On 12 June, Ben Judd presented The Origin, a performance as part of his collaborative exhibition at the Stanley Picker Gallery. The performance embodied a fictional lost community who used to inhabit the island on the Hogsmill River where the gallery now stands and explored how fundamental aspects of this group’s identity can be manifested through movement and sound.
The performance was co-choreographed by Beatrice Jarvis from Kingston School of Art (KSA) and Athens-based Dionysios Tsaftaridis and was performed by KSA Dance students Joe Webster, Lucy Beadle, Libby Canagasabey, Jakub Ujczak, Natalia Linares and Jo Panagopoulou as well as professional dancers Pan Pavlopoulos, Akti-Magdalini Konstantinou and Laurie Booth. The dancers wore costumes that otherwise hang in the Gallery installation, which were developed by KSA Fashion students Meerim Mamatova, Eimear Kennedy, Klaudia Proskornicka, Erin Fairall, Izzy Oldland, Sayeon Kim, Yusun Lee, Daisy Gray, Joana Dias, Soyhun Lee, Eimear Kennedy, Milica Ceklerevac and KSA Fashion graduate Sebastian Nissl. The soundtrack was developed through a collaboration between KSA Music students and composer Apostolis Psihramis, musical directors Gabriella Noble and Jacob Ewens and performed by professional singers.
The performance draws on the online collaboration that began last summer during #TheOriginKingston and has been developed over later weeks through rehearsals in the exhibition space and around the island the Stanley Picker Gallery sits on in the Hogsmill River, responding to these two sites.
Ben Judd is an artist based in London appointed Stanley Picker Fellow in Art & Design in 2019. His work examines collectivity and participation through performance, moving image and installation, enabling different forms of communities to be explored in relation to site and context. He often works with collaborators as a method to develop self-reflexive folk histories and construct temporary communities. Judd has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, recently including ICA, Art Night London, Whitstable Biennale and Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool.