New Noveta

Julian-Jakob Kneer presents Jugend ist Trunkenheit ohne Wein with others + a New Noveta performance at Bikini Space, Jan 26

25 January 2018

Julian-Jakob Kneer presents exhibition Jugend ist Trunkenheit ohne Wein at Basel’s Bikini Space opening January 26 and running to February 10. 

There will be a New Noveta performance on the opening night, and the show will include work by over 20 artists including Bora Akinciturk, Kamilla Bischof and Laura Welker, Adam Cruces and Louisa GagliardiYves SchererAmalia Ulman and Marie Lea Lund among others.

Kneer is a Berlin-based artist who recently had a solo show Room E-10 27 at Berlin’s Center and took part in gruppe residency with Nina Kettiger.

Visit the Bikini Space FB page for details.**

  share news item

An extract of ‘Flood’ by Susu Laroche/New Noveta

8 September 2016

Spanning the course of two years, Susu Laroche  and New Noveta opened for the first time their complete study of hysteria in an exhibition, running at London’s Public Exhibitions from September 1 to 25 and including a ‘Seminar on Female Hysteria‘ on September 10. The installation consists four hysterical episodes: ‘Vesmir Peklo’ (2014), ‘17:17′ (2015), ‘Widows’ (2016) and ‘Flood’ (2016), the latter of which is hosted exclusively by aqnb below. Curated by Ed Leezon, the show and the videos deal with depictions and developments in hysteria through moments of destructive crisis.

The London-based artist and duo working under monikers, Susu Laroche (an anagram of Chaos Rules Us) and New Noveta (Ellen Freed and Keira Fox) produced a series of contemporary videos taking visual cues from natural elements such as Earth, Fire, Water and Air, while visually re-staging traditional femme-fatale archetypes from 1940s film noir classics. Projected on large screens on each gallery wall and surrounding a freshly burnt-out fire pit are Fox and Freed enacting seemingly mundane scenarios, like picnicking or wandering aimlessly. Yet the works have a surreal side, similar to a Charlie Chaplin sketch, where their limbs move in exaggerated ways, dressed in matching outfits. Separate but conjoined, they never seem to lose touch with each other’s psyches as they blunder across the frame.

The videos have a strong relationship to cinema in form and medium, where the viewer can see they are partially scripted/choreographed but the action seems real. Like a LARP (Live Action Role Play) New Noveta embody traditional notions of hysteria. Clumsily they fight or try to balance in high heels on wet sand, you see them grow tired or uninterested as they then pick up another prop. One woman empties a full one glass over the hair of the other in a madly though loving caress. The other looks on with admiration. The chaos these characters map throughout the episodes is always presented on flickering black and white celluloid footage with an extreme score produced by London-based producer Ana Caprix that also flits from orchestral cello to ambient electro.

The music narrates the mute bodies and gives further justification to this reenactment, initially when hearing about a female collective exploring hysteria —one can’t help but think of the millions of women that were oppressed by this medical term. It almost exclusively incarcerated women from 1859 onwards into mental asylums because they were deemed unfit for society through their own behaviour due to a physician’s idea on female sexual frustration. This may seem like ancient history but when looking at the still ongoing plight of women in the world and their representation, one notices that the present time is far from progressive when it comes to women and the liberation of themselves by themselves —the videos intentionally map emotional responses to crises and traumatic events as a method kit. Performing Sisterhood, New Noveta support each other under extreme anxiety, angst, grief and destruction. At times this seems macabre as they tumble around a salvage yard or, dressed in Rebecca Horn-esque attire, camp out in the undergrowth like wild animals. What makes this series so unique is the timeless duality that plays over the silver screen and into the real contemporary world that women live in today —as hysterical as the women it once committed.**

Susu Laroche + New Noveta‘s joint exhibition is on at London’s Public Exhibitions, running on September 1 to 25, and there will be a seminar on Female Hysteria and film screening on September 10, 2016.

Header image: Susu Laroche + New Noveta, Hysteria (2016). Exhibition view. Courtesy the artists + Public Exhibitions, London.

  share news item

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.**

  share news item

New Noveta @ Sandy Brown reviewed

20 May 2016

Suspended in motion, Keira Fox and Ellen Freed of collaborative performance project, New Noveta squint their eyes towards the sun. They wear dark matching outfits in a similar colour palette as the grey water and grass surrounding them, as depicted on large prints mounted on the walls of Berlin’s Sandy Brown.

The photos at Zene Zemlje, the duo’s first solo show running March 12 to May 1, were taken during a residency in France. “The pictures are quite ecstatic and express female empowerment,” Fox explained in an interview with Artsy last month. With that in mind I silently wait, standing on the white industrial plastic that covers the Sandy Brown’s floor by a small pool. Surrounded by other Berlin Gallery Weekend guests on April 30, I suspect that their second performance in the space, marking the end of Zene Zemlje, could get messy.

Wearing dark red, cotton dresses and beige heels designed by Louis Backhouse and Dean Wellings, Fox and Freed storm into the space from the outside. Their hair is pinned up and their lipstick matches their costumes. Tied around their waists are a pair of scissors and see-through plastic bags, filled with fish eggs of different sizes and colour. If it weren’t for these strange particulars, along with their aggressive movements, they could easily blend in with the crowd gathered outside watching, protected by Sandy Brown’s large windows.

Bumping into each other, Fox and Freed head towards long bamboo poles attached to three corners of the space with thick threads. Collaboratively but chaotically, they start to toss the sticks around, leaning on each other for support. They yell confusing commands in high-pitched voices that temporarily overtake the intensive soundtrack that has been playing throughout. Neither the audience situated inside the space, nor the pool of water are in any way an obstacle to New Noveta completing the task of constructing a loose installation out of these staffs. At this point the room has been vaguely divided by the bamboo poles unevenly hanging across the room, above the body of water and through the crowd.

New Noveta, Zene Zemlje II (2016). Costumes by Louis Backhouse + Dean Wellings. Performance view. Photo by Louis Backhouse. Courtesy the artists + Sandy Brown, Berlin.

New Noveta, Zene Zemlje II (2016). Costumes by Louis Backhouse + Dean Wellings. Performance view. Photo by Louis Backhouse. Courtesy the artists + Sandy Brown, Berlin.

There is nothing dignifying about Fox and Freed’s movements, each gesture is driven by anxiety and ambition. Like small girls in their mother’s heels they stumble around. With no guidance on how to survive under the enormous pressure of contemporary society. With scissors in hand, they cut off each other’s bags and clothes, the collaboration has become deconstructive in parts and they have given up on existing rules and have constructed their own.

After cutting down the multilinear installation, Freed and Fox are now stripped, by each other, down to their leotards; their torn and crumpled clothes gathered with the poles in a pile on the floor. Crushed fish eggs cover it, along with the darkened water from the pool, causing the scene to become dangerously slippery. As before, the surroundings do not stop New Noveta from performing the task at hand; of carrying the sticks outside where they leave them beside the door.**


New Noveta’s Zene Zemlje was on at Berlin’s Sandy Brown, running March 12 to May 1. Their final performance of  two was on April 30, 2016.

Header image: New Noveta, Zene Zemlje II (2016). Costumes by Louis Backhouse + Dean Wellings. Performance view. Photo by Louis Backhouse. Courtesy the artists + Sandy Brown, Berlin.

  share news item