Magazine: Issue 14
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Spotlight: ASC Gallery
SPOTLIGHT: THERE IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN ANYTHING TO UNDERSTAND! ASC GALLERY Featuring artists; Dean Kenning, Suzanne Treister, Simon Davenport, Reza Negarestani, Lawrence Leaman, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, John Gillis & Aline Bouvy, Benedict Drew, Peter Rockmount,  Mark Jackson, John Russell, John Cussans & Roberto Peyre,Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Neil Chapman & Ola Stahl, Tom Clark, David Burrows & Simon O’Sullivan.  Is a group exhibition devised by David Burrows and Simon O’ Sullivan, who were asked by ASC to produce a show as Plastique Fantastique, of which they replied to ASC, they were not Plastique Fantastique and this was instead the name of a ‘fiction’ and proposed a Plastique Fantastique Communique in the form of a group exhibition. Burrows and Sullivan have stated they are interested in making an exhibition through accretion, a process more akin to the production of a noise or a crystalline object than curation. Is this a refusal of curation? Or a mixing up, a new way of integrating the polymorphic voice? The image conveyed in the press release, adds to the elaborate fabulative narrative that is built around the exhibition. The idea of Sullivan and Burrows not wanting to enter into discussions with ASC or allude too much about the exhibition \\\'preferring to pointing, humming, nodding and talking\\\' is in keeping with the title. The only clue we get to their intentions is a brief statement iterated by the collective communique: Plastique Fantastique is for Skizzcretion… as an interference with the processing of stimuli by the nervous system… as secretion over-load… as semantic under-load… as a burning of the ear and splitting of the eye… as an accretion that is neither transparent nor opaque but a vibration… as dense and crystalline rather than a complex and rich source of information… as a surplus that is a store of energy… as an oscillation rather than a movement from A to B… as disorganisation and disorientation… as noise… as a refrain yet-to-come: Installation shot, Courtesy of ASC Gallery, 2012 In fact the whole construct interwoven by the press release has probably been employed to create a fictive extension and further ruse in which to suspend the exhibition. Before even seeing the show the viewer is already heightened by the idea of the ‘fictive’ and disorientated by the ruse. Upon entering, the aesthetic richness of the acid house pop colours and abundance of; assemblages, sculptures, paintings, films and sound create a sensory overload. The discordance of sound intermixes together forming an overall collective cacophony. At first it is difficult to focus on the individual components in relation to the carefully laid out plan attached to the list of works. This is the only thing that has a definitive certainty, an effective tool, to map out the unknown territories. Sprawled across the walls are diagrammatic drawings that work to navigate the viewer around the show, full of symbolism but impossible to translate. Installation shot, Courtesy of ASC Gallery, 2012 Within the exhibition there are two altars bringing into play ideas of worship and sacrifice. The first one that is evidently apparent visually is Pil & Galia Kollectiv’s ‘Altar to Capital’ which consists of a long red carpet that runs horizontally along the space leading the eye to the main focus the alter cabinet, the mirror’s reflective surface is intervened by a painted black circle, an orchestrated void, perhaps to lead the viewer beyond their own sense of the self, beyond mere representation, where does it lead? nowhere? Could this be a critique on Max Weber\\\'s classic study ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ , \\\'which sums up the \\\'peculiar ethic\\\' of Capitalism as \\\'the idea of a duty of the individual toward the increase of his capital, which is assumed as an end in itself.\\\' (1) Perhaps the idea that capitalism has an elevated status now within our society, the new religion. The other alter is placed at the far corner of the exhibition but can be heard all around the space. ‘Plastique Fantastique’ Altar to the Pre-modern’ by David Burrows, Tom Clark & Simon O ‘ Sullivan. Within this installation, two cubes are arranged diagonally placed on top of each other, central to the piece is a small tv playing a looping video, that iterates acts of ritualism. The film begins with an introduction screen that displays the text: ‘agent knowledge truth and surplus’ alongside this are the repeated diagrammatic drawings that are on the walls of the gallery space. \\\'Feather and Bark, Feather and Bark.... you have not and never have been mode(r)n\\\' Installation shot, Courtesy of ASC Gallery, 2012 Within the film we watch a transformation as each person covers their face with glue and places their head in what appears to be glitter. Akin to a ritualistic process? But why? Then another declaration: \\\'Spongebob Square pants is your friend\\\' Is this the birth of ‘probe-heads’? In New Moderns, Simon O Sullivan explains the meaning of a probe-head \\\'that which explores the terrain beyond the face, the terrain from which the face is nothing more than an extraction or crystallisation. Probe-heads are in this sense a move into chaos.\\\' (2) Almost appearing at first as didactic, but we already know from the outset that it is not opaque as this, it seems to come in the guise of prophesy, their transformative state explores the terrain beyond representation, one of chaos. The work that encapsulates the exhibition is Benedict Drew’s ‘Lecture on Everything’, in a room just off from the main gallery space. A lecture is given by an anthropomorphic lump, making declarations like: \\\'Noise is all signals on and off...What is Futurism?...Translation No...Noise equals the perception of the world...Rockism is selfism...A history of misunderstandings\\\' Ending with SMPTE colour bars (television test patterns usually used in TV’s to encourage viewers to adjust TV colour settings). The film works to come together like a broadcast from the future, instructional and almost believable. Lecture on Everything, 2012 still, Courtesy of Benedict Drew Other works that stood out were; ‘Chicken Asteroid’ by Mark Jackson which invites the viewer to listen to a recording of chickens being slaughtered, through a pair of headphones apparently the process of the recording has been \\\'played in the space, recorded, played in the space, recorded....\\\') and ‘Value - A Visualisation’ by Dean Kenning which offers a description of a coagulated unspecified lump, through a sound box, encased underneath appears to be a replica of the description heard, a brightly undefined pink blob. The whole exhibition installs within the viewer a desire to search for meaning or some sort of translation, however there is no salvation, the exhibition’s intent isn’t transparent as it states in the communique; \\\'as an accretion that is neither transparent nor opaque but a noise… as a refrain yet-to-come:\\\' As a viewer, you have to callibrate how you approach the works and open to the experience, which is more akin to an event, that forces the viewer to go beyond looking. According to Sullivan \\\'Art, it seems to me, might be better thought of as an event that interrupts knowledge – that breaks information.\\\' (3) Like John Russell’s ‘Connector’ that is within the main gallery space, a connector that connects to nothing, disconnected, a break in signal. This exhibition is seamless in its integration, the idea of mixing up and layering through curation has effectively worked to cancel out the individual and instead form a noisy swarm that is dense and full of vibration. Overwhelming...refreshing...noisy...propositional...transporting... Please note: This is not an attempt to understand and this subjective perception of the exhibition should not be taken as truth, the exhibition should be experienced yourself! Open til 3rd August at ASC Gallery. Chantelle May Purcell For more information please visit: (1)Kollectiv Pil and Galia, Capitalism as Cult, The Institute of Psychoplasmics, London: Pump House Gallery, 2008 (2&3) Sullivan, Simon O, From Stuttering and Stammering to the Diagram: Deleuze, Bacon and Contemporary Art Practice, November 2010, goldsmith University London
Review: V22 Pendulums
Biscuit Factory Pendulum: Conor Kelly V22 Studios | Part of V22 Summer Club I felt that I was one of a select group of people on Saturday June 2nd. Perhaps two dozen of us waited in anticipation in the vast industrial caverns of V22 studios. We were told there would be a 15 minute delay; the anticipation simply grew. Unrecognisable industrial sounds emanated from the space as we waited to enter. There was distraction enough in the antechamber of this echoing industrial cathedral. Josh Baum’s delicate water sculptures seem so very fragile in contrast. They are engrossingly beautiful: drops of water running across sheets of glass and up copper wires before dripping, sometimes even bouncing off at an angle into vintage china tea cups. Like some surreal game of mousetrap the mad hatter might have at his party. And then we began to move through into the main space, it’s ready to begin. A vast echoing expanse of concrete stretches out around us. Huge, brutal pillars reach up to the ceiling 10m above. We wait expectantly. … And it starts. There is a collective, instant transfixion as four enormous pendulums freefall down from the ceiling. Massive rods of steel slice the air in savagely graceful arcs before us. It’s a hypnotic visual spectacle: the sense of raw power is eminently palpable. As well as the sheer physicality of it, there is an evoking of memories of what might once have been here. A harking back to the industry that used to occupy these echoing empty halls. Stripped of that former purpose these spaces are now the preserve of the ‘new economy’: the Biscuit Factory complex in which V22 resides is home to several galleries and exhibition spaces as well as production companies and studios. But we’re in Bermondsey, a place with a proud industrial history built on the now vanished Surrey Docks. These swinging rods of steel seem to speak of this past, if only for a moment. The spectacle is not just visual. What Conor Kelly has in fact created on this massive scale is a restaging of Steve Reich’s 1968 work ‘Pendulum Music’. Each of the four enormous pendulums holds a microphone at the end and swings back and forth in front of the associated speaker. A rhythmic chanting cacophony of feedback is created, reverberating around the room. It morphs and changes as the pendulums swing at fractionally different rates and the rhythms collide and sync as the pendulums slow. The volume is immense and the clashing reverberating sound fills the room. It’s powerful, dark, all-encompassing. I felt very special to be there watching it. The sheer pragmatics of finding such an immense space and being able to set this spectacle up means it will inevitably be rarely repeated. There were only a relatively small number of us there, but not one of us moved for over half an hour as we watched the pendulums gradually slow. We stood transfixed by the beauty and might before us. Summer Club Pendulums V22 In V22’s post-industrial cathedral of art, ‘Biscuit Factory Pendulum um hum ummmm’ attained that transcendental moment that we now seem to seek through art in our atheistic society. Who knew it would to be found in an old factory at the unfashionable end of Bermondsey? V22 Summer Club events and exhibitions continue throughout the summer and can be seen at Adam Walker
Preview: Cultural Highlights during the Games
'South London's Cultural Highlights during the Games' & July's 'Not the Opening Ceremony' Last Fridays: 27/07/2012 (at sites across South London). As far as I can recall art and sport have never been the happiest of bedfellows. If you were terrible at sport as a child you ran into the loving arms of art and vice versa, and if you happened to be gifted at both you were best advised to keep one on these gifts to yourself, as is British custom for non blowing of one’s own trumpet. But London playing host to the Games raises an interesting opportunity for the two to co-inhabit and for artists to take advantage of the many thousands of visitors hurtling through our turnstiles to show the world how our cultural landscape fares. Aside from this, if by some heinous error there is a shortfall in British medals, at least we can distract our very welcome visitors with some of the world class contemporary art we have to offer. Outside of the east end Olympic epicentre, Rachel Price previews some of South London’s cultural highlights during the games: (Unless stated, entrance to all projects is free) Starting from the river and meandering down: In Bankside we wait with baited breath for TATE Modern’s hotly anticipated Art in Action programme in the much talked about Oil Tanks. ‘Art in Action’ opens on 18th July and will run for 15 weeks. With an emphasis on the experimental and with a focus on live performance, installation and film this is a unmissible opportunity to see new work by over 40 international emerging and established artists in a truly unforgettable space. Heading along the river to Tower Bridge The Design Museum reveals every athletes’ best kept secrets with Designed To Win looking at the material innovations that help Olympians go the extra mile: Opening 26th July (entrance fee applies). Heading down to Southwark Park and the ever ambitious Dilston Grove, we look forward to a project of Herculean proportions: Swandown –The Installation. Running from 27th June – 29th July, the show is a documentation of Iain Sinclair & Andrew Kotting’s epic & absurd journey, both a test of endurance and voyage of discovery from Hastings to Hackney via the inland waterways using a Swan pedalo as a vessel. Image: Iain Sinclair & Andrew Kotting: Swandown -The Installation As we break the boundaries of SE8, we welcome back Deptford X Contemporary Art Festival which runs in tandem with the Olympics this year with its most ambitious programme to date. Launching on 26th July the lead artist-curators Hew Locke and Indra Khanna have selected headline artists Henna Nadeem, Dzine, Doug James and The Hidden Noise to lead the way. In addition to the main programme over 50 fringe exhibitions and events will be taking place at a range of venues throughout Deptford from train stations to charity shops . Throughout Deptford X, SLAM will be running walking and cycling tours (in association with artouride) of the Festival to help you round those hard to reach places! Image: Bold Tendencies 5 – Photo Credit: Vicken Parsons Heading further south, Peckham’s cultural calendar will keep you more than busy during the Olympics: On top of Peckham’s multi-storey car park and now in it’s 6th year Bold Tendencies will be in full swing. Launching 30th June, this fearless summertime sculpture project exposes new work by handpicked international artists to the elements in this challenging setting. With six major large scale new works commissioned by international artists alongside an ambitious Live Programme, Bold Tendencies will be collaborating this year with local organisations including PAMI (Peckham Artist Moving Image Festival) and the Son Gallery’s Copeland Book Market. Another Peckham based project to look out for is Julia Vogl’s ‘Home’ : Vogl brings her unique brand of ‘social sculpture’ to Peckham Square on July 27th with the aim of fostering dialogue about pride or lack of for London. Vogl and a band of volunteers will interview Peckham residents asking for their definitions of ‘home’, the public can hear these concepts of home direct from the people who live here inside the installation. The physical work will manifest itself as a community built, multi-coloured ‘public living room’ (colour of bricks determined by interviewed residents’ years of living in Peckham). Also taking pride in SE15 around Peckham Square, Peckham Space launches Garudio Studiage’s Peckham Peace Wall on 8th August, a permanent monument paying homage to the wall of post-it notes with messages in support of Peckham and it’s residents in the wake of last summer’s riots. That should be enough to tempt you South during the games, if not, full listings of events at South London’s galleries can be found here ! Image: Julia Vogl ‘Home’ Also keep your eyes peeled for these roaming projects: Graham Hilleard’s Olympic Postcard Project at sites throughout South London and very possibly landing through your letterbox! Tom Leighton’s 36 Reason’s To Love Camberwell online photography project. Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu’s Bus-Tops with a few sites in the deep south! The Museum of Melancholy’s Podia Project The locations have now been revealed – 1st Bowl in Lewisham town centre, the Library at Deptford Lounge, Goldsmiths College, University of London and the roof of A.P.T on Creekside – with one more to be announced. Images: Graham Hilleard’s Olympic Postcard Project Links: Artists Taking the Lead
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