Life Gallery

Natasha Lall @ Life Gallery, March 17

14 March 2016

Natasha Lall will screen three videos at London’s Life Gallery in a one night show called Scrub on March 17.

“A scrub is a now generalized term used as a synonym for a ‘noob’ or ‘newb’, which is someone who is bad at a video game or activity in general”, reads the accompanying text.

The text, which is from a 2008 definition of the word ‘scrub’ in Urban Dictionary by a user called Chirus_Fire, then discusses how the term used to refer to a person who deliberately and persistently makes mistakes in a video game by mashing their hand over the control pad with loose grip like when you hold a sponge to wash a car with.

How does a term lose itself like that? What is a ‘scrub’ now, in 2016? What is the power and effect of deliberate intention and persistence in de-skilling?

Scrub will be the first solo presentation for the artist whose work nestles in and across contexts of feminist cinema, gaming, anime, app making, sped-up mixed tapes, cyborgs and

See the FB Event for more details**

Natasha Lall, I Trust This Program (2015). Courtesy the artist and Apiary Studios
Natasha Lall @ I Trust This Program (2015). Courtesy the artist and Apiary Studios.

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Sam Cottington @ Life Gallery, Dec 11

10 December 2015

Sam Cottington‘s evening event do you even know what a screaming faggot looks like is on at London’s Life gallery on December 11.

The itinerant residential art space has featured exhibitions by the likes of Emily Jones, Morag Keil and Gili Tal across rentals in the past, as well as Holly Childs and Max TT Edmond’s Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} online last year.

There’s not any info on what Cottington himself will be sharing on the day but past and present projects include DJ-ing as Summer Faggot Deathwish for @Gaybar‘s Wet Protest in August and a sound piece collaboration for do you even know… with jkwd.

See the Life Gallery website for (limited) details.**

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Marlie Mul + Life Gallery @ Vilma Gold, Feb 13 – Mar 21

13 February 2015

London’s Vilma Gold gallery is bringing two simultaneous exhibitions to its Minerva St. space, running consecutively from February 13 to March 21.

First is Berlin-based artist Marlie Mul and her solo exhibition, Arbeidsvitaminen. As the press image for the show hints, Mul’s show will bring more of her found object-like installations, physical materials disrupted, punctured, and repurposed, and left to do a silent striking, like her sand, resin and plastic puddles, or the spilled popcorn of her ‘Poppin’ Pollock’ installation with Morag Keil.

The second exhibition is by London’s Life Gallery, titled Our House in the Middle of Your Street and featuring Vittorio Brodmann, Manuela GernedelAnn Hirsch, Anne Imhof, ​and Holly White. After the joint opening with Mul on February 13, the exhibition will host a “Taylor Swift listening party” hosted by Emily Jones and Holly White, a workshop with White on March 7, and an evening screening of artists’ videos on March 17.

See the Vilma Gold exhibition page for details. **


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Piper Keys / Life Gallery / The Duck @ [ space ], Feb 7 – Apr 5

6 February 2015

London’s [ space ] gallery is bringing three consecutive exhibitions by artist-run spaces this month – Piper Keys and Life Gallery, and Berlin’s The Duck – running from February 7 to April 5.

Each gallery will present a two-week long show in [ space ]’s Annexe gallery, kicking off with Piper Keys, who brings a three-artist group show with Roger Ackling, Keith Farquhar and Lucy Stein, running from February 7 to February 22.

Almost as soon as Piper Keys’ show wraps up, Life Gallery takes over the space with There’s No Space in Space, a group show with Morag Keil, Caspar Heinemann and Kimmo Modig, running from February 26 to March 15, followed by Berlin’s The Duck, which will host a larger group show titled ‚dm‘,  with artists Hélène Fauquet, Nik Geene, Stuart Middleton, Naomi Pearce, Eidflo, Ellie de Verdier, Ryan Siegan Smith, and Veit Laurent Kurz, and running from March 19 to April 5.

See the [ space ] exhibition page for details. **

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Events + exhibitions, Feb 2 – 8

2 February 2015

With Material Art Fair 2015 set to start in Mexico City this week, galleries and events of interest are bound to be centred around the Mexican capital. They include booths from Parallel Oaxaca, Queer Thoughts and New Galerie, as well as the Under a Thawing Lake exhibition presented by Dark Arts International, and an opening at Lodos Gallery.

In London, Space is showing work from three artist-run spaces including Piper Keys, The Duck and that of Caspar Heinemann, Morag Keil and Kimmo Modig from Life, while Viktor Timofeev is closing his Proxyah exhibition at Jupiter Woods and Dora Budor is appearing for an artist lecture at

Tabor Robak is one of the artists in a group show curated by Samuel Leuenberger called Constructed Culture sounds like Conculture in Dublin, Harm van den Dorpel has another solo show in Berlin, Caroline Ongaro is curating  Exquisite Collapse and Finnish performance group Vibes is presenting a site-specific installation at Helsinki’s SIC.

There’s more so see below:


Dora Budor @, Feb 2

NEWGenNow: Binary Static @ The White Building, Feb 3

The Violet Crab @ DRAF, Feb 5 – May 2

Visionhale @ Chisenhale Gallery, Feb 5 – 6

Material Art Fair 2015, Feb 5 – 8

Activating the Archive opening @ Banner Repeater, Feb 5

Primitive London 4th B-Day @ Tipsy, Feb 6

Micachu, Tirzah &c @ LOCAL, Feb 6

Opening party @ LEISURE, Feb 6

Gender Troublers: FEMEA @ UdK, Feb 6

Proxyah (version 2) closing event @ Jupiter Woods, Feb 7

Spirit Level finissage @ ANDOR, Feb 7


Exquisite Collapse @ Blip blip blip, Feb 3 – 25

Under a Thawing Lake @ Justo Sierra 71 (Estudio 71), Feb 4 – 8

Ry David Bradley @ Tristian Koenig, Feb 4

Sol Calero @ 63rd – 77th STEPS, Feb 4 – 25


Menna Cominetti @ Lima Zulu, Feb 6

Emily Jones @ V4ULT, Feb 6

Constructed Culture sounds like Conculture @ Ellis King, Feb 6 – Mar 14

Kevin Gallagher @ Lodos Gallery, Feb 6 – Mar 21

Vibes @ SIC, Feb 6 – 22

Harm van den Dorpel @ Neumeister Bar-Am, Feb 7 – Apr 11

Piper Keys, Life Gallery + The Duck @ Space gallery, Feb 8 – 22**

See here for exhibitions opening last week.

Header image: Parallel Oaxaca @ Material Art Fair 2015.

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Gili Tal, Lena Tutunjian + Felix Lee @ Life Gallery, Jan 10 – 18

9 January 2015

Life Gallery is bringing a new week-long group show featuring artists Lena Tutunjian, Gili Tal and Felix Lee and running at their new Albion Street space from January 10 to January 18.

The London gallery has seen some great artists roll through its doors in the past year, including Aimee Heinemann with COPE AGAINST COPE at the beginning of last year, Emily Jones and her Prayer for the Sonoran Desert show in February,  Cédric Fargues with ARTOAST over the summer, and Holly Childs and Max Trevor Thomas Edmond with Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials}.

January’s show brings together Gili Tal – following Panoramic Views of the Cityher Fall show at Berlin’s Sandy Brown Gallery – as well as artists Lena Tutunjian and Felix Lee, who participated in an Arcadia Missa 2013 collaborative group exhibition, purlove, for Tank Magazine’s decade launch party.

See the Life Gallery website for details. **

Gili Tal, PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE CITY. (2014). Exhibition view. Courtesy Sandy Brown, Berlin.
Gili Tal, PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE CITY. (2014). Exhibition view. Courtesy Sandy Brown, Berlin.
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Emails unfinished w Holly Childs + Max T.T. Edmond

21 August 2014

On first accessing Holly Childs and Max Trevor Thomas-Edmond’s Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} exhibition on the Life Gallery website, it appeared on my old MacBook as a series of ‘Server Authentication’ boxes floating across each other. Each of the Google docs comprising the exhibition had failed to load. It was serene yet commanding, each display message representing text existent but remote. When I finally did get things up and running, the structure of the looping docs demanded a higher level of concentration than I’ve become accustomed to for much of my online consumption. This call for alertness, attempting to pin down the link between each text, means the experience of the exhibition becomes as important as its content. The Internet connection necessary to do so also informed the creation of the texts themselves – part of an online, experimental discourse that makes up a series of collaborations Childs and Thomas-Edmond have been working on since October 2013. Using primarily Google docs and facebook chat discussions, they explore popular culture, gender, and fashion within truncated language that is written to be read, not spoken.

Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, Nutri-Cream cocktail portraits of bend it leik mathu barni h&m ecosystem artists and guests @ Centre for Style (2014). Photo by Elliott Lauren. Courtesy the artists.
Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, ‘Nutri-Cream’ cocktail portraits of bend it leik mathu barni h&m ecosystem artists and guests @ Centre for Style (2014). Photo by Elliott Lauren. Courtesy the artists.

Childs and Thomas-Edmond’s work looks at the way ideas intersect and overlap, and how and when they do so. Over a series of emails and another shared Google doc which the Melbourne and Auckland-based artist-writers invite me to join, they explain their participation in bend it leik mathu barni h&m eco system. It’s an event at the IRL Centre for Style gallery/store in Melbourne which, “came to surround Matthew Barney, David Beckham, h&m, migraines [and] Nutri-grain[…]resulting from our experimental/divinatory processes”, and whichleft the pair with scripts and planning discussions that remained unseen after the show. By giving this planning data unusual precedence in Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials}, the notion of a complete text gets hazy, and the hierarchical order normally applied to the creative process becomes less concrete.

By choosing to correspond by email and answer my questions using a Google doc as opposed to a face to face, or even phone interview, conversation becomes an extension of the collaborative practice of Childs and Thomas-Edmond, privileging the non-verbal and allowing ideas to bump against each other and sometimes transform, with the same improvisational tone that characterizes their previous projects. It’s a back and forth that becomes a kind of palimpsest – where the artists add a strikethrough to an irrelevant part of a question, rather than removing it. Unsure “if conclusions are (ever) reached or if they are worth reaching in general”, they’re more interested in making space for the divergent meanings that might happen between hyper-abbreviated words in an exploratory brainstorm on the zeitgeist.

Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, 'Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials}' (2014) @ Life Gallery. Screen shot. Courtesy the artists.
Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} (2014) @ Life Gallery. Screen shot. Courtesy the artists.

The experience of the exhibition on screen reminds me of trying to consume text in many other ways online. Conscious of your eyes darting, trying to process different sources of information simultaneously. Why did you choose to layout the exhibition in looping shared Google docs?

Holly Childs + Max T.T. Edmond: Google docs is pretty central to our collaborative practice. We started online before we met IRL, so that was initially a means of writing together long distance though its also probably the best way to write together even if u in same room… so our work was already in google docs. We have a mass of work in many many google docs. Holly likes each one to have a really complex title + we had already done a couple of simpler things embedding google docs – like just one doc embedded over the top of a video of nature timelapse etc. It’s a way of presenting text preformatted. rich text.

Part of the process or structure of the IRL CfS event was that different artists would be doing different presentations/activities that disrupt, distort (etc.) each other, and that’s carried over by having different areas of text that overlap and interrupt each other at different points, different overlaps each time they cycle through. Presenting (text/whatever) in a decentralised way. Not having a designated point of focus.

You mention that you’re interested in looking at different interlinking ideas and textualities. What conclusions are reached/what is revealed in the intersections of the discursive formations of gender, fashion, celebrity and popular culture that you discuss?

H+M: These are maybe not the particular focus of this show, though they emerge through the way we talk about things and peripherally in many things we end up discussing. idk if conclusions are (ever) reached or if they are worth reaching in general. Conclusions seem to slow down discourse more than assist it because too static.

I guess we would hope that there are certain revelations/things revealed in (our) writing? Things that are maybe obscured by dominant modes of discourse, and deferred by dominant practices of development (of creative/intellectual produce…). By intersecting as many discourses as possible, at any opportunity. cos they can feed off/inform each other, at various different points of intersection.

How are these conclusions/revelations influenced by technology?

H+M: I guess that depends what kind of technology. There are different influences/distortions to be taken from all these different technologies. Maybe the purpose of technology being to enhance or facilitate or lubricate discourse/exchange – but each technology enhancing/facilitating in different ways by privileging different outcomes etc.

So, different technologies (would) allow (us) different forms of inter-pollination between discourses, and that fuels revelation in (our) writing. Blending and/or interlinking discursivities.

+ there are different ways to respond to/be influenced by different respective technologies. e.g. not everyone takes the internet as an opportunity to discourse or converse more fluidly; or less conservatively lol.

What’s more pervasive, nostalgia or irony?

H+M: In our work? Neither.
I guess they’re each pervasive in different areas of culture.
Ironic nostalgia seems pretty widespread.

I like the idea of people being prevented from fully engaging with online content by being present in the world. (#distractedbypresence) How does the notion of complicit consumption influence your work?

[By complicit consumption I meant the way most people embrace information created and shared on social media and other platforms, the lack of questioning/discernment in regards to such information, the benefits/worst aspects of such instant sharing, etc.]

H+M: I guess any form of presence creates its own brand of inability to engage (deeply or w/e). The focus on presence, on the present image, the visual, provable etc. Creating failures in connection or understanding. I guess there are many different ways to be #distractedbypresence which we could explore.

Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} (2014) @ Life Gallery. Screen shot. Courtesy the artists.
Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} (2014) @ Life Gallery. Screen shot. Courtesy the artists.

That instance refers to creating an online event, simultaneous with the CFS event, which would privilege absence from the event as the event revolved around disruptions, blindspots, holes, orifices etc. An event exclusively for absent “attendees” Anti-event [sub-event “bend it leik mathu barni h&m ecosystem“] hosted by Katherine Botten as her creative contribution to the event. To break down the idea that people present at the event, or present somewhere, are getting more than those absent – that presence is privileged over absence in general. So also, people are potentially inhibited from engaging with the exhibition online due to its recreation of presence/immediacy/realtime. It’s not a typical static reduced internet object but a moving/changing stream. It’s not typically accessible. Actually even the individual parts of text – if viewed statically – aren’t typically accessible lol.

This presence totally also applies to online activity, social media etc. People feel like they are being active or engaging by making something visible, or associating its presence with their presence – online presence. Sharing means something different to liking. “Liking” signifies more and less than liking? Posting links and receiving links posted by others. Everyone changing their prof pics to “=” sign to support gay marriage etc.

But presence in communication (not specifically on the internet) distracts people from really engaging with the issues IRL? in interpersonal, intercultural (etc.) situations and their actual practical politics/dynamics. Immersing in representations/presentations in communication to feel engaged is being #distractedbypresence.

I guess by making something less accessible, even if it might have ended up resembling a social media feed, either challenges people to engage or filters out people who aren’t prepared or motivated to engage.

Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, 'Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials}' (2014) @ Life Gallery. Screen shot. Courtesy the artists.
Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond, Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} (2014) @ Life Gallery. Screen shot. Courtesy the artists.

The sense that some parts of the text in Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} are the planning stage of an exhibition while at the same time comprising the exhibition itself reminds me of Chris KrausI Love Dick in that it too is a project within a text that shifts from personal to critical and breaks down barriers between the two. Would you agree? In what ways does this approach to creative process interest you?

H+M: Well, the text/script began as a plan for an event, as well as written material to be presented at the event, (whether or not that was prominent in the event lol). We are working on these different levels as we are writing. But most of the planning still visible in the texts online wasn’t for the show they’re presented in. It was for the event which preceded that show. So what you see online is even another extra degree removed/layer added, another doc added in, and also with some pictures from the first event that relate to and were performative of the script.

But we do generally have multiple things happening in a text. Or we don’t try to avoid having 4, 6, 100 (lol) different things moving in amongst each other thru a text. For decentralisation, nonrefinement, divination, potential etc. Not just between personal and critical obviously, but between any number of different things feeding into a text. That might tangentially arise from or collide with our writing/scripting of a text. I mean there aren’t really even barriers between concepts or sentences in our writing lol.

‘Preliminary’ implies there’s more to come – is there?

H+M: We are working on a book collaboratively. The series of events/presentations we’ve been working on is comprised of installments of content for the book, which is still being developed. All the writing we’ve presented so far is still being written and built up. We will keep giving these types of events/presentations, but when/whether this particular body of content will resurface is uncertain at this point. It may come up in other installments, if its relevant. But it’s also preliminary in its form. Decidedly unfinished, which is also potential. Maybe designating all work as preliminary. **

Holly Childs and Max T.T. Edmond’s Ellen Degeneres Beezin Topshop {preliminary materials} was on at London’s Life Gallery, running July 23 to August 20, 2014.

Header image: Alden Epp Holly Childs’ and Max Trevor Thomas Edmond’s nails all night. Post-production‘digital migraine auras’ by Dawn Marble. Concepts by distributed. Courtesy the artists.

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Cédric Fargues @ Life Gallery, Jun 6 – Jul 6

5 June 2014

Artist Cédric Fargues is exhibiting his latest show, titled ARTOAST, at London’s Life Gallery from June 6 – July 6.

With a veil of mystery surrounding the show, and repeated banners and tweets that read only My ARTOAST could mean anything, Fargues creates an air of intrigue about the exhibition – will it be graphic or performative, static or dynamic, will we be the conconspirators or the sacrifice?

See the Life Gallery website for no details. **

cedric fargues3

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Morag Keil @ Life Gallery, Mar 3

3 March 2014

For the last show at its current location in Peckham, London’s Life presents a solo exhibition by Morag Keil, March 3.

Either unofficially titled With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility or simply the sole text, the  accompanying YouTube videos-as-press release features disembodied hands painting two L1fe residents’ torsos, dismembered by the frame, with said expression in black paint.

Considering Keil’s concerns with visibility, violence and commodification, it makes you think about the power of mediation anyone with a broadband connection possesses and the use (or lack there of) they put it to.

That’s especially when you consider the L1fe website exhibition page, presented with a simulated piano cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ ft. Mikky Ekko via LittleTranscriber, with its original lyrics, “I threw my hands in the air, said, ‘show me something’,” dissolving into digitised sound.

See the Life website for details. **


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Emily Jones @ Life Gallery, Feb 22

22 February 2014

Emily Jones is showing Prayer for the Sonoran Desert at London’s Life space, opening February 22 and running to February 28.

Named after the North American desert, one of the hottest in the region, the announcement comes with a blurb taken in fragments from Charles Darwin’s Journal and Remarks, more commonly known as The Voyage of the Beagle, with some hashtag appendices referencing spiritual philosophy, cellular biology and semiotic theory:

“Effect of lava and a calcareous beach – Habits of Aplysia and Octopus –
Extent of granite – Burnished rocks – Habits of Diodon – Causes of discoloured
sea – Clouds on Corcovado – Heavy rain – Musical Hyla – Lampyris and its larvae –
Elater, springing powers of – Blue haze – Noise of butterfly – Ants – spider
with imperfect web – Partridges – Geology – Absence of trees – Salt lakes –
flamingos – Sacred tree – Patagonian Hare – Sand dunes – Ground encrusted
with Glauber salt – Saline streams – Level plains – Habits of Jaguar – state
of government – Phosphorescence of sea – Immense streams of lava – horses,
rabbit, wolf-like fox – Fire made of bones – Habits of puma – Hummingbirds –
scenes of violence – Gold mines – Cause of great waves – Permanent elevation
of land – Great lake of fluid rock beneath crust of the globe – Tameness of
birds – Falkland Islands – Fear of man an acquired instinct – Coral formations
resisting power of ocean – Stones transported by roots of trees

#dharma #umwelt #pluripotent”

See the Life website for details. **

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