Chisenhale Gallery

Yuri Pattison @ Chisenhale Gallery, Jul 15

13 July 2016

Chisenhale Gallery is presenting an early morning viewing of Yuri Pattison’s exhibition user, space with an introduction by Tommie Introna, Offsite and Education Assistant at the gallery on July 15.

The London-based artist’s solo exhibition runs from July 7 to August 28, occupies the entire gallery and is a major new commission resulting from Pattison’s 18-month residency at Chisenhale Gallery, produced in partnership with Create.

An immersive installation comprised of digital and sculptural elements creates a “speculative live/work environment” that draws influence from “Modernist architecture and science fiction”, the show is an imagined vision of a “utopian space of fantastic social and political potential”.

Nora N. Khan, a contributing Editor at Rhizome, has been commissioned to write ‘Commons‘, a fictional text in response to Pattison’s new work.

See the FB event page for more details.**

Yuri Pattison @ Chisenhale

Yuri Pattison, user, space (2016). Exhibition view. Courtesy Chisenhale Gallery, London.

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Shen Xin @ Chisenhale Gallery, Mar 31

30 March 2016

As a part of Chisenhale Gallery‘s 2015-16 programme, 21st Century, London-based artist Shen Xin will present work, ‘Forms Escape: Prologue’ on the evening of March 31.

The artist who is primarily a film and documentary maker, will bring a live presentation that acts as a prologue to a new moving image piece Shen is working on around the practice of Tibetan Buddhism in Europe.

The work and the coming event will look particularly towards the “afflictions of contemporary capitalism’s relationship with power”, and how appropriation, objectification and exploitation exist and work within.

Shen recently organised and showed work in a symposium called Shoulders of Giants which focussed on the mechanisms and politics of power and oppression found inherent within daily life, with contributions from Hannah Black, Esther Leslie, Mark Fisher and Simon O’Sullivan, who each participated via a screen and the avatars of ancient animated creatures of their choice.

See the Chisenhale Gallery website for details.**

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Yuri Pattison @ Google Campus, March 3

29 February 2016

Current Chisenhale Gallery Create Resident, Yuri Pattison has convened Enquire to Annotate, a discussion that will take place at Google Campus London on March 3.

The event, which features speakers such as Ivan Pope and Eva Pascoe, chair of group Right to Privacy online, will focus on the paradox between the growing online economy that is built on information, and that this information is controlled through central governing bodies.

With the Chisenhale gallery, Pattison is looking into peer-to-peer skill sharing, as well as digital transparency. This ‘offsite’ talk is part of a programme of events that explores a networked society.

See the Eventbrite page for details.**

Yuri Pattison, ' sums it up for me' (2013). Image courtesy the artist.
Yuri Pattison, ‘ sums it up for me’ (2013). Image courtesy the artist.
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Camille Henrot @ Johann König Galerie, Sep 4 – Nov 1

2 September 2015

Johann König Galerie opens its doors again after a lengthy summer renovation for The Pale Fox by Camille Henrot, opening at the Berlin space on September 4 and running until November 1.

The exhibition, which was commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery in partnership with Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Bétonsalon, and Westfälischer Kunstverein in 2014,  comprises “an architectural display system” with everything from drawings and digital images, to bronze, ceramic sculptures and found objects.

“Unfolding like a frieze across the four walls of the gallery…” The Pale Fox creates a highly constructed yet meditative world in which the four points of a compass are aligned with “the stages in an individual lifecycle, the evolution of technology, philosophical principles of Leibniz and the four Classical elements: fire, water, earth and air”.

See the FB exhibition page for details. **


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Rachel Pimm + Lori E Allen @ Chisenhale Gallery, Aug 20

19 August 2015

Artist Rachel Pimm joins archaeological sound designer Lori E Allen for a presentation titled Worming out of shit at London’s Chisenhale Gallery on August 20.

Using performance and sound, the presentation explores “Pimm’s research into the roles of soil strata and landfill in the composition of the earth’s surface”, examining the instability that occurs when man-made materials combine with organic ones.

For the presentation, Zimbabwe-born and London- and New Delhi-based Pimm—who is one of the co-founders of the artist-run project Auto Italia South East —joins Allen in creating a unique audio landscape.

See the event page for details. **

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Yuri Pattison @ Chisenhale Gallery, Aug 13

12 August 2015

London’s Chisenhale Gallery is hosting a “crypto-party”-inspired workshop led by artist Yuri Pattison this Thursday, August 13.

The workshop is Pattison’s response to the “growing anxiety surrounding surveillance, mass communication, big data and information overload”, a kind of lesson in everything from the evasion of online monitoring systems and improvement of our online security to how to relax amidst it all.

The artist hosts the workshop as part of his 18-month residency at Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency, titled Enquire to Annotate and comprised of a new website, sculpture works, and a series of events marking the midpoint of Pattison’s commission.

See the FB event page for details. **


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The Drowned World @ Chisenhale Gallery, Aug 12

10 August 2015

The Drowned World screening, which shows films by six different artists, will run at London’s Chisenhale Gallery on August 12.

The group screening, representing a patchwork of experimental narratives that examine current socio-political landscapes—human nature, gender, class and Existentialism—with “humour, irony and disbelief”, takes its name from a 1962 science fiction novel by English New Wave novelist J.G. Ballard.

The screening brings works by six contributing artists. French artist Philomène Hoël introduces ‘Silent Conversations’ (2014), LA-artist Daniel Shanken brings ‘Common Descent’ (2015), London-based video and performance artist Rehana Zaman screens ‘5’ (2014), Brighton artist Jasmine Johnson introduces ‘L making Pesto’ (2013), Moussa Sarr screens ‘L’appel (série Point de vue)’ (2013), and Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri – with whom we have done a twopart video feature for our Money Makes the World Go ‘Round series – screens her 2013 film, ‘SOAP’.

See the event page for details. **

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Brian Fuata @ Chisenhale Gallery reviewed

30 July 2015

In the middle of the Chisenhale Gallery studio space, seats and cushions are arranged in a circle. It’s not immediately clear what we’ve come to witness this evening, another in the 21st Century Series, but Brian Fuata has done this performance before. That time it was – as he begins by explaining to us – on Sunday, and only five people showed up. One of them was a very handsome scientist, who passed around a bottle of poppers and talked about gamma rays. It sounds too strange to be true, I’m not sure whether to believe him. But this feeling dissipates as he commits to the story – I realise it doesn’t matter whether I believe him or not. Fuata is making sure we know, for the next 20 minutes at least, not to expect empirical truth.

Brian Fuata (2015). Photo by Manuela Barczewski. Image courtesy Chisenhale, London.
Brian Fuata (2015). Photo by Manuela Barczewski. Image courtesy Chisenhale, London.

Like the five spectators before us, we’re sitting in a circle around him. Unlike the previous performance, however, this iteration is sold out. Whether his story is true or not, the idea of it suddenly exists: there is now a precedent for this moment. Imagining this past semi-identical event, the room suddenly feels very crowded. Although Fuata recounts the previous performance for us forcefully, he is occasionally fuzzy on the details. The story starts to feel like a ritual, as though he is willing it into being. Memories are often somehow tainted by time and uncertainty – but they still inescapably colour our experience of the present.

Fuata sets a timer on his phone, then changes into his performance clothes – a white shirt and jeans. After stepping into the middle of the room, he covers himself with a king-size white bedsheet. Suddenly, he is the kitsch archetype of a ghost: the laziest halloween costume or the lowest-budget film extra. It doesn’t matter. Fuata no longer has a face or a living human form. Instead, he has soft, flowing edges. He has less weight somehow. His body is no longer placed firmly in this moment.

Some people say ghosts are not real, others have seen ghosts or had paranormal experiences. Either way, we all know ghost stories. Some might argue it’s undeniable that ghosts exist – insofar as we believe them to exist. It seems that for Fuata, ghosts – whether real or imagined – are manifestations of history given a semi-physical form.

Brian Fuata (2015). Photo by Manuela Barczewski. Image courtesy Chisenhale, London.
Brian Fuata (2015). Photo by Manuela Barczewski. Image courtesy Chisenhale, London.

He is simultaneously believable and implausible as the ghost. The low-budget costume, mixed with a laissez-faire attitude towards verisimilitude, leaves us stuck between two readings. From one perspective Fuata is just a man inside a sheet, lifting up a chair with considerable effort. From another, the chair floats in the air, as if possessed. Sometimes he interjects with ghostly noises. They’re coming from the direction of the sheet: from Fuata, or the ghost, or both, or neither. Hunched over, with a gnarled finger poking out of the sheet, he pushes a coin along the floor. Are all ghosts straining and hunching to make objects move in a more ghostly way?

Fuata’s performance is insightful through its strangeness, humour and lightness. Memory becomes an evidently compromised structure, history loses its weight, and ghosts become avatars – conjured up to give form to our desire to find cause in every inexplicable event. Fuata makes a case for recognising – even dramatising – those spectres that haunt the contemporary. In order to find ways of making a better, new future, we cannot ignore the fact that history is always informing the present. We should not be afraid of ghosts. **

Performance photos, top right.

Brian Fuata’s semi-improvisational performance was on as part of the 21st Century Programme at London’s Chisenhale Gallery on July 23, 2015.

Header image: Brian Fuata (2015). Photo by Manuela Barczewski. Image courtesy Chisenhale, London.

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Patrick Staff @ Chisenhale Gallery, Feb 19 – Apr 12

17 February 2015

London’s Chisenhale Gallery is bringing a new film installation by Patrick Staff titled The Foundation, running February 19 to April 12.

Combining footage shot at LA’s Tom of Finland Foundation, where the archives of gay icon and erotic artist Touko Laaksonen or Tom of Finland are held, with choreographed sequences shot in a constructed set, Staff’s The Foundation explores the intergenerational nature of queer relationships.

In a sense, the film is an homage not to Tom of Finland but to the communities that support him, the “ideas of intergenerational relationships and care”. Weaving his own story in with that of Tom of Finland and the community that dutifully upholds his legacy, Staff combines film with dance and performance to explore the life of a “younger trans person within a context dominated by the overtly masculine, male identity of an older generation”, using his wry humour – “Every cocksucker is well aware that the same man who puts on a badge to arrest him  probably just gets his blowjobs at a different truck stop” – to poke at its social and political implications.

See the Chisenhale Gallery exhibition page for details. **


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Events + exhibitions, Feb 16 – 22

16 February 2015

Exhibitions and events of interest are more globally dispersed the week starting February 16. Highlights include a remotely assembled exhibition by Kareem Lotfy and political satirist Andeel at Cairo’s Nile Sunset Annex and A Form is a Social Gatherer group exhibition, featuring the likes of Adam Cruces, Tiril Hasselknippe, Philipp Timischl in Zürich.

Around London, Future Brown is playing the ICA, Slade students – including Sarah Boulton, Cristine Brache and Olga Koroleva – are presenting at Fictional Symposium at The Showroom and Patrick Staff is presenting at Chisenhale Gallery. In other UK cities Benedict Drew “& Friends” are performing Salon Dyslexic in Nottingham and Mat Jenner has an exhibition in Birmingham.

As for Berlin, Mirak Jamal and Santiago Taccetti are hosting a second Stoneroses exhibition, including the likes of Martin Kohout and Katharina Fengler, while elsewhere Angelo Plessas has a new solo exhibition in Athens and Leslie Kulesh is showing online with CosmoCarl.

There’s more so see below:


Fictional Symposium @ The Showroom, Feb 17

Erika Biddle @ SLG, Feb 18

Future Brown @ ICA, Feb 19

Ruth Proctor @ John Jones, Feb 19

G I R L S @ The Star of Kings, Feb 20

X+1 @ MACM, Feb 20

PUWABA 9: Mount Mediocre @ Bola 8, Feb 20

Open Studios @ 3236 RLS, Feb 20

Future Contemporaries Fundraising Party @ Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Feb 21

Salon Dyslexic @ Reactor, Feb 21

Longing Disco @ Transition Gallery, Feb 21

Beauty School Dropout @ DKUK Salon, Feb 21

Keston Sutherland @ Cell Project Space, Feb 21

Anal House Meltdown @ The Glory, Feb 21

@ Holborn Library, Feb 22

Grab my hand and don’t ever drop it @ Vilma Gold, Feb 22


Angelo Plessas @ The Breeder, Feb 19 – Mar 28

Dominic Hawgood @ TJ Boulting, Feb 19 – Mar 7

Patrick Staff @ Chisenhale Gallery, Feb 19 – Apr 12

Rare Earth @ Thyssen-Bornemisza, Feb 19 – May 31

Leslie Kulesh @ CosmoCarl, Feb 20

Harm van den Dorpel @ American Medium, Feb 20 – Apr 3

Andrea Büttner + Brit Meyer @ Piper Keys, Feb 20 – Mar 22

Shana Moulton @ Galerie Gregor Staiger, Feb 20 – Apr 11

Mat Jenner @ Grand Union, Feb 20 – Apr 3

Jaakko Pallasvuo @ SVILOVA, Feb 20 – Apr 3

Heather Phillipson @ Opening Times, Feb 21

Andrea Crespo @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Feb 21 – Apr 11

Never Can Say Goodbye @ Belle Air, Feb 21 – Mar 8

A Form is a Social Gatherer @ Plymouth Rock, Feb 21 – Mar 29

STUDIO @ TAP, Feb 21 – Mar 22

Kareem Lotfy + Andeel @ Nile Sunset Annex, Feb 21

Stoneroses 2 @ Sandgrube im Jagen 86, Feb 22 **

See here for exhibitions opening last week.

Header image: Kareem Lotfy + Andeel @ Nile Sunset Annex.

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Jack Brindley + Eoghan Ryan @ Chisenhale Gallery, Nov 22

20 November 2014

Chisenhale Gallery is hosting Recent MA Graduate Artist Presentations, featuring Jack Brindley and Eoghan Ryan, at their London location on November 22.

The event, which is hosted by fellow artist Athena Papadopoulos as a part of her one-year studio award at Chisenhale, brings together the two recent graduates – Bridley from RCA in 2013 and Ryan from Goldmisths in 2012.

The discussion comes as the second in Papadopoulos’s series, and each event takes whatever form the contributing artists believe will create further dialogue and provide a platform for experimentation. The talk will be followed by a reception on the patio, weather permitting.

See the exhibition FB page for details. **


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Suzanne Treister talk @ Chisenhale Gallery, Oct 28

28 October 2014

Suzanne Treister is setting up shop at London’s Chisenhale Gallery for a sold-out talk about her work today, titled Post-Surveillance Art and starting at 7pm.

The event title was lifted from one of Treister’s most recent projects, which she will be discussing as part of the talk, as well as revisiting HEXEN 2.0, a major project she worked on from 2009 to 2011 accumulating information that tracks intelligence gathering increases in the Web 2.0 era.

From that, it’s not a far leap to a discussion about the government and, necessarily, the military’s role in the development (and direction) of the internet, which Treister’s work has been exploring since her days as a digital and web-based art pioneer in the 90s.

See the Chisenhale Gallery event page for details. **


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Ed Fornieles @ Chisenhale Gallery reviewed

1 October 2014

Walking into the Ed Fornieles Modern Family show at the Chisenhale Gallery is like being transported to a cartoonish version of American suburbia complete with barbeques, picnic tables, Jacuzzis and vibrating beds. As an expansive and complex installation, it takes a while to adjust to the hip-hop thud ricocheting off the walls, the dimmed and flashing lighting, and the plasma screens displaying random images appropriated in real time from the internet. Littered with ephemera associated with family life and domesticity, it resembles a home post civil war.

The exhibition is LA- and London-based artist Fornieles’s first solo show in a UK institution. Enacting a collapse between the virtual and the real, it builds on earlier work, using the internet as raw material and recapitulating the collected data back into sculpture, installation and performance. ‘Dorm Daze’ (2011) was a Facebook sitcom semi-scripted by Fornieles, creating a fictional American high school with fake students formed from the ‘scalped’ online profiles of real people. ‘Maybe New Friends’ was a website populated by Twitter bots. Another installation, ‘Despicable Me 2’ (2013), was based on one such ‘bot’, Britney Rivers.

Ed Fornieles, Modern Family (2014). Installation view. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Photo by Andy Keate. Courtesy Carlos/ Ishikawa, London.

For Modern Family, ‘living room materiality’ is enacted via invitation to a family barbecue under an artificial Californian sunset. There’s a bubbling Jacuzzi in the corner with Michael Craig Martin-like wire sculptures of the Eiffel Tower, a martini glass, lipstick tube, the leaning tower of Pisa and a high heeled shoe. It’s like a collection of western motifs collapsed into one another. The barbeque sits on a strip of fake turf, and is filled with burnt out charcoal. A series of tongue-in-cheek slogans run throughout the exhibition (‘Be Yourself’, ‘We are one’), while mental illness is another recurring theme. One corny cut out jokes, “Hello, mental hospital? Yes, I’d like to reserve a family suite!”, while padding and cushions taped to the uprights of a central pergola act as a solitary confinement cell.

Central to Modern Family is a continually updated aggregating website linked to the APIs (application programming interfaces) of Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Google activated by search terms. Beamed onto plasma screens, the random imagery appropriated from these sites evokes the image-saturated nature of surfing the web. Fairies, pornography and profile pictures are randomly juxtaposed on the screens, creating a backdrop to an installation always in motion.

3Ed Fornieles, Modern Family (2014). Installation view. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Photo by Andy Keate. Courtesy Carlos: Ishikawa, London.

Periodically animated by actors exemplifying archetypal family roles, these characters are also embodied by sculptures and domestic items. There’s a huge pair of trousers hanging from the ceiling and a big stocky statue of a man with a mini-bar in his stomach. Tragicomic, it’s inspired by dads in cartoons. Next to the barbeque, there’s what looks like a child, Perspex legs full of colourful building blocks and sticking out of a breezeblock. Scattered throughout the installation, there is an array of amputated limbs. Arms, legs and hands are all cast in clear plastic, and filled with Cheerios, pretzels and Shredded Wheat. Traditionally a symbol of nutrition and health, the breakfast cereals and snacks instead look like disease.

At the far end of the room, a triptych with the scale of a 16th century altarpiece casually rests on a row of chairs. Abstract and coloured in shades of brown, green and red, it looks like an Anselm Kiefer. Pasted onto its surface are four cherry pies and a sheaf of wheat. At first look, it seems appealing, like the bounty of a harvest festival, but on closer inspection the canvas is covered in maggots and insects.

Scattered with the objects of domestic life, from potatoes to children’s dresses, picnic blankets to breakfast cereal, Modern Family acts as a social mirror to contemporary family life. Through presenting piles of children’s toys covered in mud, or diseased looking limbs, it casts a critical eye, not only on traditional notions of the nurturing and wholesome family home but the role of advertisers and public bodies in hijacking the data we’ve offered up for free. **


Ed Fornieles’s Modern Family solo exhibition is on at Chisenhale Gallery, running from September 19 to November 9, 2014.

Images: Ed Fornieles, Modern Family (2014). Installation view. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Photo by Andy Keate. Courtesy Carlos/ Ishikawa, London.

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‘Systems Thinking from the Inside’ @ Chisenhale Gallery reviewed

7 October 2013

There’s something decidedly austere about the Chisenhale Gallery’s main exhibition space. Part of an old print works, its bare concrete floor and strip lighting radiate what could reasonably be described as ‘Industrial asceticism’, giving the impression of a space in monkish subservience to the work displayed within. For a single night, though, the gallery’s dignified solemnity has been trumped; the cup of a large blue inflatable tent occupies the centre of the floor, as gloriously incongruous as an episode of The Sky at Night guest-hosted by the Teletubbies.

The simile is not as glib as it might appear; inside the tent, artists Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison have set up what they refer to as an “imaginary planetarium”, using the dome of the structure to project the images that constitute Systems Thinking from the Inside, a travelling lecture-cum-multimedia installation that seeks to explore the relationship between art, technological development and the curatorial process.

Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison, (2013). Photo: Maria Eisl
Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison, (2013). Photo: Maria Eisl

Taking as their frame of reference everything from the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the oddball tycoon Dennis Tito’s $20 million holiday to the international space station, Tcharfas and Ivison (the former a curatorial assistant at the Science Museum, the latter completing a Phd) propose an intellectual continuity that runs tangentially from the writing of visionary 19th Century cosmist philosopher Nikolai Fedorov to applied virtual reality. There are countless, fascinating digressions, but the pair make a persuasive argument that the technology of space travel has been directly influenced by philosophy, art and literature.

They describe, for example, how Fedorov’s science-fiction writing directly influenced the studies of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, an early rocket scientist and hero of Wernher von Braun, who foresaw the apparatus of space travel with uncanny accuracy. As they speak, Tsiolkovsky’s delicate, Saint-Exupéry-esque drawings of humans floating in zero-gravity environments envelop the sides of the dome, revolving around the audience with the fluidity of the spacewalking they depict.

Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison, (2013). Photo: Maria Eisl

There are flaws: the operation of the projections to coincide with the lecture’s themes could be a lot tighter, neither Ivison nor Tcharfas are natural public speakers and the delivery lacks the authority needed for a truly immersive experience. Similarly, the language can veer into vagueness and generalistaion; a section on closed-off ecosystems, such as the leviathan Biosphere 2 complex in Arizona, veers off into the academically gauche proposition that a suburb is “an inversion of an ecosphere”. It is, as the artists make clear, a work in progress- and once fully realised there’s every chance it could be truly spectacular.

The academic meme that fantastical art and technological development are inextricably interlinked- with the former providing the inspiration and aesthetic for the latter- is nothing new, not even to the East London gallery archipelago (The Real Truth, Suzanne Treister’s wonderful 2012 show at Raven Row is a case in point). It is, however, a theme that a pair as imaginative as Ivison and Tcharfas can successfully stretch further.

Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison’s Systems Thinking from the Inside was part of the Chisenhale Gallery’s 21st Century series.

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