Almanac Projects

Emily Jones @ Almanac, Oct 27 – Dec 10

25 October 2016

Emily Jones is presenting solo exhibition Echolocation at Turin’s Almanac, opening October 27 and running to December 10.

The show is the first one in Almanac’s second space in the Italian city, and will include a text by Caspar Heinemann. The press release reveals little about the London-based artists’ new project — who’s work within flattened taxonomies, algorithms and systems was explored in a thoughtful review of her The Hudson River exhibition at London’s Lima Zulu in 2014 — but typically includes an assortment of words that immerse us in what feels like a Google search.

It moves between content and a level of emotional impact:




Inca people
Infinite Wealth


See the Almanac website for details.**

Courtesy of Almanac Projects, Turin + London.
Courtesy of Almanac Projects, Turin + London.


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Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath @ Almanac reviewed

23 September 2016

The promo shot for Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath and lovers pictures a bare back ‘Phil’ laying over a naked canvas, photo taken by his wife Khloe —both of married artist duo known as the titular Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath. The pair, who routinely display and inject their relationship (and children) into their practice, present various aspects of their personal life fluidly across a variety of media. For their latest exhibition at London’s Almanac, running September 2 to 24, the focus shifts toward a holistic understanding of their work; a warm acknowledgement of the messy and multi-directional web of ‘lovers’ that provide a lifeline to their practice.

A series of oil-on-linen paintings hang on the walls of the Almanac space. Circled around the room; each one is distinct in aesthetic and content. A hyperrealist portrait of curator, collector and friend to the couple, ‘Maria do Carmo Matosinho Peres de Pontes’ (2016) hangs ominously over a makeshift stage. The traditional-style portrait is painted with such a high level of sophistication it feels like it belongs to an 18th Century exhibition Salon. The couple, who paint skilfull depictions like these for a living, describe the process as “down to earth, very human” when I ask them about their day job and the effect it has on their practice.

Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath @ Almanac, London. (2016). Documentation of the opening night. Courtesy the artists.
Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath @ Almanac, London. (2016). Documentation of the opening night. Courtesy the artists.

It is an element of their work that Almanac co-director Jeremy Waterfield is also particularly attracted to, chuckling over a conversation at one of their events about how refreshing and “un-contemporary” some of it feels. Their tongue-in-cheek relationship to classicism and bourgeois culture is complicated and malleable. Playing aspiring artists, Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath’s is a humorous acknowledgement of the impossibility of removing themselves from art history and also a tender display of inserting themselves into that canon. Continuing around the room; a book about romanticism. A book by Manet. The visitors book. A portrait of a window in their studio. An energy-saving lightbulb. A lamp. Familiar site of British power in a landscape that looks like a William Turner. An anthropomorphic balloon figure. The seemingly unrelated paintings stand as parts; splinters of their life that make visible the threads of network responsible for what has come to be respected as the final product.

Occupying only part of a larger whole, the paintings become accessories, a backdrop for the site of multiple performances and talks that would interrupt Almanac space over the course of the exhibition. The opening was host to an evening of DJs, cocktails and art-goers, continuing through the week with ‘Performing a talk’ by Daniel Shanken and Benjamin Orlow and an intimate meal prepared by the couple for ‘Lovers’ Dinner’. With the gaining momentum of events, Khloe described Friday night’s ‘Evensong’ as “the lovers’ climax, the conception and birth of itself.”

The pair opened the evening with a reading of a text written by Nina Wakeford. “Imagine another story for the community of loves…” Khloe reads out the words from ‘Dedication’ (2016) alongside Wakeford’s accompanying video, followed by a long apologetic voicemail from their friend, Jean Baptsiste Garrone, that plays through speakers. Maria do Carmo Matosinho Peres de Pontes’ portrait is then taken down to make room for multi-media artist and composer Hannah Catherine Jones to perform ‘Owed to Bussa’ (about a man from Africa taken to Barbados as a slave in the 18th Century) and ‘Owed to Senzani’ (a Zulu phrase meaning ‘what have we done’). 

Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath, 'Evensong' (2016). Performance view. Courtesy the artists + Almanac, London.
Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath, ‘Evensong’ (2016). Performance view. Courtesy the artists + Almanac, London.

A layering of melodic vocals and musical effects provide a seductive and haunting soundtrack to the video projected alongside: quick cuts and layers of footage related to Black identity move to an urgent rhythm of the artists’ internet search through time and content. “What have we done but also what can we do?”, asks Jones at the end of her performance. The question, that ultimately calls attention to the whole, is manifested through the lengthy programme, each work contributing to different frequencies of togetherness that both receive and provide support from the others. After Jones, the lights come on and Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath sing a cover of Duran Duran’s 1983 pop hit ‘The Reflex’ to each other over an acoustic guitar.

“We pray for those artists who labour in obscurity”: The evening concludes with an oral reading of ‘Prayer IV Contemporary art’, a rewritten version from a Church of England service, tailored to soothe and support the individual anxieties of artists everywhere. “We pray for the parents of artists who struggle to understand the precarious mission of their sons and daughters.” Both funny and raw, it is a sincere dedication to Lovers: to the viewer, the curator, the space, the peers, the late nights, the collector, the practice, the project life, the research, the materials. The celebratory, the critical, the anxious, the precious. Falling into the same fractal of lived experience, the fragments and bi-products of Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath and lovers undermines the isolated; the thing that gets remembered.**

Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath’s Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath and lovers exhibition is on at London’s Almanac, running September 2 to 24. Closing event ‘The Lovers End’ is on September 24, 2016.

Header image: Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath, ‘Evensong’ (2016). Installation view. Courtesy the artists + Almanac, London.

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Maria Gorodeckaya @ Almanac Projects, May 27 – Jun 18

26 May 2016

Maria Gorodeckaya is presenting solo exhibition You Forgot Numbers In My Notes Travelled Seas Through My Body Through My Veins Run Through My Blood At The Pace Of A Good Runner at London’s Almanac Projects, opening May 27 and running to June 18.

There is little information on the show itself, aside from the very long title that reads like a poem laden with analogies interweaving memory and emotion, and their often physical effects. The Moscow-born, London-based artist has developed from working with inverting the gaze on the male body with photography, to installations exploring desire and objectification through sculpture, performance and poetry.

This will be the first exhibition at Almanac Projects’ new London space, which has previously hosted the work of the likes of Nina Wakeford at London’s Legion TV and more recently an exhibition by Cory Scozzari at their Turin residency exchange programme at Almanac Inn

See the Almanac Projects website for (limited) details.**

Maria Gorodeckaya, 'No title' (2015). Installation view. Courtesy the artist.
Maria Gorodeckaya, ‘No title’ (2015). Installation view. Courtesy the artist.
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Cory Scozzari @ Almanac Inn, Jan 9 – Feb 11

8 January 2016

Cory Scozzari‘s solo exhibition ROSE: you slip your finger through the tear in my t-shirt is on at Turin’s Almanac Inn, opening January 9 and running to February 11.

Most recently, the artist and co-founder of Jupiter Woods has contributed to the Faith Dollars, Taxfree Imagination & Uptown Bliss exhibition in London and site-specific project Lacuna Sovereignty in Amsterdam. An extension of the London-based Almanac Projects, Almanac Inn functions as a residency programme facilitating an exchange between “young international artists, the local audience and curators, institutions and collectors.”

Further information of the exhibition is yet to be revealed but it will include a reading by philosopher Federico Campagna and writer Huw Lemmey on “sexuality, lust and politics”.

See the FB event page for details.**

Cory Scozzari, 'Crossfire or five years old following behind you at the beach' (2014). Courtesy Boetzelaer|Nispen.
Cory Scozzari, ‘Crossfire or five years old following behind you at the beach’ (2014). Courtesy Boetzelaer|Nispen.
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A walk through EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc

30 September 2014

In the sparsely furnished, dimly lit hall on the third floor of an enormous dilapidated house, bed frames are loosely arranged around ornate plaster columns in irregular rows. The reference to an orphanage, or a dormitory is immediate and obvious, yet the recurrence of digital printing and a wall-mounted flat screen brings your thoughts back to the Berlin art scene.

EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc is a collaborative project by artists Clémence de La Tour du Pin and Antoine Renard and the curators Elise Lammer and Emiliano Pistacchi. It pulls together sound and installation works of 19 artist from 13 contributing not-for-profit spaces. The show holds a strong aesthetic reference to Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster‘s TH.2058 show, which imagined Tate Modern 50 years into the future as a post-apocalyptic shelter, an installation housing rows of bare metal bed frames and remnants of personal effects. Despite the reference though, experiencing EDENunlimited will not be like walking through the eerily deserted isles of an abandoned ward.

EDENunlimited:tbc.tbc (2014) @ Alt Stralau 4. Exhibition view. Courtesy
EDENunlimited:tbc.tbc (2014) @ Alt Stralau 4. Exhibition view.

Emphasising audio, each of the 13 installation pieces on show have its own aural composition. Technology varies, ranging from a pair of subwoofers, that seem to be hooked up to two-stroke engine oil, erratically amplifying dialogue from de La Tour du Pin and Renard’s ‘I Do It So It Feels Real’ (2014); to a variety of dinky portable MP3 docks; to several straggly in-ear headphone sets. At the far end of the room, a performer reinterprets Jacques Roger’s ‘Audio File’ (2014) on an acoustic guitar. His quiet strumming rises above the conglomerate noise of the show evaporating gently a moment or two later. In addition, the general sound system, a constantly changing, continuous layer in the exhibition ambience, throws a shroud over the space, at times dominating, or sublimating to, the individual pieces.

Selected by Switzerland’s SALTS, Hannah Weinberger‘s moody track featuring samples of running water, dripping pipes and hollow plumbing, ‘Hi’ (2013), evokes moisture and dankness. It lends itself to the damp old walls that house the exhibition. Occasional sound bites emerging from Andrew Birk & Ian Swanson‘s ‘Road Poets Flip Chasm’ (2014), pull and push perception in unexpected directions. A low hush of digital static in the space sounds like insects. A voice advises, “you imagine the smell of it … life feels like static … life feels like not life … like a cot in an institution”. Electric prickles run over your skin like the static ghosts of bed bugs and roaches. A digital reminiscence of this corporeal imagination of the tiny horrors that lurk in dormitories, scabies, lice, contagious skin conditions; digital pricks and burns experienced by those with electromagnetic sensitivity. “You can feel the analogue is about to break.” In this case it is the digital that is breaking, janky systems that run low on battery, or having been set in energy-saver mode are drifting off to sleep.

According to the project brief, “contributing art spaces were selected following a set of secret yet random criteria.” Though we will likely never learn the “secret criteria” on which the show is premised. This exhibition evokes intimacy, it is about revealing what is initially hidden.

Like finding a colony of holographic ants on the underside of a log, each piece in EDENunlimited must be discovered. You crouch against the wall by Aimee Heinemann‘s ‘Greek & Roman Mythology 2003: World Aquaculture & Apocalypse Narratives’ (2014), invited by UK’s Almanac, insert a pod or two into your aural orifices and tune into Heinemann’s voice. Following a lilting narrative, it transports you somewhere else, into a magical wikipedia of bodies and psychologies and smoky experimental skies, the voice tells you, “Strange Galaxies”.

Lawrence Leaman & Jacques Rogers, 'Piper Keys' (2014). Courtesy
Jacques Rogers, ‘Audio File’ (2014). Audi file re-interpreted by a performer. Installation view. 

From one thin bare mattress to the next, the exhibition winds through a series of simulated privacies. A text printed on silk, ‘Bind To’ (2014) by V4ULT’s Anna Mikkola and Hanna Nilsson, hangs, shower-curtain-like as an imperfect partition between pieces. Coming upon Jacent Varoym‘s ‘La Sieste (Abyssus Abyssum Invocat)’ (2014), a scene strewn with clothing, a half-drunk glass of wine and a plate of curry wurst, confronting and embarrassing you with these abject remnants of life. Visitors to the space sit on beds and talk in hushed tones. Everywhere you walk, you feel like you’re interrupting. You stop by Andrea Lukic‘s, ‘Who Will Let Her Hair Down When I Cannot Sing My Heart’ (2014) and poke the grimy nub of an earphone into your ear to discover the sound of fire crackling from the imitation flames of wood, pebbles and light bulbs. Though the intimacies are calculated, their simulated viscera is tangible.**

Exhibition photos, top-right.

The EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc group exhibition was on at Berlin’s Alt Stralau 4, opening September 20 and running to September 28, 2014.

Header image: Jaakko Pallasvuo, ‘Audio.jpg’ (2014) w/ NO SPACE. 

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Keal, Lemmey & Jones @ Almanac Projects, July 23

18 July 2014

London’s Almanac is hosting a night of staged performance installations featuring Richard John Jones, Huw Lemmey and Lily Keal at Legion TV on July 23 (7-10pm).

The event comes as a part of 484 14th Street, a solo show by Nina Wakeford that runs at the space from July 10 to August 2, to whose installations (and explorations of physical affect) the performances respond.

Through the course of the night, Keal – who has previously collaborated with Wakeford on Coup – will perform her piece, ‘I Just Want To Hug Your Work’, followed by Lemmey and Jones collaborating on ‘To Make Art, To Take Clothes Off’.

See the Legion TV event page (and scroll down) for details. **


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Nina Wakeford @ Legion TV, Jul 9 – Aug 2

7 July 2014

Visual artist and sociologist Nina Wakeford presents her latest solo exhibition, titled 484 14th Street, at London’s Legion TV from July 9 to August 2.

Dr. Nina Wakeford –who currently co-ordinates the PhD programme in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths as well as the INCITE (Incubator for Critical Inquiry into Technology and Ethnography) research group, which she founded –has made a career of exploring contemporary topics in experimental ways, finding inspiration in things like internet cafes and women’s discussions lists.

In presenting her own spin on modern ethnography to investigate new technologies and virtual methodologies, 484 14th Street comes as part of The Immaterial Almanac, a series of collaborative projects and solo exhibitions featuring emerging artists experimenting with labour and performance and put on by the Almanac art space.

See the Legion TV exhibition page for details. **

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