Magazine: Issue 18
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Spotlight: Sodastream
BEHIND THE SCENES: SODASTREAM SODASTREAM: Dean Brierley, Declan Colquitt, Harry Hurlock, Leonard Johansson, William Meredew BEARSPACE | 152 DEPTFORD HIGH ST | SE8 3PQ 08/03/13 – 06/04/13 Late opening for March Last Fridays: 29/03/13 18:30 – 20:30 INTERVIEW & PHOTOS: MOTOKO FUJITA It’s been a couple of weeks since ‘SODASTREAM’ opened at BEARSPACE on Deptford High Street and the mix of sickly Miami Vice hot pinks and spinning bread have thrown up more questions than answers, we send SLAM’s Motoko Fujita to visit the studios of 3 of the 5 Sodastream artists at Camberwell College of Arts to find out what on earth is going on…… Image 1: (SODASTREAM ARTISTS: From left to right: Harry Hurlock, William Meredew, Dean Brierley) Installation views: Sodastream MM: Can you tell us how you 5 artists came together to put on this exhibition? DB: I was pulling a few strings to get together a strong group show and the opportunity arose to show at Bearspace. I was going for a look of decent work that fits together in terms of what we are all trying to say, not just a bunch of friends making a group show. So I was basically thinking about what we all do - and I had this tale in my head of 'artistic hooliganism' which I thought was quite fun and playful. I think the key terms for this show are fun and playful- and art of bad taste, but like, fun bad taste if you know what I mean. WM: I think it's kind of like bad taste that's aware itself- it's not like actual horrible bad taste. DB: Yeah we are not like shit artists, we know what we are doing. HH: We are fun at bad taste if that makes sense. Dean Brierley in his studio Dean Brierly’s ‘White Noise’,2013 Dean Brierley studio detail MF: All the pieces in the exhibition are somehow very similar to each other. Is this something that naturally happened? WM: I think because we are all in such close proximity which others are in the studios, we are probably subconsciously influenced by each other, in terms of colours and stuff like that- it's just what happens naturally and flows through conversations and seeing each other every day. HH: In terms of the exhibition we didn't name anything, or put our names at the bottom of the pieces- I suppose in that sense we did choose for it to be about the show itself. The show was the most important thing for us. Harry Hurlock in his studio Harry Hurlock studio detail MF: Bearspace the gallery is fairly small - especially for five strong individuals to have a show together I imagine. Was there any curatorial process you had to go through to simultaneously make each piece fit in and stands out on its own? HH: We didn't really communicate with each other about what we were actually going to show before the exhibition. DB: I did the wall piece on the corner which was a last minute thing- I think it was that intensity that made our show. I hate people who 'curate' exhibitions- you can't curate something like that, you've got to be there at the time. WM: Some of the pieces happened about 2 hours before the exhibition opened- I think it would lose something, like some of the good quality about it if it was carefully curated. When it's not fully, overly formulated it's a lot more exciting I think. William Meredew studio shot William Meredew in his studio Motoko Fujita, With thanks to the artists & BEARSPACE Gallery www.bearspace.co.uk
Review: The Black Cave
REVIEW: THE BLACK CAVE, BEATRIZ SANTIAGO MUÑOZ GASWORKS | 155 VAUXHALL ST | LONDON | SE11 5RH 22/02/13 – 21/04/13 Review By: Simina Neagu (Gasworks will be included on SLAM’s walking Art Tour of Kennington on Saturday 06/04/13 Details HERE) The first UK solo show of Puerto Rican artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, called The Black Cave, brings together two of her recent works La Cueva Negra and Farmacopea. Both films focus on changing ecological configurations under the impact of tourism or infrastructure. Born in Puerto Rico in 1972, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz works primarily with video, examining social relations through improvisation and performance. Farmacopea (2013) comprises a 16mm film and a series of drawings centered around one of the most toxic plants in the world, the Hippomane Mancinella (Manchineel tree). Inspired by anthropological films, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz investigates how the government tries to eliminate the plant in order to make Puerto Rico more appealing for the tourism industry. She examines how an idealized version of the landscape slowly replaces the ecological reality. Barely perceptible drawings on paper document the flora of the area, suggesting a gradual erasure. Stills from: Beatriz Santiago Munoz, Farmacopea, 2013 La Cueva Negra (2013) follows the same idea of changing landscapes under the impact of human activity. Two local boys guide Santiago Muñoz through Paso del Indo, an archeological site discovered during the construction of a highway. Layers of human activity overlap: an ancient burial site, a modern road and piles of trash, in a constant battle with the engulfing lush vegetation. Beatriz Santiago Munoz, la Cueva Negra, 2013 Drawing on Puerto Rico’s recent history, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz excavates forgotten or disappearing remnants of previous activity. She looks at how politics and economy effectively alter and transform our natural environment. Simina Neagu
Interview: Duval Timothy
To coincide with Duval Timothy’s current solo exhibition ‘Mahsiwel’ at Lewisham Arthouse, SLAM’s Tina Emenyeonu gets under the skin of the artist behind the work: From Kebab World on Lewisham Way to L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris….. DUVAL TIMOTHY: MAHSIWEL LEWISHAM ARTHOUSE | 22/03/13 – 29/03/13 Artist talk: Wed 27/03/13 19:00
Closing event as part of LAST FRIDAYS: 29/03/13 18:00 – 21:00 TE: Your full name is Duval Kojo Bankolé Timothy; where is each name from and what do they mean? DT: ‘Duval’ is a French name that my parents liked - it’s also the name of a great pastis! ‘Kojo’ means Monday and comes from a Ghanaian tradition to name your children after the day they were born. ‘Bankolé’ is my grandfather’s name (Emmanuel Bankolé Timothy), a well-known Sierra Leonean writer and journalist. ‘Timothy’ is our family name that originates from the Greek name Timotheos, which means something like ‘in honour of god’ and is most likely to have come into our family through slavery somewhere down the line. TE: What is your connection to Africa; have you been to Africa and/or lived there at all? DT: I am quarter Sierra Leonean, quarter Ghanaian and half English. I have been to Sierra Leone a few times with my family. Sierra Leone is a beautiful place and I feel that it is an important part of me and I am hoping to spend a lot more time there in the future to make artwork and other projects. I think culture has a huge part to play in the future of Africa. Mahsiwel 2013 (Detail). Duval Timothy, courtesy of the artist. TE: For your current exhibition, you have taken the name Lewisham and turned it back to front for the title of your show - ‘Mahsiwel’. You also adapted ‘The World is Yours?’ by Nas, rearranging the letters of most of the words and then re-rapping it. It sounds like an African language, of absent griots, was that your intent and how important is language to you? DT: I first began manipulating language in this way with my video Blue Borough (2012). In that video I say the word ‘blue’ in every possible re-arrangement of the letters. I was initially interested in taking a word that has an association with a local place and manipulating it so that each variation might give a sound that is associated with a contrasting place or language. I wanted to highlight or reflect on the varying ethnic make up of blue borough and how it has changed the area. The idea worked especially well with the Nas track because of the philosophy of sampling, remixing and word play that is at the heart of hip-hop music. When I was young I used to speak a type of slang called Double-dutch with my brother Miles when we wanted to speak in secret, “How are you?” would sound like “Ha-da-gow a-da-gare you-do-gou?” There are so many interesting ways that people already abstract language, especially within different types of slang that are often distinct to local areas. I think abstracting language in this way also has something to do with my dyslexia. I often read and write letters in the wrong order without realising. Revealing the possibilities that lie within words and names is a weirdly compelling process. Eulb Hghuorob/ Blue Borough, 2013. Duval Timothy in progress in studio. Courtesy of the artist. Eulb Hghuorob/ Blue Borough, 2013 (Detail). Duval Timothy. Courtesy of the artist. TE: Continuing the subject of language, who are your favourite poets, writers, wordsmiths? DT: In terms of language, most of my inspiration comes from rappers and MC’s: Nas, Jendor, D Double E, Gil Scott-Heron, Willie The Kid, Kendrick Lamar, P Money and Papoose are masters with words. TE: Why did you go to the L’ecole Beaux Arts in Paris and what influence did it have on you? DT: I loved being in a place where contemporary practice is balanced with historical processes that are not forgotten but also not imposed upon you at all. I was lucky to meet Jean-Luc Vilmouth there, who’s Atelier I studied in. He was very generous in sharing his experience as an artist and is quite an inspiring guy. TE: You performed a moving piece called ‘Bag Drop’ with your brother Miles. Please can you tell me about this piece e.g. why did you use your brother and what is the significance of the bag of rice? DT: I was originally asked to create an artwork for an exhibition about grain so I looked into rice because I love it so much. I came across a video of two workers in a rice factory lifting and dropping a large bag of rice to test the bags durability. I saw that process as extremely mesmerising and charged with implications of what might happen to these bags of rice - sculptural concerns. I wanted to emphasise something about the journey that these huge bags of rice undertake from where they are produced around the world, to the shops that line Deptford market where I bought the bag we used. I think that labouring and food have a lot to do with family but the decision to perform the bag drop with my brother also had something to do with necessity - he’s pretty strong. Projecting the video in the street where it was filmed is an important part of the work’s history. We’re still eating the rice. Still image from Bag Drop, 2012. Duval Timothy. Courtesy of the artist. TE: In ‘Bag Drop’ you are both wearing the same outfit. It seems that clothes are very important to you as in ‘Bow ties for Corbusier’. Do you see yourself as a kind of neo-flaneur? DT: I like the idea of the flaneur, someone that is inspired by the customs they witness in the streets within an urban landscape. Clothes have the potential to say a lot about us both as individuals and as a collective or society, in the same way architecture can. My ‘Bow ties for Corbusier’ series is something in between the two. The shape of the bow tie is repeated to create a form that is phallic and dandy in its absurdity and it also resembles a tower block, a familiar part of modern urban architecture around the world that was championed by Corbusier. Bow tie for corbusier no.1 & no.2 2013 (Detail). Duval Timothy. Courtesy of the artist.
 TE: Please can you explain the reasoning and ideas behind the project ‘The Groundnut’? DT: The Groundnut is a food project I do with my friends Folayemi Brown and Jacob Todd. We explore sub-Saharan African heritage food mixed with the various European types of food we have been exposed to growing up in London. The three of us are very passionate about food and the event of eating. TE: Can you please give an overview of your current show? DT: Mahsiwel is an exhibition of cross-discipline artwork that relates to the environment it is made and presented in. TE: Which are your favourite galleries and or museums both here and abroad? DT: I love South London Gallery, Serpentine Gallery and Corvi-Mora because they are fresh spaces, often showing great work but also because they celebrate their location and character rather than trying to escape it. I would also love to go to The Dorchester Project if I ever go to Chicago. TE: You have embraced music, video, dress and writing as well as art.  Had you not become an artist - if that is how you see yourself - what do you think you would have been doing instead? DT: I was good at Maths and Design at school so I probably would have been an engineer or architect but I like to believe that if I had the ability to focus on one thing I could have made it as a footballer. TE: Who are your 5 favourite artists? DT: Henry Stringer, Lauren Godfrey, Lester Lyons-Hookham, Serra Tansel and Craig Barnes. TE: If you had a dinner party and could invite 8 people from history, living or dead, who would they be? DT: Blinky Palermo, Curren$y, Lianne La Havas, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ab-Soul, Aaliyah, Malcolm X and Marion Cotillard. TE: What does South London mean to you and what is unique about it compared to other areas of London? DT: South London is my home. I’m hesitant to make comparisons based on observations because I haven’t actually lived in the other corners of London but I do believe that a lot of exciting artists, musicians, sportsmen and gourmands are living and working here. I am lucky to have had behind-the-scenes insight into a lot of incredible music being made in South London whilst growing up, thanks to my older brother Crayzee Banditt, a producer who has been working with many great musicians and MC’s who live in South London, since he was 13. They are all friends who I respect a lot. TE: Where would you take a tourist to discover the real South London? DT: Kebab World on Lewisham way. Side-breast and chips on me! Tina Emenyeonu With thanks to Duval Timothy and Lewisham Arthouse www.duvaltimothy.co.uk www.lewishamarthouse.org.uk
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