Paul Simon Richards is presenting solo exhibition Love’s Hidden Symmetry at London’s ANDOR gallery, opening July 23 running through August 20.
The artist, who’s recent show at London’s Arcade aqnb reviewed here, presents a large-scale video project done over the course of several months. Working with a group of actors in an intense collaboration, the work is semi-structured and improvisational. It focuses on the “intricate flows of power within a friendship group” with “each character’s experience unfolding in both remembered and imagined events”.
Meanwhile, a multi-channel video installation presents a “deterioration of the chronological passing of time through a landscape of melodramatic relationships”.
Goth Tech is presenting a live “karaoke-style” event, performance and screening of 1995 cult film Clueless at London’s ANDOR on April 22.
The London-based art and production duo featuring Josh Grigg and Holly Whitereleased GT My First Movielast year, following their impressive 2013 digital LP, released via one track per month, Year of Goth Tech on their Soundcloud.
The producers are no strangers to events either, their “lychee bomb” Sour Hour at Edinburgh’s EMBASSY being just one of many efforts at immersive music and performance.
For this Clueless show, the press release promises ‘cheap’, as well as ‘free’ snacks to accompany a custom version of the Alicia Silverstone movie with a Goth Tech soundtrack and subtitles allowing participants to act along: “Look like you’re having fun and you’re really popular.”
London’s ANDOR gallery will present solo show Original Cheese by Gery Georgieva, opening March 24 and running April 16.
The artist’s recent solo show Solo Romantika at East London’s Res. was introduced by a YouTube-style how-to make up prelude video displaying her scraping tiny decorative beads off her face like a face-mask before getting up and running away when she hears someone approach. The one-take aesthetic is complicated, quickly melting into something produced yet effortless, layered, sung over, performed, edited and manipulated.
The only thing we are presented with in the run up to Original Cheese is an image taken in a club, disco lights sprinkling the backs of the people in the photo, leaving, it seems, Georgieva to manipulate the experience of whatever will be installed in ANDOR to turn its back until attended, a bit like really, really cheesy music…
The thing about readings, or events with readings in them is often that what is being read doesn’t necessarily do much different to the content being read than would be experienced on a page, online or on paper. That’s not to misunderstand the basic fact of ‘liveness’ and how different that medium is to reading in your own time –but it seems that at the moment there is not enough of a distinction between work that is meant to be read and work that is meant to be read!
The words read out at Gathering Place, the evening organised on February 25 by Caspar Heinemann held at London’s ANDOR Gallery and featuring live readings by Mira Mattar, Nat Raha and Penny Goring, were completely lifted, necessary, painful, important, big, small, and received by the people there. They were given into the room.
The words in Goring’s piece for the evening are defensive, protective, strong, sore and tender, but her singing of them too, to a repeat and memorable nursery rhyme tune feels like a very real strategy in order to be present with the work in the room –for the artist, and in turn, for us. This runs throughout the evening and is what allows it be a good Gathering Place.
There are many people here, talking, meeting and drinking the free gin & tonics. The smell is absolutely incredible, it’s aggressive. It is a work by Alex Margo Arden and is most present in the space between the first room and second room, where the readings take place. It is on the verge of being slightly nauseating. It is on the verge of being slightly intoxicating. It is possibly the smell of hot rubber or rubber that has had friction applied to it, rubber that has skipped straight past the fire part and is just smoking quietly.
In the short piece Heinemann has written to introduce the event, they mention that architecture should inspire and innovate: “I defend to the death the right to smoke weed on children’s play equipment”. The phrase makes me think quickly to the promotional image used for Gathering Place (below), which is a photograph of a work by Alex Margo Arden, although the work is not in this space. Ropes wrap around hooks and end up like pink buds that give out lines and shadows to form a silhouette of a climbing frame or something like that on the wall behind.
What holds each of the four pieces of writing together is a lament or narrative or, occasional homage to the destruction of everything, innovation, luxury, struggle, desire, deficit and fantasy. I wonder briefly, sitting there on the floor with everyone else, about using words like weights or punches to criticise things that are the definition of, or that actively define and oppress structures. A thought occurs about destroying words; and then about the fact that thoughts like that often form as the direct result of listening to powerful ones that are spoken by someone with a deep understanding of both their destructive and constructive power.
Mira Mattar silently approaches the wall she leans against to speak. She reads two sides of a single piece of paper without averting her gaze from it and without pausing for reaction or effect. The silence Mattar commands is stunning and precious and no one breaks it. She reads like she is under and also performing a spell, but for something/somewhere other than the audience; we watched. The writing is memory, and remembering with occasional marks of self awareness. “I am plotting a solitude that is neither thin escape nor shallow respite,” she says as though she invisibly lifts her head into the present moment –although all of it is read in the present tense –before dipping back into describing, “a silver fish rims sickly the edge of a toilet bowl”.
“Trains/ tunnels/ ports/ movements/ the violent fictional nation/ lyric choke”. Nat Raha’s reading is long and difficult and that feels intentional. She moves like she’s battling when she reads. She reads out lists of painful things, pain, recent histories, acts of police racism and violence, lists of people affected by “the economic” and it is hard to follow and hard to access, but, so are the “inaccessible homes of the economic”. And so is it for the family of “Sarah Reed and Mark Duggan” and trans women of colour in Greenwich prison marginalised: “whose being does legislation [and words and understanding and accessibility] represent?”
Raha’s words leave no traces of words. The words are almost physical acts or marks of replenishing holes, or naming and listing where names and lists have not been. There is no residue left in the performance, no poetic excess in which the words might point elsewhere, because her words are like people and bodies, they are present, here and urgent.
“In my bone dust disco” comes about half way through Penny Goring’s long poem and it stays in the air, her voice so, so sad and her words able to carry and cradle expression and indescribable feeling like the fragrance by Arden that seems to be getting stronger now too. She sometimes stops, kneeling slowly down to carry on, or standing slowly up to drink some water. We are totally in her time and she’s singing us a long tale that she’s told before somewhere, I think. Mainly it feels like a tale of a failing body holding it together (even) in intimacy to look after another.
After the final reading by London-based Goring I speak with her about what it is to sing words as well as say them, and if it maybe helps the author sit with the words better in a live moment: when people want your words most and when you don’t know if you can listen to them out loud anymore.**
Most recently, aqnb featured White’s Supermarket Cafe video series, presented a partition of consumer spaces between White and Lyndon Harrison: “a break up that saw the two protagonists respectively restricted to Starbucks and Sainsbury’s, while each of them navigated the privations of the single life within the infrastrucutre of the shopping complex.”
Artist Paul Kneale is opening a new solo show at Evelyn Yard, titled (or perhaps just explaining) 4 or 5 self portraits for free-form natural language descriptions of image regions, and running at the London space from January 27 to February 27.
The show stems from SEO and Co., Kneale’s October project at tank.tv that had him re-purposing algorithmically generated text from a Lunch Bytes panel in which he participated to create a screenplay of sorts filmed in his South London studio.
Similarly to his use of YouTube’s algorithmically generated text in SEO and Co., Kneale uses an informal research partnership with Google through automated textual descriptors derived from image files “that render as of yet impossible nuances of action and time”.
Focusing on sculptures that “activate light, time, and ontological transfer between medium states”, the installation images will be fed back into Google for analysis, thereby replacing (or questioning) the very role of the art critic.
The Evelyn Project exhibition comes simultaneously with and builds upon a new essay Kneale is collaborating on with ANDOR‘s Dreaming of Streaming project titled New Abject.
The year’s barely begun and already there’s too much to cover so we’ve compiled a list of interesting events and exhibitions from across the internet for the week beginning January 12.
A few to pay special attention to is the two-day Ambiguity Symposium at London’s Slade, including talks from Chris Kraus, Rózsa Farkas and Hannah Black, a new collaborative exhibition, Spirit Level, by Jesse Darling and Takeshi Shiomitsu and the second instalment of French Riviera’s Alternative Equinox.
Chrystal Gallery and newscenario.net are featuring new exhibitions online, while Aude Pariset, Dora Budor and Deanna Havas have shows and events across Europe. Rosa Aiello and Kari Rittenbach will be reading in New York, while in Berlin V4ULT is presenting a new exhibition (with intervention) artist Philipp Timischl has a book presentation alongside a performance by Lonely Boys and Panke is presenting an exhibition of emerging Lithuanian artists for one night only in a Katja Novitskova-inspired show-title, Survival Guide.
Same Same, Darling and Shiomitsu’s first show together, opened last October and ran at the CAC 41N/41E Gallery in Bat’umi, Georgia until January, where London’s ANDOR is picking up the baton with Spirit Level.
With Same Same, the two artists created a series of site-specific architectures, curated by Elene Abashidze, and, as the name implies, mirrored each other in a reflective sort of way.
Spirit Level on the other hand, comes accompanied by the two words’ multiple meanings as noun, verb and adjective spanning action, emotion, soul and alcohol, along with position, plane, tool and volume.
When artist and curator Mat Jenner describes the distribution and viewing of art online as a “loss of the body, in some ways,” his choice of words has a particular resonance in the space of Stoke Newington’s Project/Number. In the presence of his Foam exhibition, after all, the body (both yours and the body of work that makes up the dubplate archive at the room’s centre) is crucial. It’s dependent on participants entering the space, picking out a record and playing it; it’s entirely grounded in physicality.
The records in the archive include contributions from artists as varied as Hannah Black, Yuri Pattison and Christopher Kulendran Thomas& Amnesia Scanner, and range from experimental soundscapes and heavy metal, to spoken word poetry and a Drake cover. In practice, this endows the recordings with an unpredictability and tension that makes them the volatile epicentre of the otherwise sparse room. Jenner talks of them as “colouring” the space; each person who walks into the gallery and plucks out a record has the potential to drastically alter their surroundings.
This Friday, July 4, Foam opens at Hackney’s AND/OR gallery, where you can see (and hear) it until August 2. Watch our interview with Mat Jenner for more on the unpredictability of the Foam experience, the process behind the artists selected to contribute, the use of records (and of the space itself) as form and the re-gaining of art’s lost body. **