Posts Tagged ‘2014’

Oreet Ashery

Revisiting Genesis is a web series being developed by Oreet Ashery  for her current Stanley Picker Fellowship, exploring some of the philosophical, sociopolitical, practical and emotional implications of the processes surrounding death, particularly in relation to digital legacies and the importance of friendships. Revisiting Genesis is supported by The Wellcome Trust, public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema and waterside contemporary.

Oreet Ashery is a UK based interdisciplinary visual artist born in Israel, whose personally and politically charged exhibitions, performances, videos and writings are highly regarded internationally. Often presenting her work in the guise of fictional characters, her most consistent being ‘Marcus Fisher’ an orthodox Jewish man, Ashery works on public, community, educational and participatory projects that are both politically and socially engaged, and is particularly interested in gender, race and religion, ethnicity and identity.

Ashery says of her ongoing practice:

“My practice incorporates the performative and fictive, the potential group, the body in deterritorialised public contexts, objects and assemblages. I am currently interested in the ways in which somatic experiences in life and in art produce unexpected politically charged moments and the subjectivities that emerge in self-knowledge forming and knowledge-formations, as part of the making process of working with groups or individually.”

Recent works include The World is Flooding at Tate Modern (July 2014), working with a group of participants to write, produce and direct a performance and the solo exhibition  Animal with a Language  at Waterside Contemporary, London (Sep 2014) as well as many other group exhibitions in Vienna, New York and London.

Onkar Kular

British designer Onkar Kular’s work investigates how contemporary design practice, its processes, methodologies and outputs, can be used as a medium to engage with and question understanding of cultural and popular issues. His work uses a range of different media, appropriate to the particular research project to include new objects, films, events, performances and installations, and is disseminated internationally through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, film festivals and publications.

Recent exhibitions include I Cling To Virtue,  with Noam Toran and Keith R. Jones, an installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum which presented a mixed-media collection of objects, narrative texts and videos that reveal the intricate trajectories of the Lövy Singh clan, a fictional East London family of mixed descent, and Risk Centre,  a solo show at Arkitekturmuseet in Stockholm on constructed environments used for risk and safety education.

In May 2014 Onkar Kular designed and curated The Citizens Archive of Pakistan together with Sanam Maher, bringing together a wealth of personal stories, memories and objects. Whether exploring the building of a nation, the drawing of a religious line, the voice of the collective or the experience of an individual, the items included a range of critical perspectives on Partition and considered what it means to revisit this history today.

Laura Grace Ford

‘the suburbs are self-medicating, the suburbs are hallucinating, England is hallucinating’

In 2011 it was the suburbs that saw the most dramatic displays of collective violence. In Croydon, Edmonton, Catford, Streatham, the barriers broke down and the suburbs suddenly became porous, territorial markers melted and the streets became the site of collective engagement with the spectacle of consumerism, the anger directed towards pawnbrokers, retail parks and high street stores.

A reversal has taken place; the suburb is the new inner city. The situation is fractured and complicated but, after a year spent walking around the outer reaches of South-West London, artist Laura Grace Ford argues the suburbs emerge as two distinct categories: Zones of Refuge where bankers, frazzled with siphoning public money, relax and dream of heritage England, of Tolkein, of homes and gardens; and Zones of Sacrifice, the areas allowed to decay amidst sites of gentrification, held captive on all sides by the ghoulish horror of Cath Kidston and cup-cake baking.

‘What happens when you’re forced to spend hours immersed in stultifying work; split-shifts at McDonalds in a traffic island near Heathrow, living in a Travelodge in Sunbury working on the construction of some luxury development, or stuck in a call-centre in Croydon hassling people about loan repayments. You might seek solace in marginal political ideologies, the EDL, Al-Muhajiroun, the comfort and camaraderie of faith, with the thrill of violence to puncture the boredom. But mostly you self-medicate.’

Laura Grace Ford (formerly Oldfield Ford, b.1973 Halifax, West Yorkshire) is a London based artist and writer. Her work is concerned with issues surrounding contested space, landscape, architecture and memory, reworking the drive or drift as a subjective process of mapping territory along the lines of social antagonism. Awarded the Stanley Picker Fellowship in 2013, she has spent the last year walking through the outer-edges of South West London. Recent exhibitions include Ruin Lust Tate Britain (2014), Recording Britain V&A (2012) and Anarchy Unmasked British Library (2014). She is the author of Savage Messiah (Verso, 2011).

Laura's-PrintTo accompany her exhibition Laura Grace Ford has produced the very first of our Stanley Picker Gallery Editions, specially created to directly support our programme of activities and the artists and designers we work with. This colour lithograph, on Saunders Waterford paper, entitled Abiding by Rituals (signed-edition of 50 copies) is available exclusively for sale from the Gallery priced £145 (+ VAT). See full image above and contact the Gallery to receive further details.

Associated Events:

Launch Event: Wed 8 Oct 6-8.30pm / All Welcome

Suburban Drift: Wed 12 Nov 2-5pm
Join Laura Grace Ford on a walking tour of the local suburbs / Free Event

Stanley Picker Gallery Talk with Laura Grace Ford: Wed 12 Nov 7pm / Drinks 6pm / All Welcome

Your Tongue In My Mouth

Launch Event: 2-4pm Saturday 31 May / All Welcome

Seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, living, all these wait to be made fecund by an innocent potency.“
Irigaray (Elemental Passions,  1992)

Taking its title from Luce Irigaray’s interrogation of language and love, this exhibition features artists working with photography and conceptual practices, including archival 1970s and 1980s works by Alexis Hunter, Karen Knorr and Jo Spence, alongside a series of contemporary artists whose works all use the visceral and material experience of life; the exhibition locates subjects of gender, ethnicity and class as strategies for thinking about anxiety and precarious consciousness in a neo-liberal 21st century society.

The ‘personal is political’ (Carol Hanisch 1970) and ‘consciousness raising’ (Kathie Sarachild/Anne Forer 1967) is evoked not nostalgically or fashionably but awkwardly, demonstrating affinity and action in political and art practices. Within this exhibition words and voices (and finding them) are seen as tools for analyzing and theorizing the structures of shared subjectivity, allowing personal problems to be seen as symptoms of wider socio-political issues. The French feminist theorist Irigaray expresses the utter conditionality of language to concepts of identity and difference in asking ‘Was it your tongue in my mouth, which forced me into speech?’ (1992), in which she echoes Lacan’s reworking of Althusser, to suggest that the unconscious is structured like language.

Works in the exhibition include John Akomfrah’s film,  The Stuart Hall Project, which employs archive TV news and interviews with seminal cultural theorist Stuart Hall, alongside a Miles Davis soundtrack. Alexis Hunter’s The Model’s Revenge I-III (1974) silver gelatin prints show a woman’s soft breasts, with hands between clasping a gun directed to camera, and her  Approach to Fear: XVII: Masculinisation of Society – Exorcise (1977) presents a grid of 10 photographs of a male torso with a woman’s hand invading and defacing it with black paint.

Jo Spence’s works include  Early Attempts at Photomontage (1975), printed with the text ‘I didn’t know money grew on trees till I met workers’ whilst  The Highest Product of Capitalism (1979) pictures the artist outside a bridal shop holding a sign scrawled with the words ‘I’ll take almost any work’. The Faces Group (1978) shows a group wearing paper bags over their heads written with signs including ‘Fuck off, piss off’, ‘I possess clarity’ and ‘I no longer see through the veil of illusion’.  Not Our Class (1989) shows Spence naked against a backdrop with lists of boyfriends down one side and theorists down the other, and the photo-therapy series including Untitled (Mother and Daughter Shame Work: Crossing Class Boundaries) (1988) locates the social as familial and internal.

Karen Knorr’s Gentlemen series (1981-83) are silver bromide prints depicting Gentleman’s club interiors with accompanying texts presenting the gentlemen’s inner thoughts, whilst Sarah Jones c-type print  Colony (Couch) (IV) (2006) references the psychoanalysts couch.

Ellen Cantor’s video Within Heaven and Hell  (1996) features the artist’s voice narrating a story over intercutting scenes from The Sound of Music and Texas Chainsaw Massacre,whilst Peter Harris’s Art Dads (2012) are drawings showing the artist as a baby, cared for by Art World greats such as Gilbert and George. Bob and Roberta Smith’s signs call for a politics and culture informed by art, whilst Janette Parris makes a satirical critique on the status of the artist, and Heather Sparks  It Colors Your Life: A Coloring Book of Drinking and Smoking evokes a Hogarthian scene of debauchery in the 1990s.

The artistic practice of the 1990s – known most widely for the YBA movement – drew upon this earlier period of political self-consciousness and activism. An important legacy of historical and academic texts are recognised now, in the deployment of archives, a re-engagement with feminism and attention to the particularities of discourse, within practices in 2014.

The exhibition Your Tongue in my Mouth  serves as an accompaniment to Esther Windsor’s curatorial PhD research study at Kingston University entitled Ugly Beast, a curator’s novel telling the story of a series of art world characters on the therapist’s couch, including a teacher, an artist, a dealer and a gallery director. Cut loose from institutions, families, structures, ways of thinking, knowing and even speaking, the novel’s characters struggle to find a voice and self-determination.

Nicole Wermers

The London Shape is the name attributed to the particular shape of teapots and cups characterized by a fanciful design, based upon Grecian ornamentation, that appeared in 1812 to almost instant popularity and became dominant over the common Bute by 1820.

An observer of urban life, artist and Stanley Picker Fellow  Nicole Wermers  (now nominated for the Turner Prize 2015) has consistently directed her attention to the subtle changes in public space and the elements of its evolving design. Her works have reflected upon the design of department store security gates, anti-slip plates, modular office furniture, ashtrays or dispensers. Whilst these components of public space are subject to shifting fashions, their perpetual presence both disciplines and determines our behaviour in everyday life.

Over the course of her Stanley Picker Fellowship – during which time she has been intrigued by the suburban location of the Stanley Picker Gallery and the late modernist Picker House, and their remoteness from the urban centre of London – Wermers has continued to investigate how the formal language of modernism has influenced the design of everyday objects and how one can render this influence visible by changes in perspective, dimension and form.The artist’s recent special commission for Tate Britain consists of a double-fronted coffee spoon entitled Manners, integrated into the otherwise generic cutlery in the new Café and Members Room. A recent series of sculptures called Abwaschskulpturen (Dishwashing Sculptures), are arrangements of antique porcelain, common earthenware and metallic kitchen devices placed inside modified dishwasher baskets to create formal compositions that fit precisely on top of white plinths. The choice of these often bizarre combinations are based both on formal criteria and the functional possibilities of stacking, whilst the final works can be read as emphatic references to the history of still life in painting.

For The London Shape the artist is producing a series of new sculptural works made with sheets of plate-glass laid out on trestles and featuring sculptural door pulls, knobs and handles each designed by Wermers herself. Seemingly extracted from an urban architectural context, these frame-less doors complete with attached hardware, also feature graphic posters, promotional and security stickers. The de-contextualisation of the objects and their shift from vertical to horizontal, release the doors and handles of their prescribed functionality and amplify their sculptural and material qualities.


Q&A Event: 6pm Wednesday 5 March / All Welcome
Boudicca in conversation with Jonathan Faiers, author of Dressing Dangerously: Dysfunctional Fashion in Film

Boudicca is an avant-garde studio, founded in 1997 by Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby, whose innovative work eloquently yet disobediently explores the creative territories between and beyond the worlds of art and design. Initially showing through galleries and exhibition spaces, Boudicca went on to present collections in London and New York, becoming the first independent British fashion house to be invited as a guest member of the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2007.

Boudicca’s fearlessly uncompromising working methods are both meticulously considered and emotionally charged. The duo’s richly researched work takes direct reference from cultural and political history, science and technology, nature and landscape, exploring the tailored silhouette whilst simultaneously exploiting a multitude of new disciplines – including 3D printing, processing, coding, film and chrono-photography – in an effort to examine, re-define, deconstruct and atomise fashion and identity. They strive for all their work to cause collision and rupture in known landscapes in order to create upheaval, describing their practice as ‘a hunt for the invisible’, a casting up of all possibilities, experiments, history, identity, design, landscape, sound, body, breath, narrative, to form an alchemic persuasion new to ourselves.

For their Stanley Picker Fellowship, Boudicca have been exploring the continued integration of digital imaging and the moving image as expressive mediums within their wider studio practice. Referencing the cultural history of the Gallery’s island-location and the surrounding Hogsmill River – its upstream river banks immortalised in Sir John Everett Millais renowned painting Ophelia (1851-52) – The Liquid Game is an immersive audio-visual installation that exploits the architecture of the Gallery, provoking a sensory response in the viewer that highlights their corporal presence in the exhibition space.

Boudicca have previously presented work at the Royal Opera House, Kensington Palace, Haunch of Venison Yard and Somerset House in London, FIT New York, Centraal Museum Amsterdam and Arnhem Biennale. Their work was recently shown in Fashioning the Object at The Arts Institute of Chicago (2012) and in Glasstress with the London College of Fashion in Venice and London (2013), and was selected by Dr. Valerie Steele for her Greatest Designers A-Z published by Taschen (2013).

Anat Ben-David

Live Performance: 7pm Wednesday 15 January 2014 / All Welcome

MeleCh is a new audio-visual installation by artist, performer and Chicks on Speed band-member Anat Ben-David, comprising a triptych of screens featuring mythical singing characters in perpetual movement, presented alongside a photo-collage demonstrating Body Image Exercise; a callisthenic technique devised by the artist to interact directly with the camera.

The installation and associated live event are accompanied by a 12″ vinyl edition and printed booklet, available for sale directly from Stanley Picker Gallery as a standard black vinyl edition (£15) and special-edition signed yellow vinyl (£30).

The works presented in MeleCh – the Hebrew word for King – have been developed using an improvisational method of speaking or singing words into a sound oscillator and observing their rhythmic effects. The sonic patterns created trigger new ideas about what words to utter and how they might be performed. The themes developed are then constructed into visual narratives through choreographed body movements performed for the camera in a process the artist has named OperaArt.

This working method, honed during Ben-David’s current PhD research at Kingston University, is based on biomechanics and performance improvisation that entails a form of subjective bifurcation; the artist split into the two entities of performer and producer by distancing herself from both her body and voice through interacting with digital interfaces.