real, personal disclosure
|Présence Panchounette (1969-1990)|
|opening: Friday 30 January 2015, 7 to 9pm. Exhibition to 15 March 2015|
Who killed Présence Panchounette? And was it in self-defence? Premeditated, a long time coming? Death by misadventure, shot themselves in the foot? A staged disappearance? or were they ambushed?
news of the world sets an investigation room to try and review the facts, through photographs, images of crime scene, enlargements, physical reconstructions, pictorial evidence and historical objects, so a profile can be established. Former members will be present on Friday 30 January to testify.
Their 1969 manifesto immediately set them apart from their contemporaries: 'Panchounette’s goal is not subversion… Everything is fine'.
This declaration prefigures 20 years of combat. Their targets: the art scene, nay…system!, the official authorities, the avant-gardes, the general lack of gut, Beuys, Koons, Cragg, Buren, or anything which professes to subvert yet perpetuates the order. They act recklessly, without sentimentality or remorse and they take no prisoners.
The guerrilla performances show the bravado of irresponsible, confrontational artists who regard the type of transgression, seriously served, eagerly sought and advocated by subsidised art institutions, as a suspicious and grotesque convention.
Theirs will be the voice of the mediocre, the expression of the working class, the ordinary of the provincial, the naivety of the self-taught, the snigger of the childish. Stupidity and incoherence, derision and contempt will be their weapons of choice: private view invitations to a traffic accident, public art gift to Bordeaux of a fake decorated garden well, the artist world boxing championships, self-advertising/self-denouncing graffiti, fake brick wallpaper hanging on concrete bunker walls.
They will argue that despite everything aesthetic taste does remain the core driver of critical judgment in contemporary art, and that this is a taste dictated and guarded by an initiated, 'discerning' class, the establishment. Under a pretence of existing beyond social divisions, contemporary art’s purpose is to safeguard inequality and protect it with an infantry of professional social commentators.
Presence Panchounette's first gallery exhibition in Paris brings mass-produced home decoration and designs into the gallery space: the psychedelic wallpaper inside recalls Bridget Riley, the fake-brick adhesive on the windows (“8.7cm wide”) parodies Daniel Buren. The story told as a farce: intellectual endeavours, repeated, become decoration; subversion, when nothing is at stake, is a production line.
Présence Panchounette aim to wreck the hierarchies which still hold: good/bad taste, high/low art, western/rest of the world; they champion art as industrially produced (without artists), the emotion of kitsch; that which never disappoint because expectations were low; the object which does not quite function in its context; the punny titles which undermine attempts to address the works seriously; the effects which falls short of the ambition; the cheap decoration outflanking the high production values –décor too-; the real rather than the token gesturing at reality.
By the late 1980s, it was all going so well for them. Their work exhibited at the Cartier Foundation, Villa d’Arson, Hamburg Kunstverein, Paris FIAC, Stuttgart, Seoul and L.A.. In 1990, a public commission in the offing. The kiss of death for any self-respecting artist. Recognition comes in both senses: their work –which fought against status- receives status, and their objects acquire familiarity, branding, taste and so, surely, predictability. The scene has caught up -eclecticism is in-, learned how to handle them –after all, it thrives on detournement-, and it can do business with them. The success is a clear sign of their failure. They quit.
The investigation evokes a recent bygone art world which, in 2015, is difficult to comprehend: institutionalised artists yearning for the official approval of their object-based multi-media radicalism, institutions keeping the 1960s dreams alive on a drip, with homeopathic dilutions of criticality, a world where the freshest post-ism already looks great in the collector’s rooms & 'could I have some more?', where privilege breeds authority and where the authority creates the consensus.
Présence Panchounette are dead and I for one will not miss them. Everything really IS fine now.
With grateful thanks to Eric Fabre.
|French cinema: Niki de Saint Phalle Martial Raysse|
Saturday 1 November 5 pm
Thursday 13 November 7 pm
Saturday 15 November 5 pm
Saturday 15 November 7 pm
Wednesday 19 November 7 pm
Saturday 22 November 5 pm
Entrance is free but booking is required.
News of the world is presenting six screenings of feature films, rarely seen in the UK, by two major French artists: Un reve plus long que la nuit by Niki de Saint Phalle (1976) and Le Grand Depart by Martial Raysse (1972).
Both films are fables of sort, dark quests and symbolic journeys.
Un reve plus long que la nuit tells the fairy tale of a girl named Camelia. As tarot cards are laid down for her, she discovers her fate: 'the Hermit is the role you have to play', a wanderer in search of a spiritual treasure. She encounters mythical creatures, a Dragon, Bird-man, and other fantastical figures. When a witch grants her wish to be transformed into a grown-up, her voyage continues, darker and more violent, with Death ever-present. Shot outside Paris in the summer of 1975, the film is a both highly collaborative and intensely personal work, with Jean Tinguely of course, her daughter Laura in the title role, and also artists and friends such as Daniel Spoerri, Peter Whitehead, Eva Aeppli and Andrée Putman.
Le Grand Depart is the only feature film directed by painter and sculptor Martial Raysse. Following a masked cat (reminiscent of the Puss in Boots story, the fairy-tale of social mobility), we set off on a trip punctuated with muggings, free love and casual crime, to the bucolic setting of a commune led by a Mr Nature (Sterling Hayden). The guru announces that the time has come, and takes his followers onto the raft of freedom, for the ultimate voyage. Scenes in negative exposure and superimpositions create a paroxysmal universe where death and the miracle of existence are entangled to saturation. Shot in 1971, with little compromise to the conventions of cinema, the film corresponds to a period when the artist dropped out of the art scene in reaction to its commercialism.
I am hoping that these screenings will not only provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the immersive worlds of two artists better known for their paintings, sculptures and installations, but that they might suggest a counterpoint to our times of austerity of the imagination and parsimony of dream.
|Niki de Saint Phalle screenings courtesy of Niki Charitable Art Foundation (image copyright: Laurent Condominas).
Martial Raysse screenings courtesy of galerie Kamel Mennour.
With grateful thanks to Bloum Cardenas, Jana Shenefield, Laurent Condominas and Kamel Mennour.
|Sophia Marinkov Jones / Ed Arthur Fox|
|opening Friday 26 September 2014, exhibition to 25 October 2014|
That night in September, when everything had been said, and there was nothing doing anymore but wait for the dawn, the counting. Hope and fear heightened in this process of becoming. The future might be different. No, the future could only be different. There would be no “status quo” and no going back.
Or that year, when the waters were rising, slowly, silently, relentless on the plains -would it ever stop? - and time in suspension waiting for their recede. Car and trucks going nowhere, lumps of isolation as the land dissolves. A new space of water and sky forms, a blank space; recalls diluvian myths.
A hill, promontory, a high point of land and a promise of placemaking. New homes, shops, offices, leisure facilities to accommodate growth. The old scheme has done its time; the economy has changed; a community dispersed and instead a community to-be waiting to move in. The mass production of space. But right now, the rubble, the ruins and a temporary natural landscape. A pause between destruction and reconstruction.
Debris, steel boxes, steel frames, oak frames, lowliness and sacredness, multicoloured nettings, bomber jackets, pigeon spikes, Perspex and airline blankets, jumpers and stickers, everything equal, the components un-struture in a limbo without status. A systemic confusion discrediting the world of reality, the elements escape hierarchy and cognitive classification. They are rendered evocative devices, emblems collected into an unorganised whole.
The moment after the decision is made, move effected, and before the outcome has yet to impact, that threshold holds its own potential. The split second before you hit cold water. It’s a temporal interstice, a space for a breath
A comma unweighted by resolution
|equal goes it loose|
|opening Friday 27 June 2014, exhibition to 20 July 2014|
|Joscha Blankenburg, Carla Diestelhorst, Timo Grimm, Franz Helffenstein, Christian Kempel, Paula Loeding, Magdalena Los, Elisabeth Moch, Leonie Rottmann, Simon Schete, Pablo Schlumberger, Timon Schmolling, Lukas Schneider, Julia Storz, Markus Vater, Daniel Vier, Sebastian Wiegand, Carlos Zambrano, Ronja Zschoche|
|At news of the world space, 19 artists from Hamburg (Hfbk-Hamburg, Werner Büttner/Markus Vater Klasse) create, in a poetic and concrete way, a space that is not there: the garage.
Paintings that grow out of the darkness of an abandoned space, oil smell, collages of pinup photography associated with mechanics, fast cars, broken toys, expensive bike, dirt and sawdust, the roaming barn of free-range masculinity;
Music sessions, amateur rehearsals, homemade inventions and pioneering experiments, the high tech start-up lab, the first step to going global perhaps;
I like it that my garage doesn't have a window. It is well insulated and well secured. What I keep here is nobody’s business. In my garage it is September all year. Of the eight garages mine is the fourth one. I wouldn't like to swap it. Basically they are all the same, but I like mine best.
What meaning can the garage have in one's life? A nostalgic place, a place of memories, strange findings, sinister secrets. Domestic storage and post-surrealist assemblage of stuff for which there’s no room elsewhere. A house for a car; the architectural space of the modern age which architecture forgot. Suburban life, boredom, passion, playground and carbon monoxide suicides.
Equal goes it loose, the title given by the artists to the exhibition, is the example often used of a typical 'Lübke English' phrase. 'Lübke English' refers to nonsensical English sentences created through a word-by-word translation of German expressions, without mediation and with no regard for syntax, cultural or linguistic context.
Equal goes it loose is the mistranslation of the German expression which means…'Soon it will start'… a possible reference to the function of the garage and at the same time the situation of the artists involved.
Other literal translations are also at play:
But the title issues a warning against any automatic interpretations and suggests other keys to the viewer: try poetry, nonsense, naivety, intuition!
|opening Friday 30 May 2014, exhibition to 22 June|
I've invited David Sherry to come down from Glasgow with a number of works, most of which I haven't seen. Drawing, sculptures, videos and I think he is doing a performance on opening night as well.
He sends this picture and mentions that in Northern Ireland if you turn and wear your coat inside out you won't be brought under the fairies spells. This might be useful if you pass that blackthorn bush in the middle of a field in the Mourne mountains which is surrounded by a small ring of boulders: the fairies are said to come out from under the boulders and take advantage of any unsuspecting right-way-round coat wearers.
Are the folkways of our daily routine much like such superstitious rituals? Pig headed and pixy-led we may be, but they form, as designs for living, a set of small tools which bind us as a community.
The artist David Sherry uses these tools earnestly, but against the grain, and with Keatonesque results. Some can converse with ease and authority about spaces they do not occupy; Sherry shows signs of trouble mastering his own environment and simple social situations as he conscientiously attempts his way with a conflation of blatant inadequacy and disarming optimism.
Later reading, Yeats's Second Coming, 'the best lack all convictions, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity', I ponder that art has never had it so good.
And meanwhile up north, in the land of flat property prices and rising ukip; the dispiriting odour of lingering despair. Sherry's work does not let us off with grand channel-surfing narratives or the aesthetics of esthetics in virtual gloss.
But chipping away, from the slabs of drab, tiny re-considerations in flights of fancy, it digs up magic realism.news of the world in Deptford exists as a curator's studio, to allow works to be looked at in a research and development setting.
|Performance Friday 25 April 2014, 7pm
For a long time now, I was looking for a platform to project and expel myself. To Spucken. The days of fouetté and second positions are dead to me now. They were becoming grey, they were just not relevant to me. Show me the colours, feelings and the lights.
I would wander down the hill towards the beach, always towards the beach. And gaze across the bay. Dreaming, imagining and planning.
I just had to do something.
So I danced. What a joy it is to dance and sing. I danced, I read the dusty books in the dusty Townhill library. And I loved.
Your dancing is joyful, but it won’t last. You dance a dance of love and hate. A dance of feeling. Your movement is angular, jerky but still graceful. Like a drunk Swan.
But you aren’t even that drunk, you are in ecstasy. But like I said before it won’t last.
So when you sneak home, catching the postman’s gaze and crawling into your bed. The bedroom in that smelly student house. Smile in your sleep.
Are they looking at you? That’s what you want isn’t it?
Thrust the hips
Wiggle the bum
Shake the head.
Gyrate to thin air.
Why do we feel shame when we are caught dancing around our living rooms by others? Who gives a fuck.
The discarded jumper on the floor, the slight gesture of the wrist and the tight blue jeans hanging in the cupboard all are doused in your scent. You are nameless, yet you are named. I enjoy watching you from the outside, I find pleasure in your manifestations, emphasise the MAN, Man!
The journey down to Swansea was smooth, the train quiet and I was at peace. The journey to Wales always sedates me.
The session went well, I stumbled and fell. But that is life.
Go into the fridge, pick up the nearest thing smear it on your body and throw it all over the room. Get that motherfucking carpet dirty. Get the sofa dirty, get your face dirty. Leave the house go to the Tescos and do it all again. Walk through the dirt and you will find yourself.
I am officially now the holder of a Masters Degree from the Laban Centre. And I feel indifferent
You meet a guy, spend some boring time with him and then leave.
I’m undone by your love, your eyes and your gaze. Especially your touch.
Your hands stroke, caress and ultimately sting.
Take the belt to me, white becomes pink, colours combine. Let me call out your name, let me call it out in the darkness of our kitchen.
People will pass, some might choose to ignore, others will perhaps and hopefully stop and stare. Because you see that’s what I want out of this performance. I want to be viewed and watched. Have that prickly uncomfortable feeling, a feeling I knew all so well in my teens.
Arrived in the space
Bought ‘Experimentation’ materials
Moved in the Space
Song of the Day ‘Get into the Groove’ by Madonna
Have the urge to dance violently, crazy. With and without prejudice. But I think that is the space talking and not me.
why can’t there be more moments like this?
Moments of pure joy, hate and forgiveness. The moments that matter, the moments that you remember?
Experiences that grip you and bind you so tightly that you feel utterly and completely knotted.
The summer wind caresses my body, stripping the flesh to reveal sinew and bone. I stand in the park listening to the lament of birds. I’m completely revealed.
I start to dance, Blondie is on the radio. I dance a movement of love and hate. My body moves jerkily. The rhythms come from my centre. You watch keenly and sadly. I feel your pity for me.
Oh why can’t there be more moments like this?
|Julien Bayle Disrupt!on
curated by François Larini
|Performance installation live: Friday 28th March 2014, starts 7pm sharp in London (8pm local time in Monaco)
Installation in London runs to 13 April 2014
|As part of its public programme, the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco –Villa Paloma presents Disrupt!on, a performance installation by Julien Bayle, curated by François Larini (NMNM), which takes place simultaneously and live in Monaco and at news of the world space in London.
Julien Bayle is a minimalist sound and visual artist working at the juncture of sound, visual and digital data.
The Disrupt!on performance at Villa Paloma is an electronic piece lasting about 30 minutes exploring and developing all the work’s concepts, producing its sounds and displaying the continuous flow of data. The performer interacts with sound, sometimes changing the low-level parameters of the oscillators, sometimes altering time parameters without ever using a proper tempo, but every time destabilising the very system he created.
The Disrupt!on installation at news of the world is London is triggered by the start of the live sound/visual performance in Monaco which activates some of the installation’s processes through the internet, using basic communication protocols. The data fed into the algorithms by the artist creates an aural and visual output which, from Monaco, evolves, informed, corrupted and ruptured by audience interaction through social networks as the data travels the net to London. The higher the number of interaction, the greater the unpredictability of the system’s output.
After the end of the performance in Monaco, the London installation is fully launched, and the stimuli received from the present audience or tele-participant, through Twitter via #blpmc, continue to disrupt the installation, creating glitches, reaction, random events and system degeneration. Each hashtag are sensed and contribute to increase the global installation’s entropy.
Experimenting with the concept of control vs. chaos both in his installations and live performances, Julien Bayle draws from Richard Artschwager's "blp" idea, seen as a kind of sudden burst of information within various landscapes.
In our era of digital sound and cloud computing, the name itself (blp pronounced “blip”) refers to an electronic sound suddenly appearing in our soundscape as a noise, an alarm or a tune… (like Artschwager blp suddenly appears in a landscape). Within a computer and network based audio-visual system, they can be translated into a behavior that would be new, uncanny and disruptive.
The originals blps - an oblong shape developed by Richard Artschwager in 1967-1968 - were flat painted pieces of wood, but he soon made them from spray paints and stencils, adhesive decals and rubberized hair. In 1971, the exhibition Sonsbeek buiten de perken (Sonsbeek Between Lawn and Order) took place in the Netherlands. Artschwager’s contribution, Utrecht Projekt, consisted of blps installed around the city and a catalogue of photo-documentation showing the blps in urban and rural settings. The catalogue was accompanied by an album that played the sound of a ticking clock on one side and that of a dripping tap on the other. He considered these mundane noises an auditory counterpart to his blps: background sounds that often go unheeded, but which, once noticed, are almost impossible to ignore.
Friday 28 March 2014, performance starts 7pm sharp (GMT) in London at news of the world, 50 Resolution Way, London SE8 4NT and 8pm sharp local time at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco-Villa Paloma, 56 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique 98000 Monaco. www.nmnm.mc
|Sean Steadman, Jackie Raynal, Trenton Oldfield
|Private view: Friday 31st January 2014, 6.30 to 9pm. Exhibition runs to 2nd March 2014|
Jackie Raynal, Deux Fois, film still
|In the war against the Giants, the satyrs went into battle riding on donkeys. As they caught sight of the enemy, the asses were so terrified that they all let out a loud braying such as the Giants had never heard. At the noise, the Giants hastily took flight and thus were defeated by the satyrs on asses.
This of course never happened.
The works in the exhibition ostensibly provide the metadata necessary to weave similarly epic poems and mythical journeys: they feature central characters, antagonists, create context, setting a theatrical scene, using many narrative conventions familiar to our personal browsers.
Sean Steadman's painting series feature a satyr-like character in constructed mythological landscapes and on the cusp of action. Jackie Raynal's film Deux Fois starts with a short description of all the chapters we are about to see, the bard's invocation before the retelling of an epic. Trenton Oldfield's diving suit points to the armoured relic of a protagonist damned by the Greek chorus of elders in his moral quest. The paintings, the film and object introduce us in media res -in the midst of things- to a tableaux of deeds to be performed, adversaries defeated, and on, towards a satisfactory conclusion.
This of course never happens.
For whilst we stand ready to provide the correlations and associations which would synthesise the story, the narrative has in fact been left off-frame.
In his figurative portrayal of something which does not exist, amongst stylised props and geometrical shapes which our mind readily accepts as nature, Steadman's paintings focus on the methods, rules and techniques of representation. In Deux Fois, the image is dislocated from the sound, the long takes, travelling shots, repetitions of scenes, the repetition of scenes, improvisation of gestures, the lingering of the recording, the uncomfortable focus on the camera itself (the mirror scene)- and by proxy the viewer-, all dissect the process of constructing the film.
Evacuated of narrative, the tools by which stories would be represented become our own to wield.
And what happens next?
Then, the satyrs rode home, and story-telling flared up around the art world like a nasty rash, barely masking the tired, tried and tested use of medium and supports, the dull continuum of traditional narratives, the conformist nod to the political tedium du jour and the reassertion of the decorum.
I never really went for the stories.
It's the moments I remember.
|Sean Steadman, The lesson, 2013
|Encyclops.by seekers of lice|
|opening Friday 29 November 2013, exhibition to 18 December|
|Over October and November, 'Propositions for Principles of art Philosophy in Practice, a Production Phenomenon' at news of the world invited and exhibited ideas and proposals, correspondence and conversations, that will inform our forthcoming programme beyond visual art and prevailing networks.
Stemming from this process, Encyclops is a poetry work from seekers of lice.
The work is hand written on the wetted surface of 140 small paper bags.
Even though it borrows structure from encyclopaedic articles with headings, explanations and illustrations, the text appears blurred, unassertive of what it may seek to propagate.
The poems incorporate piecemeal narratives, thoughts, feelings, snippet observations, heard conversations. A collection of moments that combine to make a whole, a log of personal recordings edited, re-ordered, they sometimes proceed through associations of sound or appearance of words, and sometimes without discernible logic, flouting the desire for universal meaning.
A modest essay at the commodification of poetry, the objects-paper bags, back-of-an-envelope, carriers for contents other, dispersible and disposable, play down any attempt at grand claims for the work. The throwaway material gestures at a way of communicating that is casually intimate.
seekers of lice assumes the mantle of a 'minor poet'; a minor chord which yields a tone but clouds the tune; a bid to eschew resolution and the want to be major, influential, great, serious, monumental, superior. The systematic sapping of her own authority creates a space where the reader/viewer is emboldened to enjoy, hunts for moments in common, pick what's useful for what they are doing, and approach the ordinary with new possibilities.
principles of art
|opening Friday 27th September 2013, 6 to 9pm
documentation on notwgallery.wordpress.com
|Here is the score:
George Brecht, 1961
You say you want a revolution:
Hi, I’m just back in London. Are you making any interesting stuff at the mo?
|Stefan Hoderlein a walk in the park|
preview Friday 31st May 2013, 6 to 9pm
Im Wald, im Wald! da konnt ich führen
Ein freies Leben mit Geistern und Tieren;
Feen und Hochwild von stolzem Geweih,
Sie nahten sich mir ganz ohne Scheu.
Heinrich Heine (from Waldeinsamkeit)
The times you wish to walk out, withdraw, pull out of the game because it has become just a game. Disengage…
Suffering from a sexually transmitted disease, Heinrich Heine spends the last years of his life semi paralysed and partly blind in Paris. There he composes Waldeinsamkeit, in which he recalls a nature retreat in Helgoland shortly before his decision to divert his Romantic energies away from poetry and into the political battles of restoration Europe. Twenty years on, 1851, looking back, the incompatibility he used to make between poetry and his philosophical and political writing seems nonsensical; he now assesses, through his renewed poetic drive, that the revelry, the myths, the magical world of tales and the private realm of the imagination, are in fact an essential part in the struggle against the reactionary -religious or Jacobins- forces of his time.
Around the same time in Concord, USA, a man sets out to live in a forest for two years, two months and two days. 'I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life'. In Walden or a life in the woods, this man, Henry David Thoreau argues the importance of solitude, contemplation, and closeness to nature in finding the true self and transcending 'the life of quiet desperation which most men lead'.
The creation of public parks attempted the reciprocal taming of nature and men, offering 'public walks calculated to promote the health and comfort of the inhabitants”, because “want of recreation generated incipient disease, discontent; which in its turn led to attacks upon the Government'. But from the outset, parks were used in ways which deeply disturbed some public minds. Ensuing moral panics, regulation and further, constantly shifting, uses, they remained ideal spaces of appropriation, contestation and debate; where norms of behaviour could be forged, contested or established; and where behaviour beyond the norms could retain the Romantic appeal of transgression.
'A Walk in the park' is a feature length work by Stefan Hoderlein filmed using a thermographic camera. This technology developed for security and military purposes is used here to capture the perimeters of a bucolic cruising ground near Düsseldorf.
The camera operates outside the spectrum of visible light: it maps the territory of heat. All objects emit a certain amount of infrared radiation as a function of their temperature. Trees, benches, people. The film’s thermal images are bright, intense colours, pseudo-colours. Each colour represents a different temperature: white and red, traditionally but subjectively, used for higher temperatures, to green, blue and violet for colder ones. Darkness transforms into light. For Hoderlein, directness, honesty, the celebratory and rude pride. By other means, what can’t be seen will be made to be seen.
The individual with intentional stance enacts a temporary walkout; performing the pragmatic in the face of impossibility, joining in an irrational illusory social loophole, celebrating the joy of this delimited pastoral precinct, where the weight of society is lifted collectively in the company of men.
The halted traveller surveying the countryside; the hermit in the undergrowth, shed of his possessions, seeking simplicity in the poverty of connections; the nature, empty screen to project our grief; the hunter in the solitude, cock as bait, catching a reflection of himself; the magical pull of some untamed wilderness, domesticated; and the moments of madness; trolls and living nightmares caught between the liminal dreamscape, fog and redemption, wanderlust in a timeless idyll; and the walker slow-pacing with affected nonchalance, measuring the territory, roaming down utopia drive; the loneliness, the eternal pain, the horror, awe; the bug chaser catching his death; desire and apprehension, the ritualistic and the kinship.
or such urgent times we live!
|Part 2: Harold Offeh, Chris Rawcliffe, Eileen Perrier, Denise Hawrysio, James Robertson, Steven Morgana
Part 1: Rose Gibbs, Richard Parry, Esther Planas, Markus Vater, Stephen Wilson, Sam Curtis
Friday 29 March 2013: Rose Gibbs
An important rule one learns in basic first aid training and lifesaving: the casualties that scream for attention are not the priority in the first instance, no matter how desperate their cries. You go to the silent ones first.
The facility with which art institution press releases, exhibition concepts, curator's statements deploy the concept and language of 'urgency' can recall the strident shrieks of a weather presenter forecasting heavy rains in Wales and the drama of an everything-must-go sale in the high street.
This 'urgency', and seeking its bestowment onto the art object itself, becomes a theatrical framing device. As a visibility strategy, it seeks to raise a consumer craving for action and intervention and to fulfill this with a presentation of artworks. Bent on drama, it scripts the parameters in which these works are to operate. As a call for action, it sucks the lifeblood out of the social and political context to spit out lymphatic dogmatic rhetoric.
news of the world space in Deptford exists as a 'curator's studio', allowing works to be looked at in an R+D / process setting.
Each Friday and Saturday over the coming weeks, one new artist is present in the space. Under the curator's duty of care, the artist on an examination bench inhabits the gallery alongside their work, underlying the visitors'part in the diagnosis of observable trauma, anxiety, acute failure, unstable critical condition or fitness for purpose.
Rather than summoning 'urgency', Intensive Care refers to some of the procedures and mechanisms which can deal with emergency; aligning in one space the artist, the work, the curator, the visitor, to take the time and foster calm, focus, expertise, dialogue and unity of purpose in the truthful assessment of the artwork.
Is 'urgency' a symptom of a much deeper malaise affecting the curator patient?
'The possibility of physical and mental collapse is very real now... but collapse is out of the question; as a solution or even a cheap alternative, it is unacceptable. Indeed. This is the moment of truth, that fine and fateful line between control and disaster' Hunter S Thompson
|Friday 10 May, James Robertson was at news of the world|
|Saturday 11 May, Steven Morgana was at news of the world|
|Friday 3 May, Eileen Perrier was at news of the world|
|Saturday 4 May, Denise Hawrysio was present at news of the world|
| Friday 26 April, Harold Offeh was at news of the world
In Covers an ongoing series of performances Harold Offeh attempts to transform a series of music album covers from 70s and 80s into durational performances.
|Saturday 27 April, Chris Rawcliffe was at news of the world|
|Friday 29 March, Rose Gibbs was present at news of the world|
|Saturday 30th March 12 to 6pm, Richard Parry was present at news of the world|
Friday, 5th April, Esther Planas was at news of the world, 12 to 6pm
Urban Subconscious Transferences Action One
|Saturday 6th April, 12 to 6pm Markus Vater was present at news of the world with a show of published and unpublished books and magazines|
|Friday 12 April, Stephen Wilson was present at news of the world|
On Saturday 13th April, Sam Curtis was at news of the worldThrough video, text and performance, Sam Curtis' interest lies in the boundaries between different forms of artistic and non-artistic labour, where art and life are indistinguishable, and where he invites an audience to play as he continues to wrestle with the age old debate of why make art? And for who? On site at news of the world, Sam will be developing a work in progress: VÄXLA :to toggle, to alternate.
|serial attempts: Berti, Ferreira, Gbaguidi|
|curated by Christine Eyene|
|Preview Friday 25th January 2013, 6 to 9pm|
Serial Attempts is the first presentation of process: immaterial proposal, an ongoing curatorial research project consisting of an evolving assembling of images, texts, and sound pieces focusing on concepts, studies and works-in-progress. The project reflects on the space between the artist's intention and the finished artwork by looking at fragments of the creative process. The title of this exhibition “serial attempts” draws from an expression used by Professor Hans Belting in the introductory chapter of The Invisible Masterpiece (1998, transl. 2001) in which he discusses unrealisable aspirations in art. Three artists have been selected for this showcase Cristiano Berti (Italy), Cecilia Ferreira (Mozambique/South Africa) and Pélagie Gbaguidi (Benin/Belgium), each represented by one piece or body of work.
Berti’s sound installation Happy (2004) is a work begun in 2002 that initially comprised of a video and photographic "mapping" of Happy's body. Berti, however, chooses to remove the photographic evidence and only displays the protagonist’s voice recorded in studio in December 2004. Happy is heard narrating the story behind the scars marking her skin, in Edo, one of Nigeria’s languages. The public is led to draw on their senses to reconstruct the shapes and depths of the scars and imagine the tactility of the skin while being immersed in the musicality of a foreign language.
Cecilia Ferreira’s The Chaos Within (2009) is the artist’s first video-experiment. Filmed with a webcam, the piece presents the successive stages of creation of the artist’s self-portrait, leading to the destruction and desecration of both the artwork and her own image as part of the creative process.
|Christine Eyene is an art historian, critic and curator practicing in the field of modern and contemporary art from Africa and its Diasporas, with a particular interest in representations of the body and gender narratives. She was co-curator the 10th edition of the Dak’Art Biennale (2012) and curator of the African selection of the 3rd edition of Photoquai – Biennial of World Images (2011). Her other projects include “Reflections on the Self – Five African Women Photographers”, a Hayward Touring Exhibition (2011-2013). She has recently been appointed Guild Research Fellow – Contemporary Art, at the School of Art, Design and Performance, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).|
|news of the world opened in June 2012 to present work that needs to be seen or shown as it might be in a curator’s research studio. As one exhibition transmogrifies into the next, physical works gradually accrue in the space as trace evidence of the mind’s trajectory.|
|Opened 26 October 2012. Artist reception: Friday 30th November 2012, 6pm.|
|You are in a dream. Your body is in a state of suspended sensory activity. Your muscles paralysed. Your mind hovers in bright white contained space.
Scattered around that space some vaguely familiar, flattish three-dimensional objects in coordinated shades of white and black. A bit further at the back, a large shiny dark panel inclined against the wall. From where you are, you can't distinguish whether it is the thing, or the thing's support. You proceed to move towards it, to get a closer look, find out what it is. Yet as you do, it appears to glide further away without the space getting any deeper. Distance somehow remains the same.
You feel nothing. You hear voices, conversations, glasses but, as if you were on a theatre stage, you can not see anyone.
You turn around for a moment and observe the delicate isolation of the other spot lit objects placed in the room with the exquisite parsimony of contemporary set design. You resolve to stay immobile for now and to rush back at the least expected moment towards the large dark panel.
As you turn and accelerate back towards the end of the gallery, your mind crashes at speed into the proscenium glass and you wake up. Mind empty.
In the cinema.
The art work, with the other props, establishes the scene before the words.
There is no scope for ambivalence or complex interpretation: art in a film must 'read well'.
It must look like art.
It must support the action.
There is no time to contemplate or ambiguate. The story moves on. Action, close-up, shortcut to meaning, consolidation of narrative. Snap.
Makkink's Rocking Machine starred in two feature films: Dropout (Tinto Brass 1970) and Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick 1971). In both films, the sculptural work -the surreal fusion of female hind parts with a phallus- appears to connect to an empowered, sexually liberated female character. But violent scenes quickly follow, where, in Tinto Brass, the woman is brutalised, and where, in the Kubrick, she is killed by the work itself.
The object in time
The installation at news of the world spans 40 years setting the Rocking Machine in the context of Herman Makkink's most recent works.
Time lapsed affords us the luxury to delve into the depth and complexity of the artist's work. Over time, he has used extremely varied techniques and materials. Some dictated by the period: fibreglass in the late 60s used by many artists seeking a contemporary space-age aesthetic. Others by its rejection: bricks and reed, salt blocks, plaster. But always preferring blatantly impractical construction methods towards anti aesthetic installations.
What I see now:
The surreal-ish juxtaposition of disparate images or concepts which imply (or formulate) a secret link, connections and journeys across time and geographies and myths.
Drawing as a sort of Joseph Cornell mind-box played out in a human dimension
Images of latent chaos, ruins and disorder, or where the work itself is pregnant of its own disintegration.
The works created by the desire to shock, or in the hope to please, or because you did not care or cared too much.
And what is still important to you today.
|Further information on Herman Makkink's website here.|
|Le jeu de Marseille|
Opened from 31 August 2012
The reason for existence, the singularity of news of the world ’s permanent and physical art space can now be discerned. As we observed the initial, inaugural installation by celebrated artist Angel Vergara suffer entropic dissolution and decay, it metamorphosed, in fits and starts, leading to the production of another installation through transmogrifying spurts in process over the last couple of weeks.
The scent of marjoram, of lavender, the ceramic cicades, the made-in-china plastic birds, glasses of Marseille pastis, the provisional garde furniture, stand in as a sketch of a wartime South of France garden. Because, to progress, we have to take you back.
Vergara’s installation suggested art-making as a public act and the political impotence of the artist; our mind now turns to the surrealists’ quest to change life, yet choosing to distance themselves from what they saw as the limitations of the present moment.
The new exhibition at news of the world provides a space for the audience to pass time playing cards with the gallery staff.
The set of cards –le jeu de Marseille- was designed collectively by Brauer, Breton, Dominguez, Ernst, Herold, Lam, Lamba and Masson as they waited in Marseille -along with Duchamp, Peret, Levi Strauss and others-, 1940-1941, for visas to escape Europe for America. This episode will be seen by some as marking the terminal decline of surrealism, whilst others see their migration as a catalyst for experiment in American art.
The immersive disengagement required by card playing, a gap the mind makes, an economically unproductive time, echoes the surrealists’ refusal to engage in the world conflict, when engagement would mean allegiance to a party or to despised institutions, and therefore ethical compromise.
The Jeu de Marseille was designed to change symbolic representation, not to enact change itself. Ending the persistent societal values in a deck of cards, Kings, Queens and subaltern Jacks become Sirens, Genius and Magicians. Reflecting the essence of the surrealists’ interest in language, the hidden, chance and poetry and the creation of new modern mythologies, the four suits are replaced by love, knowledge, dream and revolution.
'Their revolutionary declarations remain purely theoretical as they do not impact on their actions… They remain the parasites of the very class they insult' nauseated Sartre in 1947. Post war surrealists will reply by advocating withdrawal and insubordination as the true responsibility of the artist/intellectual who must look beyond the commentary of current affairs ('l’ecart absolu'), dismissing the idea that work should be dictated by its immediate context.
In inviting you to play cards at news of the world, we are offering the game as a conversation with no narrative, as a tentative synthesis of the cards’ new values with the old games rules, and the option to waste your time as an affirmative artistic act.
|Opened 15 June 2012 6.30 to 9pm|
On 15 June 2012, news of the world throws open its doors to embark on a new phase for exhibition making. We will present work that needs to be seen; shown as it might in the artist’s studio; neither a dogmatic parcours; nor a packaged presentation of wats-hot wats-nots.
news of the world is a physical space, a personal editing process and a “curator’s studio”, albeit the endeavour may be anti-curating.
news of the world opens with Angel Vergara. Other artists, other works will accrue, as we embrace the post-contemporary and pursue our philosophical and curatorial researches, with the ability to get diverted by new finds or meetings.
Angel Vergara’s diptyque “Berlusconi Pasolini” juxtaposes the position of these two public figures with the mass media: Pasolini denouncing its standardising effect, its flattening of Italian society into sterile conformity (including the conformity in contestation), Berlusconi in control of the national media, but in the end powerless to govern.
Through sometimes aggressive, at other times tentative, paint brushstrokes, the video work also focuses on the powerlessness of the artist in apprehending, fixing, the flow of news and daily political feuilleton, nevertheless pointing to the need to maintain a constant and inflexible critical mind.
|Notes on the artist:
Angel Vergara grew up in Brussels. His body of work contains a wide range of media and disciplines, including performances, drawings, paintings, videos and installations, and a bar. Audiovisual material plays an important role in the majority of Vergara’s exhibitions, as well as making up a substantial part of his work. The material deals with performance recordings, parts of video and other installations, and autonomous film and video work. A continuous cross-fertilisation between art and life is a major constant, with additional focus on the particularity of the artist’s position.
The oldest audiovisual material by Angel Vergara dates from the late eighties. In his Peintures filmiques, Vergara mainly filmed scenes and elements from his own social and artistic background. At the same time, he adopted a subjective perspective towards a heterogeneous spectrum of social and artistic topics (a shoemaker at work, an office building, Marcel Broodthaers’ tomb) through simple editing techniques such as accelerating images. A few years later, Vergara created his Films actions, a series of recordings of performances in which his alter ego Straatman, a figure seen sitting underneath a white canvas in a public space, is introduced; Vergara walking around with brush in hand, tracing the outlines of people and objects around him and thus socially interacting with his environment. The same act is performed in an already mediatised ’reality’ – when Vergara marks his appropriation of existing media images with the same gesture of painting. Through the figure of Straatman, Vergara expresses himself as a kind of medium to a social and cultural background.
In contrast to this, he increasingly relates himself to media images he appropriates as an artist in his autonomous video work. From the mid-2000s, Angel Vergara has created videos in which he follows the shapes and lines of reality with a brush, as if the image were a pallet of paint, or in which he applies his brush to a glass plate placed between the cinematic reality and the camera. Generally intended for multi-channel installations, these videos reveal the tension between the artist’s position and the social history.
In the videos of the exhibition he created with Argos in 2010 (Monday: Firework; Tuesday: Illuminations; Wednesday: Revolution, 2010), historical artistic personalities such as Gustave Wappers and Antoine Wiertz played a central part. Vergara reminding his audience that these artists assumed on a social and political role. In his own work, however, he prefers to occupy the position of mediator introduced by Gustave Courbet. This role, usually assumed by modern art, does not exclude him from adopting a critical position. He bleaches the images he has filmed through digital techniques, which are neither high-tech nor subtle. Vergara belongs to a generation of artists for whom accessible and cheap media technology – available to everyone – also embodies a universal artistic ideal. Nevertheless, the actual creation remains a private process: Vergara sits alone underneath the canvas, and he also paints alone.
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