East Anglia Records

A night of ‘alright, hows it going?’ with East Anglia Records and friends at SET, Mar 30

9 March 2017

The East Anglia Records and friends exhibition is on at London’s SET, opening March 30 and running to April 5.

London-based collective East Anglia Records is hosting a night of ‘alright, hows it going?’ to mark the beginning of their exhibition, featuring work by members Sarah Boulton, Fred Duffield, James Lowne, Ulijona Odišarija (Sweatlana), Harriet Rickard and Harry Bix.

The exhibition space will take the form of a room conceived by Odišarija and built by East Anglia Records, where Duffield will perform on the opening evening amongst the other works, along with the screening of a new film by Harriet Rickard. 

See the East Anglia Records website for details.**

  share news item

Oddly Drawn Object @ Haunt Gallery, Oct 26 – Nov 27

24 October 2016

The Oddly Drawn Object group exhibition is on at London’s Haunt gallery, opening October 26 and running to November 27.

Curated by Rebecca Dick, the show features work by Anna Reading, Lotte Scott and Hattie Moore, with a music take over from East Anglia Records.

Bringing together print, sculpture and video, the works re-imagine the properties of objects, and the potential for shift into an “unusual form, growing or melting or seemingly formless, reminiscent of the organic and translated between dimensions.”

The opening night will be host to DJ Sets by (the headliner) Papa Limes with old school hip-hop, a selection by Sweatlana, “rhythm and disappointment” with DJ H.Bix  and ‘Songs to remember’ by P Flouncy.

See the Haunt gallery website for details.**

 

 

  share news item

Rhythm and Disappointment launch @ Chalton Gallery, Jul 31

29 July 2016

East Anglia Records is launching a new compilation, Rhythm and Disappointment at London’s Chalton Gallery on July 31.

The album, featuring Benedict Drew, Ziad Nagy, Katarzyna Perlak, and Ruth Waters, among others, will become available for download on the night at the East Anglia Records bandcamp. There will also be performances at the gallery by Leo Nibz, Madeleine Stack, Nadja Voorham and Mark William Lewis in rooms designed by Fred Duffield and Ulijona Odišarija.

The music label and self-proclaimed ‘originator’ of the term ‘Rhythm & Disappointment’ (R&D), founded by artist Harry Bix, began as a series of music performance nights at Slade School of Art in 2015. The project, revolving around the notion of “wanting more and giving up”, has since put on a number of other events and released a handful of compilations, including one in parallel with the NO SCREENING performance at London’s ICA in collaboration with with artist Cristine Brache and SOUNDS LIKE.

See the FB event page for details.**

Harry Bix. Courtesy East Anglia Records.
Harry Bix. Courtesy East Anglia Records, London.
  share news item

Listening back to No Screening

26 May 2016

There’s something illicit about sitting in the dark with a group of strangers; something anticipatory. It allows a fantasy of privacy, of intimacy, even as the person who speaks remains behind the curtain that will not open. I think, at first, that I’m imagining this effect; that the performers at No Screening at London’s ICA on May 13 —co-curated by Cristine Brache, Cassandre Greenberg and Harry Bix —must have been in another room backstage. Eventually I spot shadows moving behind the curtain. I’m not imagining. There’s a bare shard of light, almost imperceptible.

This is only a hunch, but it feels like human beings of the ‘post-internet’ are less primed to be skeptical of aural information, of the ancient feeling of being told a story. Maybe it’s a primeval instinct, where the most important thing is how the story is told.

I wonder whether the performers feel the backstage feeling of childhood before a concert, it emanates suddenly a kind of sleepover feeling, like an allowance, outside of normal time. The room is comfortably expansive, not cavernous, and just the right temperature. Without other distractions, these things matter.

Harry Bix opens the performances with ‘Liquid Luther Vandross’. I think, that’s a magician’s impeccable timing. The darkness lasts just a few moments too long before his voice cuts in. He sings the post-disco soul singer’s ‘Never Too Much’ in a voice oscillating between tender and cheeky, Oh my love, a thousand kisses from you are never too much.

Mary Vettise’s ‘So it was the same for me as everybody else’ walks the audience through the house of an ex-boyfriend. It has some of the affect of a dream where you keep discovering rooms in a place you thought you knew by heart. Giving less information feels more confident, to trust the listener to build the story in their mind unhindered by specifics of time and place.

No Screening was organised as a response to ICA’s current exhibition, Martine Syms’ Fact & Trouble. Some performers seem to interact more with the US artist’s focus on gesture and the media, particularly Shenece Oretha’s ‘Sounding the Margin: (Inter)mission to James Brown’s Bridge’ and Ana Maria Soubhia & Rhoda Boateng’s ‘It’s Ahead’. Both use the voice in a way that feels research-based or archival, communal maybe, as opposed to the personal narrative mode of other works. Stripped of all identity markers, the performers or their proxies step in and out of accent, song, rhyme and tone.

Unlike a sound piece in a gallery, which the viewer can move through at will, the No Screening performance capitalizes on its sense of movie-time: not an individual choice but a collective agreement to time spent. The accompanying compilation album, available for free download from East Anglia Records, declines to reproduce the event, but rather contains some variations of works performed on the night, and other new or parallel ones.

As the program progresses, certain recordings blend into one another; with layers of different voices, music and echo, loops and pauses. I lose track of who’s speaking the dark. Sarah Boulton’s contribution, however, is unmistakeable: a single clear voice, reading without embellishment. It makes her small poems into objects that could almost be held in the mouth: a bird wing, a pearl, a bruise.

Ulijona Odišarija’s ‘End of Summer International’ appears the same in both the performance and on the album —a melancholy track of crows and overheard pop songs —apart from the presence of the artist at the back of the room. She is dancing slowly behind the audience, lit by a single small spotlight. It is almost too romantic, save for being seen by almost nobody.

Deprived of all other visual stimulus, I become obsessed with the glowing green icon of the exit sign. In the dark, the remaining senses become hyper-aware: my friend’s cardigan sleeve brushing against my bare arm makes me jump. On the hour, a few peoples’ watches go beep, beep. I’m aware of every gesture, hush, and shuffle. What darkness allows for is a moving through of space in the mind, an awareness of distance and proximity. Certain things, un-visible, become hard to prove.

Being told stories in this way feels childlike. It cuts through the sophisticated visual classification system necessary to build up as armour against an environment oversaturated with imagery. In short, a tale feels true when it’s told. When I got outside onto The Mall, near London’s Trafalgar Square, it is still just barely light and I’m surprised at the faces of the people around me. Echoing the earlier words of Mary Vetisse, “The world looked just the same except it didn’t and it wasn’t.”**

The No Screening sound and performance event was on at London’s ICA on May 13, 2016.

Header image: No Screening compilation cover art (2016). Courtesy East Anglia Records, London.

  share news item

An overview of Frieze 2015 on the fringe

23 October 2015

The thing about Frieze London 2015 is that it’s kind of going on or happening anyway, even if you don’t go to it. You don’t need to go to the big ‘thing’ because you know it’s happening. It sort of frames something and allows things outside of that frame to use its edges and say – we’re doing this, thanks for the frame, ‘cos we gonna do another thing’ [sic]. So you walk around and bus around and get a sense of the state of things in relation to the big ‘thing’ that hovers in the mind. It sort of presides over the whole experience until, if you keep walking far enough, on the fringes, you can turn around and it’s almost gone.

Walking up Kingsland road into Hannah Perry’s show Mercury Retrograde at Seventeen Gallery might seem like walking into a shop. Not a shop to buy things but a dead shop that communicates through arrangement and display. There is music playing whilst looking, cut up pieces of ambience, and then beats come on. The gallery is divided by hanging rubber latex, dark cherry red, that allocate areas where things are on display –pieces of printed and painted aluminium. ‘I don’t want you to feel like I have the dominance over anyone’ (2015) shows an image of a cracked and smashed iPhone printed onto corrugated aluminium. I look at my cracked and smashed iPhone and think  –‘this is how I find out about the big things’. A series of four works, ‘Gas Lighting 3, 6, 2 and 1’ (2015), are pieces of dented and punched out aluminium sheets immaculately finished in autobody enamel, the cherry reds and blueberry colours matching the hanging latex. In front of these sitting on the floor, ‘Will You Be Topless’ (2015) is what looks like part of a wrecked car, again with a perfect gloss finish of cherry red autobody paint and a piece of rubber draped over it. If this is a shop then now it’s a workshop –a car spray and repair shop.

Hannah Perry, Mercury Retrograde (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Seventeen, London.
Hannah Perry, Mercury Retrograde (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Seventeen, London.

Then travel to Evelyn Yard, to see Jamie Jenkinson’s show Video. The press release speaks of Jenkinson’s interest in ‘digital phenomena’ and his ongoing investigation into expanded cinema. Before I get much time to look around one of the gallerists comes to tell me as much about the show as possible, talking about the importance for the artist of ‘information transfer’ and the ‘glitches’ and ‘noise’ that occur in this process. The centrepiece, ‘Colour Correction’ (2015) is a projected colour field that shifts its colour hue slowly over ninety minutes. This work and all the other video pieces were shot on iPhone 6 which I am told is important for the artist because of its everyday relation to the body. Because everyone has iPhones. A monitor on the floor shows ‘Net Storage’ (2015), a durational still(-ish) close shot of a piece of netting –the pun opening up a dialogue on how things can be stored: as objects –what things can slip through the netting? Or data –what information is lost in the transfer to the iPhone? Whether the artist agrees with the ‘information transfer’ spiel or not is unclear, what is more apparent in the show is an interest in the formal qualities of film/video and (expanded) cinema. ‘Digital phenomena’ may be casting too broad a net.

 Jamie Jenkins, Video (2015). Photo by Tom Carter. Courtesy Evelyn Yard, London.
Jamie Jenkins, Video (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Tom Carter. Courtesy Evelyn Yard, London.

I get on a bus and go to Cabinet gallery for the opening of Mark Leckey’s new work ‘Dream English Kid 1964 – 1999 AD’ (2015). The place was pretty packed and the bus stop outside was like some sort of hang out if you were either waiting for the 243 or waiting to get into the gallery. I go inside and from the surround sound system I hear the words, spoken through some NASA style intercom, “3 – 2 – 1 – Mark” and so begins a journey through found footage of The Beatles, NASA rockets, British public information broadcasts and Joy Division gigs. The film is kind of a biopic. The artist’s memories of mediated events re-found as images now feel like they can transcend any ‘real’ memory, creating a kind of new ‘present’ memory. A scene from a 1970s public information broadcast shows a frisbee landing precariously on an electricity pylon, one of several references to electrical energy in the film –and the subtext running through the work could be amplification. From Joy Division’s electric guitars through to the saturation of images that comes with digital technology, it folds back to the amplification of the memory to something greater than a dream.

Mark Leckey, Dream English Kid (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy Cabinet, London.
Mark Leckey, ‘Dream English Kid, 1964-1999 AD’ (2015). Installation view. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy Cabinet, London.

At Pilar Corrias is a huge wall size projection of the latest moving image work by New York-based artist Ian Cheng, who in 2012 created a 3D animated music video for Liars, where humans and rabbit characters dance and twist and rip and tear apart from their rigs. The current exhibition, Emissary Forks At Perfection, continues Cheng’s distinct imagery and colour pallet. Out of the grey landscape, orange dogs play and speak and chase a corpse like a humanoid avatar through vibrant green foliage and littered water bottles. Beyond the surface qualities is the interesting fact that this work is a ‘live simulation’ of ‘infinite duration’. A flow chart on the wall when you come in seems to hint at the complex algorithmic procedures that might be at play, with the quite funny headline, ‘Horizon of volatile uncertain complex ambiguity (VUCA)’. The press release says ‘a story may escape its classical fixity and indefinitely procrastinate its conclusion’, so I wondered if they shut the power off at night.

Ian Cheng, Emissary Forks at Perfection (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Pilar Corrias, London.
Ian Cheng, Emissary Forks at Perfection (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Pilar Corrias, London.

I walk to Deptford to get to Res. Here artists Laura Morrison and Beatrice Loft Schulz are working as part of a project called Bain Marie. “What does Bain Marie mean?” I say to Schulz. She tells me it could be something like a thing that melts chocolate slowly so as not to burn it, kind of warming it up. I started to think that the space they have started creating is having the same effect. Some rubber tiles cover part of the floor and arranged across them are plenty of books that the artists had brought with them –novels, Finnish poetry, theory –all sorts. Over the other side of the room are a couple of portable old fabric and wooden makeshift beds, upon which each has a vintage dress draped over it. The materiality of the objects creates a sense of warmth in the space –paper, wood, fabric, nylon. Also drawings are being made onto veneered wood –a fox, a map of slow worms, a vagina, an arsehole. Both artists seem reluctant to consider it a collaboration, preferring to state that they are working on their own separate things. This strikes me as interesting, a beginning point for a discussion on the nature of collaboration and what it means to even state the word in different situations. Schulz mentions the notion of ‘the collaborators’ during wartime. A performance event is planned for October 30 and, I believe, should be highly recommended.

Beatrice Loft Schulz, 'Bain Marie' (2015). Installation view. Courtesy Res., London.
Beatrice Loft Schulz and Laura Morrison, ‘Bain Marie’ (2015). Installation view. Courtesy Res., London.

Then I walk to Peckham to get to Assembly Point to an event from East Anglia Records. EAR is an ongoing project by Harry Bix which started at the Slade School with his ‘album launch’ nights. Here, at Assembly Point, the lights have been turned off and there is a smoke machine and a stall to buy EAR branded merchandise. The place is pretty rammed. Taylor Smith reads some beat style poetry about curry clubs and petrol stations, Harley Kuyck Cohen animates a talking Toby Jug with a torch. Lea Collet presented ‘Ricardo’ in drag brandishing a screen in front of another screen. Audience participation gets interesting with Richard Seaholme’s longer piece –interesting because of the audience’s growing disinterest and Seaholme’s manner in which he continues on regardless, occasionally telling the crowd to shut the fuck up. Leaving before the end I missed the performance by Ulijona Odišarija. I had seen a previous incarnations of the work –the artist posed enigmatically in front of a camera to the soundtrack of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’, while the image is simultaneously broadcast on a screen. I get in touch with the artist to ask how it went this time. “It’s basically the same as before but I was more of Sweatlana this time with a JLo-esque weave and spotlight in my face.” Who is Sweatlana, then? “She is sort of cool, sitting in the spotlight with a lot of drama in her face and all eyes on her”.

Thinking about “all eyes on the spotlight” I think that if the light shines too bright then you can get stuck in the glare of its presence –the big ‘thing’. But transiting the streets by phone light allows smaller things to become much brighter. **

Click arrow, top right, for exhibition photos.

Frieze Art Fair runs in London’s Regent’s Park annually in October. The fringe events happen elsewhere.

 Header image: Sweatlana. Courtesy Ulijona Odišarija.

  share news item