Magazine: Issue 9
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Preview: Mother Nature B.D.S.M
MOTHER NATURE B.D.S.M @ BERMONDSEY PROJECT SPACE An exhibition by Hugo Dalton, curated by Edward Lucie-Smith 27 January – 19 February 2012, 1–6pm Private view 26 January, 6–9pm Open Thursdays to Sundays, 1–6pm (or by appointment call 020 7036 2417) Visual artist Hugo Dalton contends that Mother Nature is a Dominatrix, not a benevolent figure, through an exhibition of sculptural installations and wall drawings based on frescoes at Pompeii. Dalton’s site-specific drawings at Crisis’ Bermondsey Project Space will use imagery associated with Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism to evoke humankind’s ancient, complex and increasingly fetishised relationship with Mother Nature—source of shelter, sustenance, pleasure and pain. Hugo Dalton, Mothernature, Crisis 1 Hugo Dalton, Mothernature, Crisis 2 The exhibition will feature a sound work by composer James Dooley. Hugo Dalton is best known for his wall paintings, an age-old genre that he is constantly reinventing. His work is firmly rooted in the tradition of drawing from life, using modern materials and techniques to achieve subtle and striking artworks. The artist fuses together different drawings to create works that act as abstract diagrams of our contemporary predicament. Dalton’s first commission was from Kay Saatchi following his graduation from Goldsmiths College with first class honours. He then painted a staircase for the iconic Arts and Crafts store Liberty of London, the work is a graphic unpicking of the mechanisms of retail and as such forms a key note in Dalton’s artistic development. His interest in the commoditization of nature and the structuring of desire was further investigated in a series of wall paintings for Barneys New York where his work fills an entire floor on Madison Avenue.
Review: Other Surfaces
OTHER SURFACES @ POPPY SEBIRE 13 JAN – 11 FEB 2012 SCREENING EVENT: WED 1 FEB | 7.30PM Vanessa Billy | Lloyd Corporation | David Cotterrell | Tom Dale | Clare Goodwin/Paul Harper | Lee Maelzer | Sam Porritt | Magali Reus | John Strotton. Curated by Rebecca Geldard ‘Other Surfaces’ offers the audience a refreshing jolt from the increasing tedium of group show conventions. With a frank declaration that ‘it is unlikely this set of artists would ever be shown together as a group of object or mark makers’ curator Rebecca Geldard delves a little further back, taking the artists’ choice of video research processes, rather than the final object as her point of departure. Fittingly, the show’s concept was conjured by the curator during a visit to Lee Maelzer’s studio where she was shown unedited footage by the artist of Ridley Road recorded from a skateboard. Maelzer’s striking ability in paint to capture fleeting moments, snapshots, as if recorded by the memory in a moment of urgency are also communicated in Maelzer’s video ‘Ground’: The camera fleets from object to object then object to pigeon, as if urgently trying to derive some significance from the litter strewn surrounds whilst coming round from a drink induced night in the gutter. A similar materiality manages to ooze through the confines of the lens in Vanessa Billy’s ‘Learning Body’. An artist whose sculptural installations manage a simultaneous weighty tension and lightness of touch echo the confines of the human body. In ‘Learning Body’ a fixed camera reveals snippets of gymnasts in training on a bar. We see the preparation and trepidation of the athletes, and in the same frame their tension not qualified by their evident skill is revealed through the contact between flesh and bar. The bar buckles and strains under the weight of the eventually fearless athlete, the tension shifts from the body to the bar in one fell swoop, a moment ceased by the artist. We gain an insight into Billy’s preoccupation with the physical limits of materials and material pairings in this split second. Vanessa Billy, Strill from Learning Body, 6 min, 19 sec, 2009 Clearly more comfortable in the medium, we can see David Cotterrell’s concerns are more social than material, his usual oeuvre utilises almost every material or technology at his disposal. Usually placing the viewer in socially complex vantage points, ‘Hero’ seems almost lighthearted by comparison. The video shows our hero, with only a hi-vis jacket for armour he attempts to manage the unruly roads of Shanghai. The order the hero attempts to impose and the utter chaos of the Shanghai roads has a David & Goliath absurdity about it. David Cotterrell, still from Hero, 4 min 21 sec, 2005 By comparison John Strutton’s contribution feels far more emotionally intrusive. The trilogy of films open a window directly into Strutton’s driving forces. Language and light are manipulated to equally honest ends to reveal a real sense of tension and that you’ve seen something about the artist that most would keep firmly tucked away; I felt as if I had read his diary. John Strutton, still from 'Cactus and Curtains', 6 min 40 sec, 2011 Some of the work here is charmingly raw and frank, the conventions of the media often disregarded in favour of capturing the essence of what propels the artists’ respective practices, whether or not these works were ever intended for an audience I don’t know. Some works are clearly more polished than others, and the videos here do raise the question that at some point during the artistic process does the artist loses the clarity of their unique vision and sacrifice it in favour of convention? – A gradual dilution of that initial spark so clear in these ‘research’ works? The charm of this show is the transparency in which the artists’ work has been presented, the Pen and Teller of the curatorial realm. Rachel Price
Venue Spotlight: Public House Projects
PUBLIC HOUSE PROJECTS Chantelle Purcell welcomes new addition 'Public House Projects' to the South London Art Map. Purcell talks to Neil Drabble to find out more about how the gallery was initiated, its inaugural exhibition by Josie Cockram, and what we can expect this year? Q–Can you tell us more about Public House Projects and how the space was conceived? A–I have known Jonny the owner of the Gowlett pub for nearly ten years, and when he first took over the pub, I thought even then that the first floor room above would make a great exhibition space. About two years ago, I floated the idea past him about turning the upstairs into a Gallery/Project space, and last week Public House Projects had the opening of our inaugural show featuring new work by recent Camberwell graduate Josie Cockram. I'm an Associate Lecturer at Camberwell College, teaching primarily on the BA Photography course, but for the past couple of years, I've also run an external exhibition Unit, for the whole of the 2nd year fine art cohort. The exhibitions have been at the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey, and the show last year attracted well over a thousand people on the opening night of the private view. It was during the first of these external shows that I came across Josie's work, and I have seen it develop since then. Q–You launched recently with the exhibition: "Josie Cockram two works: Looped", can you tell us more about this exhibition? A–In Two works: Looped materials in the studio are documented in moving images that together reveal details of their creation. Both mundane and absurd, familiar characteristics of knowable objects are undisguised, whilst also appearing as alien organic forms. The work mixes references to modern digital techniques with a somewhat nostalgic nod to more traditional analogue methods of capturing images. Projections are looped and extended as they reflect onto glass screens, recalling the black mirror through which we see so much of our world. Incorporating sound, text and light, the installation is a deep collage of audio-visual information. These additional layers simultaneously confirm and deny the image, creating an intentionally unsettling outcome that both challenges and recalls the studio space. In these work, the images extend beyond being a mere representation of source material, and the reflections in the room, further question whether it is possible to pin down the identity of an image when the installation is just one place in which it can exist and just one version of how it might appear. Q–Can you tell us more about your art practice? And do you think your concerns as an artist inform how you approach curating? A–My artistic practice encompasses a wide range of disciplines, strategies and approaches, and curation plays a large part in what I do. In some ways I see it as a natural extension of my teaching practice, but it's also an opportunity to make things happen, provide a space and an opportunity for other people to try things out. Public House Projects is there to support the work of emerging and established artists, and also host a series of talks and lectures, on a wide range of topics to be interspersed between the shows. I think that as an artist, I'm aware of the trials and tribulations faced when showing work, and how sometimes things need room to develop and evolve from proposal to final stage, and one aspect of curating for me is about supporting that. Because of the numerous things I'm involved with, and the limited amounts of 'free' time I have, the only way I could consider running a project space such as this, was to have a place that by its very nature allowed for a certain amount of autonomy. I spend time looking for potential people to show, programming and working with artists towards their shows, but the majority of the day to day things like opening and closing, drink, & food, which all play a part in running a venue, are all covered by the fact the gallery is situated above a pub. Josie Cockram, Two Works Looped, 2012 Q–As the space is artist-run, how will you sustain the gallery's programme? And, what can we expect this year? A–The program of exhibitions is already organised up to the summer, and I'm very pleased with the cross section of works from artists at different stages of their career's who'll be exhibiting in the space. Apart from the students and recent graduates who I know through teaching, nearly everyone else showing is someone I previously didn't know, and approached to offer them a show. A series of Talks, Lectures and Interviews is currently being programmed, dates for which will be announced on the website. The entry to these events will be free, but spaces will be limited, and provided on a first come first served basis. Thanks to everyone who came for the inaugural show, it was a great success, and I look forward to seeing you at future events. Next Show at Public House Projects: Paul Gallagher: The Third Mind 03/02/12 – 19/02/12. Private View: 03/02/12 6:30 – 9:30pm Thank you Neil Drabble Public House Projects @publichsproject Neil Drabble's practice encompasses a wide range of disciplines, strategies and approaches, covering; photography, drawing, sculpture, painting, installation and curation. Recent exhibitions include: 'New Photographic Practices', Visual Art Centre, Beijing China, 2011, 'The Great Masturbator on Holiday' Gooden Gallery, London, 2010 (solo show), and a group show at A.P.T Galley, London, 2009, curated by Mark Wallinger. Neil Drabble's first book 'Tree Tops Tall' was published by SteidlMACK in 2003.
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