The AESTHETICS OF DISHONESTY group project is on at London’s Diaspore, opened October 7 and running to November 2.
Happening in five parts, the project brings together a series of events, performances and installations that explore “genetic transfer, parasitic systems and the technique of camouflage,” with the schedule as follows:
– Gabriel Stones presents site-specific installation exploring “fitting in, copying, structures and relationships,” Oct 7
– Jolien van Schagen + Sinead O’Dwyer explore the relationship they have with their body “through food, object, garments & performance” in ‘Wandering Wombs,’ Oct 15
– Pop-up online radio station VVFA will feature a “series of conversations performed live between fictional characters,” Oct 21
London-based curator Anne Duffau introduces us to her platform A- – -Z as well as StudioRCA Riverlight. Working on the programme for this coming year, the series will be looking at the notion of the ‘other’, bodies and public spaces, cybernetic/women and technology, exploring the possible changes to questioning and rethinking our future as well as our past.
Or be divided,
By those who see you as prey.
Or be destroyed.”
― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower, 1993
I have been running an exploratory curatorial platform named A- – -Z for the past five years. One of the main aims is to push boundaries in what an exhibition could be, as well as what curating means – (I sometimes prefer the word cultural producer). Playing on language and words, A- – -Z is a morphic entity, it infiltrates unusual spheres, a bit like a virus. Flexible in its format, it offers a platform for practitioners to trigger experiments – looking at what’s happening in art, speculative design, music, ecology and more.
This first event set the tone for an interest in sci-fi and fiction in order to address current issues. A- – -Z disseminates works through printed matter to create alternative distribution streams, using formats such as postcards, B—Beyond with Jon Rafman or a calendar Days of the Nones with 12 artists including Emma Hart, Markus Water, Alix Marie, Tai Shani and Doggerland, or a newspaper with the fashion designer Dinu Bodiciu and Kabukimono.
For the past year, A- – -Z has been based in Nine Elms in a space called StudioRCA Riverlight, at the bottom of apartment towers close to Vauxhall. Exhibitions, discussions, and performances including DJ-ing, large-format video projections and dance have been taking place throughout. From May 2016 to September 2017, A- – -Z presented the Dusk Exhibition Series with Ifekoya, Daniel Shanken, Rehana Zaman, Chooc Ly Tan, Heather McCalden, Imran Perretta, Johann Arens, Karolina Lebek and Susannah Stark. The invited artists showed newly commissioned videos and installations for a month each, to be experienced from outside the gallery space – fully visible only during the dark hours, and shown for the first time in London. A performance and/or talk introduced the project and focused on themes including transgender, sci-fi and the post-human.
Another series I’m working on is an ongoing curatorial collaboration with the artist Tai Shani called Dark Water. So far we made two large-scale events at CGP Gallery/Dilston Grove named ‘Dark Water’ and ‘Dark Water: The Dead of Night’ – these were designed to present evenings of performances and screenings around Sci-Fi, gender, the contemporary gothic and extending our ongoing research into the notions of amorphous body through technology and inner space.
A- – -Z has made a special selection for AQNB of what it’s been currently listening to and interested in – a mood board of the instant / picks of the present:
Victoria Sin is doing something unique and they explain their aims so poetically and clearly that this video should be played on public transports and in pubs: “The labour of femininity isn’t only the performance, it’s perseverance in the face of our ascribed and inscribed precarity. It’s the struggle to be respected and have our agencies recognized. When I decide to take up space it is often seen as rude to those who are used to be making myself small.”
This talk with Angela Davis and Judith Butler on inequality moderated by Ramona Naddaff is very current and urgent – it also shows how much work is to be done in terms of including people with impairments and disabilities to public events.