Cell Project Space

Kate Mackeson + Henrik Potter @ Cell Project Space, Nov 17 – Jan 15

15 November 2016

Kate Mackeson and Henrik Potter are presenting joint exhibition Landlords are not currently collecting rent in self-love at London’s Cell Project Space, opening November 17 and running to January 15.

Curated by Francesca von Zedtwitz-Arnim (co-founder of project space MARS! in Munich  and Almanac Projects in London) the show situates itself within the premise of self-love and self-care, bringing attention to the ‘Landlord’ of life and how to cope with the everyday struggle of uncertainty and precarity. Focusing on self-preservation, the two London-based artists will explore contrasting feelings of ‘fluid interconnectedness’ as well as feelings of ‘muteness’. 

There will also be an accompanying text by Rose O’Gallivan.

See the Cell Project Space website for details.**

Kate Mackeson, 'Everybody on the island was someone from tv', (2015). Oil on aluminium. Courtesy the artist.
Kate Mackeson, ‘Everybody on the island was someone from tv’, (2015). Oil on aluminium. Courtesy the artist.


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Aude Pariset @ Cell Project Space, Sep 22 – Nov 6

21 September 2016

Aude Pariset is presenting solo exhibition Greenhouses at London’s Cell Project Space, opening September 22 and running to November 6.

The Berlin-based artist presents a new body of work for her first UK solo show that addresses the contrast between “clinical representations of science, conservation, and heritage alongside the natural ferocity of decomposing organic matter”. Pariset questions notions of sustainability, whether ecological, cultural or emotional.

The motivations for what should be preserved or discarded are an underlying conflict between collective and individual interests, as the preservation of data and critical waste management is an increasing concern.

In addition to the formal and material experiments with new sculpture and photographic image distribution, Pariset incorporates organic properties, such as live mealworms together with home-made bio-plastic.

See the Cell Projects Space website for more details.**

Aude Pariset @ Cell Project Space, Sep 23 - Nov 6

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New Noveta @ Cell Project Space, Jul 21

18 July 2016

New Noveta will be presenting new work Govore at Cell Project Space on July 21.

The performance artist duo are showing as a part of the exhibition currently on at the East London gallery, is it rude or polite to leave the room, featuring work by Leslie Kulesh and Nina Cristante, and will leave a permanent mark on the show for the remainder of its duration, according to the press release.

New Noveta recently performed at Berlin’s Sandy Brown, which aqnb reviewed, and which saw the duo, Keira Fox and Ellen Freed dancing chaotically and screaming over the intense accompanying soundtrack. At the upcoming event, they are collaborating with Vindicatrix, who’s music is described as hypnotic and wonderful and who has previously worked with artists Morag Keil and Georgie Nettell.

See the Cell Project Space website for more details.**

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Sidsel Meineche Hansen + Nils Norman @ The Old Operating Theatre, May 11

9 May 2016

London’s Cell Project Space is presenting a conversation between artists Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Nils Norman at The Old Operating Theatre on May 11.

The discussion comes as part of Cell’s current exhibition A Partition, running to June 12, organised by Rebecca Lewin and featuring video piece ‘All Doors and No Exits’ by Josh Bitelli, which is installed across two locations: the gallery itself and The Old Operating Theatre, where the conversation will take place.

The artists will discuss two group-based projects: Norman’s Parasite (1997-8), which was “a self-organised activity that piggybacked specific art institutional infrastructures in exchange for content provision”, and Hansen’s ‘CULTURAL CAPITAL COOPERATIVE OBJECT #1’ (2016) made with the artists Manuela Gernedel, Alan Michael, Georgie Nettell, Oliver Rees, Matthew Richardson, Gili Tal and Lena Tutunjian.

Taking as its model the difference between a partition and a parasite outlined in a text by Michael Serres, the exhibition and this discussion are centred around current thoughts that are arguably prevalent in Contemporary Art and amongst its artists about partitioning away from systems and providing alternatives contexts to make and be in, if not, at least, in the form of expressed desires.

See the Cell Project Space website for more details.**

Gili Tal, PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE CITY. (2014). Exhibition view. Courtesy Sandy Brown, Berlin.
Gili Tal, PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE CITY. (2014). Exhibition view. Courtesy Sandy Brown, Berlin.


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A Partition @ Cell Project Space, Apr 28 – June 12

27 April 2016

Exhibition and event series, A Partition, co-ordinated by London’s Cell Project Space and featuring a solo presentation by artist Josh Bitelli is on across two locations, opening April 28 and running to June 12.

In the gallery, London-based Bitelli will show a new video work that presents a combination of scripted and improvised actions performed by a group of healthcare professionals, which gradually begins to disintegrate the more learned knowledge is applied (and prescribed by systems of care).

Meanwhile, in The Old Operating Theatre, a few miles away, there will be a series of events initiated by curator Rebecca Lewin with contributions from Sidsel Meineche HansenNils Norman and others.

A Partition will examine and unpick ideas of transactional exchanges within the art world and society at large, taking its title from philosopher Michal Serres’ text, The Parasite, which describes a parasite as a key agent in social and economic relations because of the way they affect the behaviours of those around them, making them a crucial catalyst in the evolution of said relations. A partition, on the other hand is something —or someone —separate from these systems.

Artist and producer Hansen has invited Nils Norman to discuss projects, ‘Norman’s Parasite’ (1997-8), a self-organised activity that piggybacked specific art-institutional infrastructures in exchange for content provision, and will also introduce to this unusually structured show the group-based project, CULTURAL CAPITAL COOPERATIVE OBJECT #1 (2016), who are a part of Hansen’s current show Second Sex War at Gasworks, which aqnb recently reviewed.

See the Cell Project Space exhibition page for more details.**

Josh Bitelli, Tara Has No Rooms Inside (2015) installation view. Courtesy the artist.
Josh Bitelli, Tara Has No Rooms Inside (2015). Installation view. Courtesy the artist.
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Dan Walwin, Winds (2015) exhibition photos

13 April 2016

Winds, a solo exhibition by Netherlands-based artist Dan Walwin, presented an installation of video, sound and objects at Cell Project Space, running September 19 to November 1, 2015. Highly detailed yet unresolved, various technologies and media are staged in the space. Re-routing familiar information, arrangements of sound and mobile phone footage of particular landscapes sit alongside the omnipresence of human intervention.

In addition to the work, the press release includes a text that goes in and out of clarity:

“/ work is done in an emotional space that I’m alive. It SA Back representation
surrounding the mirror. (Specific Guetting; in the use of signs, trash cans, not
, to the eye, become a disturbing object, I MA Walker, I walk, my eye picks
, stuff that get a second life use in my mind .. .)

Daniel Walwin, Winds (2015). Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection + Cell Project Space, London.
Daniel Walwin, Winds (2015). Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection + Cell Project Space, London.

s practical in the emotional space that I’m alive. Sa representation of copies
ound the mirror. (Guetting specific; the use of signs, trash cans, do not go to
e eye, and become sexy object of concern, and I MA Walker, and I walk, my
es pick up things that you get to use Second Life in my mind …)”

Through architectural interventions, the space is transformed into a metal framework of wooden panels protruding from the wall. The purpose of the partitions are left unclear and the elaborate fixtures are given no purpose. Defying categorisation, scale and orientation are also disrupted within the videos and the exhibition places itself between innovation and invasion of a particular, visceral space.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

Dan Walwin’s Winds was on at London’s Cell Project Space, running from September 18 to November 1, 2015.

Header image: Daniel Walwin, Winds (2015). Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection + Cell Project Space, London.

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Sarah Boulton @ Cell Project Space, Feb 6

4 February 2016

Sarah Boulton‘s Take Away Dove event is on at London’s Cell Project Space, on the morning of February 6.

The London-based artist presents a new body of work, which starts at 7am just before the day begins and as natural light starts to unfold. The work will explore moments of inclusivity, engaging and implying its audience directly or with distance, or both.

There will also be some hot ginger to drink.

See Cell Project’s webpage for more details**

Sarah Boulton, wing poem on wall at Unna Way (2015). Courtesy the artist and Unnaway.
Sarah Boulton, wing poem on wall at Unna Way (2015). Courtesy the artist and Unna Way.




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An interview with Lars TCF Holdhus

27 November 2015

Artist-producer Lars TCF Holdhus and I meet briefly at the C0 FE E2 57 4E E1 77 78 1E B7 C5 ED 25 0C F5 22 event at London’s Cell Project Space where he presented a series of t-shirts made with designer Victor Robyn that carry on their fronts different messages written in code and only knowable by the artist himself. I think about people entering a space and leaving it with their knowledge of something kept at bay, levelled and distanced. You can pick which t-shirt you want based on aesthetic taste but you know that you don’t know what it means. Around the room in the corners are four speakers playing a soundtrack that is at times delicate and, as I write in my notes, like a baby alien coming to life, and at other times intense and difficult to listen to.

Holdus and I speak on Skype the following evening and he laughingly tells me that people were carrying things for him that could be, for example, his passport details. We speak about the potential inherent in the moment of reveal: that even without disclosing the coded cryptography and the message itself, the power and weight in the work is like, as he says, “carrying a box that is locked”.


There is a notable amount of description online around or underneath music tracks by Holdhus that have been embedded into various download sites. Contradictions like ‘cold’, ‘human’, ‘deep’ are all used in small paragraphs. It’s a bit like when people try to understand and find words for what something tastes like. You can’t truly describe it, you can’t get that close. His tracks are titled in code, like the title of the event at Cell Project Space. It makes me wonder about the act of searching for something online and following deposited parts as though someone was leaving a powdered trace behind them. So before exploring his sounds, his automatic interview bot and image series in worded detail in my mind, I wanted to speak with him personally to understand something more of the distance and thus depth created in his practice by his work and his titles.

Interestingly, explanation and clarification are things that the artist is not that interested in. Several times he tells me he has no opinion on whether or not people need to know the encoded meaning of his t-shirts and also the work-process behind his imagery or music. There is no set or patterned system employed in relation to the information surrounding his work. It’s not like the image or music (the surface, which, in Holdus’ work is actually a deep cross section) is encountered in one space; the writing around it always in another. He makes his own system of information sharing for each work. It’s addressed and received uncomfortably because the flow of that information is disconnected and the systems unknown but, as Holdus says, it’s much more interesting this way.

I think about the comparison between Holdus’ practice and cryptography, and making and experiencing art in general. As he tells me, “I’m not so much into communicating something. I like art as a way to delve into something deep.”

The aesthetic of this kind of practice is intriguing: how and why does it have a certain stylistic quality if it is mainly a collection of actual data and visual research brought forward into the foreground of the image or the music? Some of Holdus’ pieces are soft and beautiful. At Cell Project Space the black t-shirts hold a font that is in dark grey Italics, the interview bot comes back with the occasional medieval, organic font to front its coded reply…

…Lars TCF Holdus: I don’t know; I mean there are some that are less beautiful.

Okay, show me?

LTH: Yeah this is an outline of my handwriting. All my work is very inter-referential, its chaos for people to try and understand. It’s basically me just having fun.


Could you talk a bit about the idea of creating depth in relation to this image? The ‘T, T, A, A, C, C’ letters make sections on the print and let you understand that there is something going on behind what you are seeing. To not know something, you still have to know that you are not knowing something.

Lars TCF Holdus: Yeah, you have to understand at least some parts of it to understand that something actually exists. I build systems like this, and there is always something inside the work that you will never know exists.

Physically? I mean, not just research behind something that doesn’t make it into the image…

LTH: For me it deals with language and the basic mutual understanding of language and codes and signs and signifiers. It interests me to mess with that. In art you have to agree on so many aspects of language,

…like, tropes?

LTH: Yes, so there is a very simplistic language in use. It doesn’t interest me much, because everyone’s like, ‘look, that’s what it means because you and I know share a basic understanding of meaning (I get your work and I get my work)’. It doesn’t expand the language of art. My goal is to make my own system that just refers to itself.

Perhaps this is what makes the feeling of depth underneath your works. Underneath and behind, rather than in the moment of interpretation that goes back into the world.

TCF: I don’t have the need to tell people what to do or how to think. I’m more interested in reflection, so that people make their own mind up about things.

Can you define reflection more in this way?

LTH: I don’t want to be too directive. I don’t believe in a world that functions by this principle (I haven’t seen it work like this). I’m just going to present what I have.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 16.32.26

Could you talk more about the direction of exportation then, in relation to this? I mean, also that maybe other people continue to do the work in their own mind/space after or upon it being presented, like a song or something.

LTH: For the project at Cell specifically, it related to these guys in the 90s that produced t-shirts that people could wear with cryptography on them, which was illegal to export from the US. So my project was basically to say, ‘look how ridiculous it is to make this illegal’. And then [David] Cameron was recently suggesting to re-introduce the laws that would open backdoors into all of this. So the project was also about the idea of history being repetitive, or actually, rhyming. The t-shirts we made were kind of an homage to the original ones…

… an homage to code in code. Then t-shirts (in general) get left as these weird things, it makes you think that they have power, and potential future power or something… I suppose this is why in the physical space at Cell you had them hanging around the room, both as though they were merchandise in a high street/pop up shop but also ghosts. What about if someone takes an image of the t-shirt so that the cryptography is inside a photograph as well, is the code’s power just in seeing it?

LTH: I mean, no. Because I have all the keys to each message on each t-shirt. They are all different.

They carry knowledge.

LTH: One could carry my passport number…

…but they also carry knowledge in that the viewer knows that you know. They carry knowledge in itself because it the code is unknown at this time – it is still just knowledge.

TCF: It’s about awareness of these underlying systems surrounding us all the time. The titles to my songs are like this. The songs are all encrypted and could change meaning if I wanted to say what the codes would really mean.

And also if you decided to change the meaning of the encryption keys themselves. The potential is the thing.

LTH: I like that you can speculate.

Lars TCF Holdus DNA

Do you feel relief when people have your codes?

LTH: No, I feel weird. I feel really uncomfortable. It’s very strange to make something that people wear. I’m not used to this: that people have a personal relationship with these things that are really personal to me. I guess this is a part of fashion that people never really think about. What of the fashion designer gets embedded? People offer you a lot of trust.  

So what happens when the code on the t-shirt fades in the wash?

LTH: I like that. **

Lars TCF Holdus is a Berlin-based artist taking part in the PAF Festival of Film Animation and Contemporary Art on in the Czech city of Olomouc, running December 3 to 6, 2015.

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Lars TCF Holdhus + Victor Robyn @ Cell Project Space, Nov 12

11 November 2015

Artist-producer Lars TCF Holdhus and designer Victor Robyn are launching C0 FE E2 57 4E E1 77 78 1E B7 C5 ED 25 0C F5 22 at London’s Cell Project Space for one night only on November 12.

The event is a collaborative work looking at export control issues around computer code and cryptography in a contemporary cybernetic society. Taking the illegal shipping of Joel Furr and James Back’s t-shirts containing “everything you needed to encrypt a piece of information with the use of Perl programming language” in 1996, Holdus and Robyn will present their own encoded merchandise for sale on the night.  

As the US and the UK are calling for the regulation of cryptography by banning any “means of communication” which “we cannot read”, C0 FE E2 57 4E E1 77 78 1E B7 C5 ED 25 0C F5 22 aims to confront its audience with “the fine line between control and freedom”.

See the Cell Project Space website for details.**

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Reflecting on m-Health

11 August 2015

m-Health calms and rejuvenates you. The show, running at London’s Cell Project Space from July 25 to August 2, as a whole is an event that lasts for several days with physical works that feel like place-holders or mood-setters. It begins with a micro-event weekend of four presentations and performances by Norwegian artist Andreas Ervik, yoga and body-extension instructor, Mayan Patel and London based artists, Jonny JJ Winter and Hannah Lees, who give out individual sourdough balls in goody bags after a Sunday evening rooftop baking session.

In Cell Project Spaces main gallery space artist Ian Giles has painted the back wall in faded olive green and there are small ceramic bulb-like bowls with aromatherapy oils burning inside them producing tiny streams that float above the first bench in the show. You’re invited to sit there by the lovely invigilator who provides you with a glass of water when you do. The tiny streams fill the whole room. On the first Saturday during Ervik and Wintersperformances, the aromatherapy oils burn rejuvenating energy for one half of the day, for the second half they burn calming and slowing energy.

Mayan Patel, 'Yoga and Meditation' (2015) Install view. Courtesy SANKE and the artist.
Mayan Patel, ‘Yoga and Meditation’ (2015) Install view. Courtesy SANKE and the artist.

The second bench in the show is one you cant sit on so easily, or at least it references those benches you find in the city: ones too short to fit a tired adult head and legs on; ones fitted out with spikes; ones that refuse any kind of respite. For m-Health, London-based artists Pablo Jones-Soler has set two handled pieces in concrete blocks. They actually look a bit like cots. It’s as though theyd been lifted straight off the road and into this art-spa. Conversely, they might have been those benches taken from a hypothetical ‘how-to-gentrify’ tool kit, set straight into the concrete outside a newly rejuvenated site.

This show, like most good ones, makes you think about things outside of the room, inside of your body and the implications of you, physically – particularly while sitting on Gilesbench. It’s here that the amethyst in Hannah Leescut up repurposed red wine barrels of our life, that temporary eclipse to that other’ (2015) starts to work on you. Because according to ancient myth if one drinks alcohol whilst wearing amethyst close to any part of the body, the alcohol will not take hold. In other words, the inside of the body remains non-toxic.

As though to absorb the event of an art show preview inside a single-bodied artwork, Jonny JJ Winters handmade juice bar offers ~~_`~~(drinks), inscribed in a non-language in mud on a menu hanging above the jigsawed wood. It exists around the back of the rest of the show where it stays: a mess untouched until the close of m-Health. Rotting – but local(!!) – blended fruit sits still after a week with stale olives. The reverse side of Gilesolive green wall has had a mud face-mask but maybe one that is left too long. It’s crumbling. Hangover Drink’ (2015), which is described by the artist as something reverse spherifiedand includes an aggressively added pinch of watercresscould have been you, intoxicated on the inside trying to physically un-do the absorption.

The emphasis (and celebration) of local, immediate rawness is also calmly presented in SANKE, by Andreas Ervik. SANKE, meaning
to gatherin Norwegian, is a brand that makes things like REGN, a perfume that smells like earth after a shower of summer rain, according to the website, where you can purchase items from the different ranges. For m-Health, and live all afternoon on that initial Saturday, Ervik presents and launches the new range alongside a slow, serene promo-video that is fixed to the wall elegantly. SANKE makes you think of the forest. That deep thought alone can work to re-configure something quite animal in you: a bit like when you take a proper and full breath, once in a while. It (the thought) feels a bit like the copper plate that oxidises and re-purifies – and turns bright blue – both Lees’ repurposed red wine barrels and the water inside them that holds Leesrush weeds, floating and alive.

Rachel Reupke provides the second calming video for m-Health. ‘Containing Matters of No Very Peaceable Colour’ (2009) introduces the feeling that bath towels hold in their absorbing softness an intense sense of the body, beautifully and strikingly. Played over the rolling pink hues of folded (stock image) towels is a soundtrack of a list of chanted Google hashtags:

female, couples, domestic, flat, ages: 20-25 years, ages 25-30 years, one woman only, only one woman, family, family with two children” etc.

It’s as though the bath towel is Google and it hugs you as soon as you fit into the right category. Precious body. But also non-specific, it turns out, after you put the headphones down and consider that Google recital, playing on repeat beneath every commodity that’s for sale online.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

m-Health group exhibition was on at London’s Cell Project Space, running from July 25 to August 2, 2015.

Header image: Andreas Ervik, ‘REGN (fragrance of SANKE)’ (2015). Install view. Courtesy SANKE and the artist.

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Columbidae @ Cell Project Space, Mar 26 – May 17

25 March 2015

Cell Project Space brings a new exhibition titled Columbidae, featuring Essex Olivares, Mélanie Matranga, Barbara T. Smith, and Dena Yago, and running at the London space from March 26 to May 17.

The show, curated by Laura McLean-Ferris, is complete with live performances by Essex Olivares, titled ‘Office Riddim’, beginning with the opening night and reoccurring on March 28, April 18, May 2, and on the closing night on May 17.

Columbidae takes the “administrative labour” traditionally associated with office environments as its source of inspiration. Alongside Olivares’s performances are Barbara T. Smith’s Xerox poetry sets created during her dual life as a Pasadena housewife and emerging artist in the 60s, Mélanie Matranga disorienting sceneographies, and Dena Yago’s flatbed scanner images, which she will discuss during a Culture Now talk with McLean-Ferris at the ICA on March 27.

See the exhibition page for details. **


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Keston Sutherland @ Cell Project Space, Feb 21

19 February 2015

British poet Keston Sutherland is coming to Cell Project Space for a performance reading inside Natalie Dray’s current exhibition, starting at 5pm on February 21.

For this performance, Sutherland will be doing a reading from his latest work in progress, titled ‘Jenkins, Moore and Bird’, described as a “metrical proposal for managing the full disclosure of the hidden relationships between the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, sanity, the former Chief Executive of Barclays Capital’s Private Equity Group, the suspended general secretary of UKIP, art, and the dream analogues of the Monte Carlo-based ex-star of ‘For Your Eyes Only'”.

The poet and Professor of Poetics at the University of Sussex has carved out a unique style, blending familiar and classic modes of poetry with slogan-like lyrics of protest, as well as the vernacular of stock market exchange and information technology.

See the event page for details. **


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