Over 30 artists examine the line between individual experience + political statement in (X) A Fantasy at DRAF, Sep 7 – Oct 7

4 September 2017

The (X) A Fantasy group exhibition is on at London’s DRAF, opening September 7 and running to October 7.

The show brings together over 30 artists examining the question, “when does the individual experience become a political statement?” Keren CytterPaul MahekeTala MadaniHannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, and more are among the respondents exploring the boundary between the public and private, like “living, eating, dancing, seducing, reading, watching films, going online.”

The opening night will feature performances by choreographer Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, and artists Hannah Regel and Urara Tsuchiya, as well as a DJ set during the afterparty by New Noveta. Upstairs will feature Zoe Williams ‘voluptuous banquet’ in ‘Ceremony of the Void.’

The exhibition is the last in DRAF’s Camden space, as they move onto new territory and spaces around London.

Visit the DRAF website for details.**

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Where are we heading? In the hazy divide between art + the written word

22 February 2017

“How do artists work with words, and writers with images?” asks the event Where Art Meets Literature, co-hosted by London’s DRAF and Frieze Academy taking place on February 25. 

Currently & Emotion: Translations, ed. Sophie Collins (2016). Published by Test Centre, London.

This question is not exactly a new one, written about in depth in publications like New Inquiry and Frieze, there are also the existing practices of countless artist and writers who have been questioning this boundary for years, exhibitions devoted to the topic, such as Rhizome‘s 2015 online project Poetry as Practice

The all-day Where Art Meets Literature symposium, hosted by Ben Eastham, will look at this long history, and the ways in which each discipline (increasingly) support each other. The event will attempt to unpick the relationship between the two fields, and will feature contributions by a number of artists, writers and theorists researching this intersection, including Sophie Collins, Sophie Jung, Holly Pester and Nisha Ramayya, as well as Tom McCarthyBrian Dillon and Deborah Levy, among others. 

While there certainly has been a relationship between the two for a long time, Daniel Penny makes a confident, yet precise observation in his essay ‘The Irrelevant and the Contemporary‘ that “POETRY is having a moment.” However, the distinction between art and literature is a hazy one, is increasingly difficult to define. Perhaps the question shouldn’t be how the two disciplines working with each other but rather how they are becoming one.

Tracing the history of poetry, especially from page to screen, and its movement between contexts, the practice confidently defines itself now as anything. From memes and Twitter accounts, to image macros, vlogs and status updates, the potential for a possible platform or stage ‘to speak in words’ is endless, and obviously positions ‘post-internet’ discourse and the alt-lit community in the thick of this conversation. In this vein, we can also declare the presence of literature in art as going beyond just a ‘reading’ or artists’ poetry book, but also in statements, press releases, installations; words placed on paintings or the walls of a gallery; performances, lectures, essay-films, and voiceovers. 

Steve Roggenbuck and S. Petticrew, ‘Our Life is so Weird’ (2016). Installation view. Image Courtesy of Rowing, London

Using words as a material or as an appropriative strategy for the concept of a work is probably what creates a distinction between the two. In ‘Art Hearts Poetry,’ Quinn Latimer comments on the colonial nature of the art world and its hungry, capitalist agenda where it “devours and assimilates everything.” The idea that literature is being picked up and plucked out is evident in the strange phenomenon where artists can arguably enter more easily into the space of the ‘writing and spoken word world,’ but writers-by-label find it more difficult to enter the ‘art world.’ It’s a reality that makes one realize there isn’t such a fluid dialogue as one might think.

But, expanding past the notion of disciplines and the ‘trending’ of poetry in art, or vice versa, the collapse of these categories is perhaps a more relevant discussion to be having, and one that can’t be removed from a wider, more cross-disciplinary conversation that is also related to the growing need and urgency for intersectional discourse. Artists like video-maker and poet Steve Roggenbuck and multimedia artist and poet Penny Goring are two examples, among many, of artists who to a degree eliminate any idea of a separation between disciplines, seamlessly weaving many languages into one practice.

Penny Goring @ ‘And No Animal is Without Enemy’ (2016). Courtesy @human_pony.

That said, it would be too reductive to assume there is some special relationship forming solely between art an literature. In the same way music and DJ-ing as a practice has entered the art world, or an Instagram account becomes a serious subject for an institutional exhibition, this topic belongs to a larger conversation. The changing nature of contemporary art and the ways in which the unspoken rules and formulas that used to quietly underpin the language of the industry are now breaking down. Are we falling out of love? Or is it just longing? Maybe it just isn’t enough anymore. At a time when ‘making’ for an artist feels like a dead end, perhaps we are searching for revival.**

The Where Art Meets Literature symposium is taking place at London’s DRAF on February 25.

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Block Universe, May 30 – Jun 5

30 May 2016

Block Universe performance festival returns this year across several London venues, opening May 30 and running June 5.

Commissioning several new works encompassing dance, presentations, intimate conversations, cake eating and music, and inviting other pieces to be re-performed during the week, the organisers of Block Universe have offered the title, The Future Perfect for the festival’s holding theme.

The Future Perfect is about the experience of ‘relationality’ in a mediated society, and will look at body enhancement, immortality, ageing, preservation and the representation of the self in acts and via motifs found in shared experiences, as well as in modes of anonymity.

Our recommendations are ‘Let Them Eat Cake //// May One Without Hunger Lift the First Knife‘ a collaborative work by London-based artists Jesse DarlingRaju Rage, who have worked previously and respectively as a pastry chef and big-batch caterer, according to the mysterious press release, and “will present the indigestible truth as a gift economy”. Also to look out for is performance, ‘Personal Proxies’ by Athens-London based Erica Scourti.

niv Acosta will be performing ‘DISCOTROPIC | Alien Talk Show‘ for the first time in the UK at David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) and will be in conversation with Block Universe’s director, Louise O’Kelly whose curatorial research is based in performance and transcultural memory.

See the Block Universe website for more details and locations.**

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Hannah Quinlan + Rosie Hastings @ DRAF, May 13 – 28

11 May 2016

Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings are presenting installation How to Survive a Flood@GAYBAR at London’s David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF), opening May 13 and running to May 28.

As part of the Curators’ Series’ Ways of Living programme running to June 23, the London-based artist-duo will transform the DRAF Studio into a working bar featuring new video, audio, and light boxes that explore the history of New York gay resort Fire Island in relation to its present state of rapid gentrification and natural disaster.

The project aims to cite and critique the complicated identity of said LGBTQ community and its relationship with private property and privilege by reimagining it as a “queer, sci-fi and anarchic space” with works weaving CGI landscapes, found footage of post-Hurricane Sandy destruction and an audio piece produced by Jan Piasecki weaving together pop music and the sounds of ecological destruction.

How To Survive a Flood is a continuation of Quinlan and Hastings’ ongoing @gaybar project, where “queer politics and history are remade in the context of a gay bar”. The  programme will open with a cocktail party and bar-performance, as well as DJ sets by Nkisi (aka Melika Ngombe Kolongo) and Summer Faggot Deathwish (aka Sam Cottington).

There will also be another accompanying event featuring Paul Maheke on May 21.

See the DRAF website for details.**

@gaybar, I DONT KNOW WHY I LIKE IT, I JUST DO, DICK DICK DICK @GAYBAR (2014) @ Rye Lane Studios, London.
@gaybar, I DONT KNOW WHY I LIKE IT, I JUST DO, DICK DICK DICK @GAYBAR (2014) @ Rye Lane Studios, London.
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Ways of Living @ DRAF, Apr 14 – Jul 23

14 April 2016

Arcadia Missa is curating the Ways of Living group exhibition at London’s David Robert Arts Foundation (DRAF), opening April 14 and running to July 23.

Presented as the ninth edition of the Curators’ Series, the self-organised space will present works by 16 artists —emergent and historical —who “occupy and transform spaces”. Those artists whose practices aim to politicise the places that locate them include Hannah Black, Sharon Hayes, Holly WhitePeter Hujar and Jesse Darling among others.

The event, that seeks work that functions in a way that is “inverse to the individualised, satellite modes in which we are increasingly expected to work” will open with a new performance by Beatrice Loft Schulz and DJ sets from Juliana Huxtable and Goth Tech.

Other artists involved include Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Paul Thek, Lena Tutunjian, Anne Imhof and Adrian Piper.

See the DRAF website for details.**

Jesse Darling, 'Saint Batman' (2016). Courtesy the artist + Arcadia Missa, London.
Jesse Darling, ‘Saint Batman’ (2016). Courtesy the artist + Arcadia Missa, London.
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Fiona Banner + Rosemarie Trockel @ DRAF, Jan 28 – Mar 5

27 January 2016

Fiona Banner and Rosemarie Trockel are presenting works in two exhibitions at London’s David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF), opening January 28 and running to March 5.

As part of a study series focusing on researching and making important works from the David Roberts Collection public, Banner’s Study #13 presents her work ‘Every Word Unmade’ (2007), a 26 metre-high neon alphabet of upper case letters handmade by the London-based artist. It comes accompanied by a selection of work by Banner and a research text on the central work by Emily King.

Trockel, meanwhile, contributes to Study #14, an in-depth look at ‘Oh Mystery Girl 3’ (2006), a collage complemented by other loaned works by the Cologne-based artist and a new text by writer Matthew McLean.

See the DRAF website for details.**

Fiona Banner, 'Every Word Unmade' (2007). Installation view. Courtesy DRAF, London.
Fiona Banner, ‘Every Word Unmade’ (2007). Installation view. Courtesy DRAF, London.
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Andrew Sunderland @ ASC Gallery, Jan 18 – Mar 18

18 January 2016

Andrew Sunderland‘s exhibition Muscle Memory is on at London’s ASC Gallery, opening January 18 and running March 18.

The show will deal with art and artists’ current relationship with production. The press release describes the aesthetic of what has become “strategies of replication and appropriation” as a result of the lag between the new and the desire for it.

It reads: “Content, indeed all matter, became viscous and infectious: material to mould and to reform, to produce and reproduce desire; to spread”.

For Muscle Memory, which has a private view on January 22, Sunderland will present sculpture, print, and sound. He has previously exhibited 72-hour sound piece, ‘…at the slow party copies sync towards zero’ at DRAF.

See Asc Gallery webpage for further details**

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#officeparty @ DRAF, Dec 17

16 December 2015

London’s David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) is hosting their last last event of the year, #officeparty, co-hosted with Francesca Gavin on December 17.

The show will include DJ sets by Dave MacLean of Django Django and Emmanuel Balogun of Visual Ideation, as well as performances by artist David Raymond Conroy.

There will also be a dance class by Joelle D’Fontaine and free photocopies of works by various artists including Benedict Drew, Allison Katz, Oscar Murillo, Peles Empire, Prem Sahib, Jesse Wine and more.

See DRAF website for details.**

Alexandra photocopy

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Albert the kid is ghosting @ DRAF, Sept 25 – Dec 12

22 September 2015

David Roberts Art Foundation opens a new group exhibition of rarely seen artworks from their collection, titled Albert the kid is ghosting and occupying the whole DRAF building from September 25 to December 12.

Th group show features the works of Etel Adnan, Ida Applebroog, Philip Guston, Sergej Jensen, Hans Josephsohn, Oscar Murillo, Andreas Slominski and Michael E. Smith, who are introduced as “accomplices of an uncanny fiction”.

The exhibition transforms the art space into an “unsettling mise-en-scene of defiance: a crime scene”, presenting each work in a precisely-designed environment—from Josephsohn’s brass head to Guston’s wall of dark floral wallpaper.

See the exhibition page for details. **


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An Evening of Live Music @ DRAF reviewed

15 July 2015

All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm, curated by Christine Eyene, brings together artists and musicians, working from the late 20th century to today, who all deal in different ways with the influence of rhythm and music from Africa. For An Evening of Live Music, held at DRAF on July 11, three of the artists currently showing in the exhibition perform live, with music, sound and video.

Evan Ifekoya’s ‘Let the rhythm keep pulling you towards ur edges (after Marlon Riggs)’ (2015), is a rich multi-channel audio-visual performance. Spoken-word recordings, music and remixes are cued over a projected video montage and live-updated twitter feed. The video weaves together viral YouTube dances, Fred Astaire’s notorious tap dancing scene as ‘Bojangles of Harlem’ in Swing Time and archival film of works by Harlem Renaissance-affiliated sculptor Richmond Barthé, alongside video of Ifekoya combing their hair and setting up a mirrorball in a green-screen studio. Their twitter feed is live-updated with the content of the spoken-word recordings, a story of a romantic encounter on a night out, played alongside a heterogeneous selection of modern pop and not-so-pop music. At one point Spice Girls collides with Snoop/Pharrell tongue-clicks. I hear X-Ray Spex’s ‘Identity’ playing half-speed, sounding strangely like stoner metal.

Larry Achiampong performing at All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music at DRAF, 2015. Photo: Dan Weill
Larry Achiampong performing at All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music at DRAF, 2015. Photo: Dan Weill

In contrast, Larry Achiampong takes analogue material as his source. For an hour he plays vinyl – complete with skips triggered by an excitable audience – selecting tracks with a connoisseur’s sensitivity. He plays predominantly Ghanaian and Nigerian guitar-driven psychedelic tracks from the 1970s, which have influenced the sound of his own albums Meh Mogya and More Mogya. Meanwhile, a film of a young child dancing on a play mat loops in the background. Like a lot of children he seems to have boundless energy, and an interest in trying out all varieties of dance – at various points spinning, rolling or clapping along to the set.

To close the evening, Julien Bayle performs ‘ALPHA’ (2014), an audio-visual show conducted on proprietary software synthesisers and sequencers, developed by the artist himself. It is sonically industrial, with driving kicks and crescendos of noise, but aesthetically minimal. Hypersensitive wireframe 3D geometries jitter and pulse in response to the sound, the projector often strobing along with the deep distorted kicks. Its simplicity and phenomenally tight synchronization creates a hypnotising and enveloping experience.

Julie Bayle performing 'ALPHA' at All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music at DRAF, 2015. Photo: Dan Weill
Julien Bayle performing ‘ALPHA’ at All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music at DRAF, 2015. Photo: Dan Weill

While each of the three artists start from divergent sources, the questions raised in the evening are clear. How do we make sure to truly value influences? Which important figures are being devalued by structural apathy or prejudice? How can we start to recognise those influences as part of a global cultural canon, rather than simply as marginalities? It is Ifekoya playing ‘Madame Hollywood’ by Felix da Housecat, in the context of their wider performance, which points most literally to the history of expropriation. After being denied entry to Berghain in Berlin in March – almost a year after the death of seminal Chicago house producer Frankie Knuckles – FdH made his thoughts about structural racism devaluing the history of dance music public on twitter. “blood sweat and tears CHICAGO and DETROIT BUILT BERLIN! TECHNO AND HOUSE,….”.

The act of turning away FdH, whose work played a role in laying the foundations for contemporary dance music, is exemplary of painfully ironic historical whitewashing. Western culture seems structurally predisposed to devaluing the cultural contributions of non-white artists. Would techno exist in the same way today, had four-to-the-floor not been popularised in the discos of the 1970s? Who, beyond cultural theorists and specialists, recognises this as valuable today? But, to try to be optimistic, maybe the right rhythm, played by the right person, in the right place and time, stands up on its own merits – and a celebration of that moment can become a radical reclamation of history. **

Event photos, top right. 

An Evening of Live Music happened on July 11. The All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm group exhibition is on at David Roberts Art Foundation, running June 5 to August 1, 2015.

Header image: Evan Ifekoya performing at All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music at DRAF, 2015. Photo: Dan Weill 

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Dorine van Meel @ DRAF, Apr 25

23 April 2015

Hoxton project space Kunstraum has invited artist Dorine van Meel to discuss her work and practice with curator Thomas Cuckle at David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) on April 25.

The conversation with van Meel comes as the second event in +1, a new series between DRAF and some of London’s exciting emerging spaces, collectives and publications. The first event, with Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot as guests of Jupiter Woods, took place at the beginning of March.

van Meel, working somewhere between moving image, sculpture and installation, will introduce her past work and present to the public, as well as her latest work-in-progress collaboration, building towards her solo exhibition at Kunstraum some time in late 2015.

See the event page for details. **


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Unreliable Source reading installation @ DRAF, Dec 10

8 December 2014

Harry Burke, Holly Childs and Sophie Collins will be presenting a new “immersive reading installation”, titled Unreliable Source, in Nina Beier’s solo exhibition at DRAF on December 10.

Burke – who, after editing the  I Love Roses When They’re Past Their Best anthology earlier this year, is publishing his latest project, an ebook of poems accompanied by architectural drawings by Alessandro Bava and titled City of God (for which we have a review coming…soon!) – is joining forces with Childs to read a story that “maps out space”. Melbourne-based Childs, in turn, works as a writer, editor, and artist, with a new novel, Danklands, coming out this month.

Following Burke and Child’s piece, poet Sophie Collins will read a series of ekphrastic poems, followed by video readings by a handful of artists, including Natalie Parker, Jack Mannix, Aurelia Guo and Autumn Royal.

See the DRAF event page for details. **



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Nina Beier @ DRAF, Sep 12 – Dec 10

20 October 2014

Nina Beier‘s latest solo exhibition at London’s David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) runs from September 12 to December 10, with recently added special opening times in October.

The exhibition features a collection of Beier’s new sculptural works, including a major spatial commission created site-specifically for DRAF, coming out a six-year collaboration between the artist and the gallery. According to its director, Vincent Honoré, Beier’s sculptures are “trapped in an ambiguous position between an object and the representation of that object” as she creates works that muddy the space between the two.

Her ambitious new work, Tileables (2014), which functions as a base for the exhibition, exemplifies this: mosaic tiles adorned with patterns created with 3-D modeling software and textured to imitate natural materials like marble and mud are arranged across the gallery floors, a from-the-ground-up shift of imitation and reality.

See the DRAF exhibition page for details. **


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Frieze 2014 offsite + fringe events

13 October 2014

As Frieze is never so much about the art fair itself but the influx of artists and projects surrounding the international event – this year running in London October 15 to 18 – here are our recommendations for the week’s offsite and fringe occassions, including events and exhibitions opening and opened:


Sunday Art Fair, Oct 15 – 18

Do You Follow? Art in Circulation @ Old Selfridges Hotel, Oct 15 -18

Korakrit Arunanondchai with Boychild and AJ Gvojic: The Last 3 Years and the Future @ Old Selfridges Hotel, Oct 16

Evening of Performances @ DRAF, Oct 16

Extinction Marathon: Visions of the Future @ Serpentine Galleries, Oct 18 to 19


Paul Kneale, SEO and Co. @ tank.tv, Oct 13

Gabriele De Santis, On the Run @ Italian Cultural Institute, Oct 13

Shanzhai Biennial No. 3: 100 Hamilton Terrace @ Project Native Informant, Oct 15

Cécile B. Evans, Hyperlinks + A Picture is no Substitute @ Seventeen Gallery, Oct 15

Leslie Kulesh, “Glamourshotz”©®™ @ Lima Zulu, Oct 17


Maja Cule, Facing the Same Direction @ Arcadia Missa

Amalia Ulman, The Destruction Of Experience @ Evelyn Yard

POLYMYTH x Miss Information @ Auto Italia

Genuine Articles @ Jupiter Woods

Dean Blunt, New Paintings + Schizo-Culture: Cracks in the Street @ Space

Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Priority Innfield @ Zabludowicz Collection

Neïl Beloufa, Counting on People + Beware of Wet Paint @ ICA

Heathers @ Rowing Projects

Yuri Pattison, Free Traveller @ Cell Project Space

Union @ Union Pacific **

Jan Kiefer, 'Hey Tony' (2014) film still. Courtesy Union Pacific.
Jan Kiefer, ‘Hey Tony’ (2014) film still. Courtesy Union Pacific.

Header image: Postcard from the Shanzhai Biennial/Fair Trade diffusion line. Photography Noah Sheldon.


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Present Fictions @ DRAF reviewed

4 April 2014

The title of the David Roberts Art Foundation’s two-day programme Present Fictions is explicitly referring to fictions of the ‘now’ – what the introduction describes as “contemporary approaches to visual culture, poetry, science fiction and narrative structures”. By the time the series is complete, it feels like it could just as well be its homograph: a variety of fictions having been presented, stepped inside of, tested out, and contemplated.

In fact, the “present” preface is in some ways misleading: the fictions of now tend to look forward, applying imagination to our current technologies and ways of life to fictionalise tomorrow. This is what Cher Potter, senior research fellow in Design Futures at the V&A, addresses in her introductory talk on ‘The Speculative Arts’. With a focus on design fictions, she runs through introductions to a reel of artists and designers who are currently in the process of constructing our futures, both in the realm of ideas and in the “real world” – there are tales of sheikhs turning up at exhibitions only to write $3 million cheques bringing imagined drone systems to life, and of NASA funding scent provocateur Sissel Tolaas to research the making of cheese from human by-products. Because who knows when that might save the life of a future astronaut stranded in the cosmos?

Temporary Research Library and Michael E. Smith screening, installation view. Image courtesy DRAF.
Temporary Research Library & Michael E. Smith screening. Image courtesy DRAF.

As a counterpoint to this overview of future-facing art – running the gamut from trend-forecasting to Gulf Futurism – is University of Westminster researcher Robert Cowley’s exploration of the concept (and actuality) of the “Eco-city”. These sustainable, in many ways utopian, living spaces exist on a knife-edge between speculation and reality, raising as many questions as they set out to answer. What is the ideal city, and how does one set out to plan one? The Eco-city and science fiction exist in a chicken-and-egg style feedback loop, one inconceivable without the other; rather than fiction that informs how our futures might look, these are examples of present, actual indications of the future as informed by sci-fi. Masdar, a city in UAE powered entirely by renewable energy, is being built right now while the hyperbolically marketed Sejong City is bringing South Korea’s dreams to life.

My Bodies from Hannah Black on Vimeo.

While this is a pretty literal example of world-building, Potter deals more with artists who are “world-hinting” through the micro-futures they create in their objects, and this kind of hinting is something observed throughout the two days at Present Fictions. The video art of Hannah Black and Hannah Perry deals in the meshing of fragmented pop culture, narrative and personal insight to create impressions of a writhing digital world engaged in a love-hate relationship with the human mind and body: in Perry’s ‘While It Lasts’ (2012)’, the infinite moment of pleasure promised to young people by the media is detailed in a way that almost mimics the techniques of the ads and music videos it takes from, ending on the tantalising promise of Nina Simone’s distorted voice trailing “And I’m feeling…”.

Meanwhile Black, who incidentally tweeted over the weekend “i do not love anything or anyone more than i love pop music”, picks apart the disjunction between actual bodies and our digital and cultural understanding of them, through the disembodied limbs that “learn to dance like Rihanna” while images of her bruised 2007 face loom in the background, to the disconnect between woman R&B vocalists singing about their “bodies” over stock photographs of powerful white men in suits. Perry shows the tragic fiction of the ultimate, perfect presence, perpetually pushed just slightly in the future and made just slightly unobtainable, while Black swims through the nexus of imagery through which we encounter pop culture, and how that makes us feel about ourselves. Pop is ultimately, genuinely loveable because it’s our most dominant present fiction: nothing else creates a shared imaginary moment for so many people in one stroke, creating an immense community and false sense of security in its view of the world.

Video still from Michael E. Smith's Jellyfish (2011). Image courtesy DRAF.
Video still from Michael E. Smith’s Jellyfish (2011). Image courtesy DRAF.

In the second day’s poetry readings, Tender journal editor Rachael Allen (@r_vallen) also turned a hand to world-hinting through the objects and characters that loomed through her newest poetry, in which she said she was exploring a world of “surreal” homes, filled with quarrelling sisters (making their house into a “cathedral of pinches”) and babies bubbling on stoves. This world, born out of childhood memories meshed with childhood fantasies and brewed over years of re-contextualising, was a present fiction of an imagined past. Faber poet Sam Riviere gave sharply defined glimpses into the world as it is through the found poetry of his Kim Kardashian’s Marriage series. Assembled from a collage of texts found online, the poems speak straight from a digital mouth, all shiny falsity and dry, dulcet tones masking something more desperate.

On the back of this reading comes Rozsa Farkas’ performance lecture ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ – the first part of which can be listened to above or read in its entirety on the latter link – and which inspired her work in THE ANGRY SHOW, during which she advocates pure anger over the detached removal of cynicism, ironical reactions to systems being complicit to the systems they decry through their inaction. With a backdrop of videos from Ciara, Bikini Kill, Nirvana and an impassioned, arm-thrashing mime to Taylor Swift’s ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’, Farkas tells a story of a world in which “angering” is forbidden, and a young girl who discovers what a force the emotion can be through a cultural Mesh and a whistle-stop tour through the history of counter-culture. This is a world built in front of our eyes that’s not so removed from our own, a fiction that tells us something about the present via a theoretical future; like so much of this weekend, its presentation of a fiction that borders almost uncomfortably on reality is so absorbing that it brings with it the realisation of how such fictions pervade every moment in our engagement with culture, in our narrative sense-making of our own lives. The present is a fiction, fiction a presentation of our world. **

Present Fictions ran at the David Roberts Art Foundation from March 28 – 29.

Header image: Video still from Hannah Perry’s ‘While It Lasts’. Image courtesy artist.

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Geographies of Contamination @ DRAF, Jan 30 – Mar 29

30 January 2014

London gallery David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) is presenting group exhibition Geographies of Contamination, running January 30 to March 29.

Featuring Neil Beloufa, Nicolas DeshayesRenaud Jerez, Marlie Mul, Magali Reus and Michael E. Smith, plus others, and curated by the gallery director Vincent Honoré, along with curators and art writers Laura McLean-Ferris and Alexander Scrimgeour, the event explores the idea of “slippages and spillages, disruption and contamination” through sculpture, film and installation.

Following a growing and dynamic discourse in contemporary art around pollution and a general collapse in systems and processes, Geographies of Contamination presents works by ten artists, all premiering in London and spanning synthetic and organic matter, generating an unsettling cross-section of our modern condition.

See the DRAF website for details. **

Header image: Marlie Mul, ‘Puddle (Daub)’ (2013). Image courtesy David Roberts collection, London.

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