Peles Empire + Agata Madejska @ Project/Number, Sep 25 – Oct 18

24 September 2015

Pele Empire is presenting a self-titled exhibition of work alongside a new light box commission by Agata Madejska‘s at London’s Project/Number, opening September 25 and running to October 18.

Peles Empire is a Berlin-based collaborative project by German artist Katharina Stoever and Romanian-born artist Barbara Wolff, recently showing at Birsfelden’s SALTS with their Mutant exhibition.

Meanwhile, Warsaw-born Madejska’s work will be showing as part of Project/Number’s ongoing series, a site-specific project space in the form of The Light Box Commissions above the gallery entrance.

See the Project/Number website for details.**

Peles Empire, Mutant (2014) @ SALTS. Exhibition view. Photo by Gunnar Meier.
Peles Empire, Mutant (2014) @ SALTS. Exhibition view. Photo by Gunnar Meier.
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Anarchic sexual desires…@ P/N, Jul 10 – Aug 10

8 July 2015

Project/Number launches a new group exhibition titled Anarchic sexual desires of plain unmarried schoolteachers, running at their London space from July 10 to August 10.

The exhibition, curated by writer/editor/curator Chris McCormack, brings together the works of six different artists—Charlotte Prodger, Rosa von Praunheim, Sofia Hultén, Terence McCormack, Irene Revell presenting HOMOCULT, and Joyce Wieland—as well as a publication featuring writing from close to twenty different writers, including I Love Dick‘s Chris Kraus and Jaki Irvine.

The theme of the exhibition and publication (which take their name from a line by Elizabeth Hardwick) continues what contributor Bruce Boone began in his short text, My Walk with Bob, formative in defining New Narrative writing—its characteristic wandering prose, and its “queer aesthetic of dissident erotic and emotional possibilities”.

See the P/N website for details. **

Chris Kraus, Gravity and Grace (1996). Film Still.
Chris Kraus, Gravity and Grace (1996). Film still.
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ANA_CON @ Project/Number, Mar 7

6 March 2015

ANA_CON kicks off a series of events during JK_NET‘s residency at Project/Number, beginning with a talk by Fannie Sosa on March 7.

The activist, artist and ‘curandera’ has much of her work focusing on “transness, divine pride and intersectional radically inclusionary feminism and body/mind decolonisation”, using a gender studies degree “to pop her pussy even more severely than before”.

The discussion will question the role of twerking in contemporary culture and whether it is used as a sexually liberating gesture or just another representation of the “oppressed hyper-sexualised body”. As if to answer its own question, the event will be followed by a TWERK LAB with Joelle D’Fontaine, and drinks after that.

See the FB event page for details. **

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Visuals from Project/Number I/P/1, P/N/21 and L/B/16

10 November 2014

Relationships are complicated. There are few systems that make this more abundantly clear than the fragmented minefiled of the internet, probably best expressed through the multi-pronged programme surrounding London’s Project/Number. Led by artist and curator Chris Rawcliffe, the gallery commissioned and launched several of its serial numbers, P/N/21, L/B/16 and I/P/1 (as in an IRL show, a lightbox installation and an inaugural online exhibition) on September 26, along with an editions launch of works by the likes of Clunie Reid, Mat Jenner, Yuri Pattison and Benedict Drew on October 5 and an Art Licks Weekend collaboration with Lawrence Lek.

Tristan Stevens, '#happybirthdayniall' (2014). Courtesy the artist.
Tristan Stevens, ‘#happybirthdayniall’ (2014). Courtesy the artist.

It’s telling that these all launched at once. That’s especially when Candice JacobsINHALE (as in P/N/21) is adding to the dominant art discourse of the day against the ‘always on’ culture of work-as-play in a post-Fordist economy. It’s introductory blurb flatly states, “Do you think you can manage to spin one more plate? The trouble is, the more you have to keep an eye on, the less time you have to sit and wonder whether you really need to be keeping an eye on quite so much.”

So here we are looking at a series of photos, gifs and video that generate an overwhelming sense of too much information, coming from too many angles as it bleeds and blends across platforms to become a mass of images and ideas. They make sense in one way but can be garbled into abstraction in another if you don’t take the time to absorb it. Firstly, there’s Jacob’s INHALE in the Project/Number gallery space featuring vinyl palm tree backgrounds and au courant neon light brands replicated in the marble-patterned boxes of tealight candles for sale as part of the Editions series. It’s the first of two exhibitions, one which ran September 26 to October 19 in London, the second aptly-titled EXHALE to come at Liverpool’s Cactus later on this year. Both come accompanied by a website that simply glows white while mimicking the motion of steady breathing.

Tristan Stevens, 'flip' (2014). Courtesy the artist.
Tristan Stevens, ‘flip’ (2014). Courtesy the artist.

At the same time Nicolas Deshayes‘ lightbox commission (L/B/16) of giant squid sculptures squashed against a glowing white screen welcomes its audience while Tristan Stevens#happybirthdayniall gif series (I/P/1) features an anxious loop of the kind of ride that doesn’t end. There’s a view of clouds within a frame within a frame, moving ever forward without ever coming closer in ‘flip’ (2014). The ubiquitous loading animation of YouTube’s spiralling circular dots turn endlessly where Deshayes’ lightbox should be in a gif of a video of a CGI rendering of the Project/Number gallery. That’s from a still from Lawrence Lek’s Sky Line series, commissioned for the White Building during Art Licks Weekend, but including a virtual tour of Stevens’ gifs – plus waterfalls and palm trees – produced as part of a virtual video map of London’s art production landscape, trailing along the notion of “infinite access” and a virtual rendering of the city’s underground Circle Line.

It’s here, when watching what Rawcliffe calls “the automated loop that tricks us into thinking we need to watch this more” that one wonders what’s the actual point of it all? Because as platform hierarchies flatten into interdisciplinarity, and structures disperse into outscourced labour, the outcome appears to be a lawless interior of the Rawcliffe-defined “world wide west”, where nothing is finished and everyone’s still working. Hence, the most pertinent question of Jacob’s INHALE press piece: “How are you getting along with your current juggling act?”. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

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Space-Time: The Future @ Wysing Arts Centre, Aug 30

29 August 2014

Space-Time: The FutureWysing Arts Centre‘s fifth annual all-day festival of art and music, takes place at the rural Cambridge site on August 30.

For the first time since its inception, Space-Time will lend its focus to women working in experimental and electronic music, art and bands fronted by women, highlighting the range of sounds over 12 hours of live music, performances and screenings that will spread across three indoor stage areas, as well as a covered stall area.

Filling out the packed schedule are live music shows and performances by over 20 acts, including artist Hannah Sawtell, members of 70s post-punk group The Raincoats and their logical creative offspring Trash Kit, as well as Peepholes, Holly Herndon, Yola Fatoush and Ravioli Me Away – the latter of which also features artists Alice Theobald and Rosie Ridgway, as well as ex-PLUG member and Power Lunches founder Sian Dorrer.

Along the covered stall area, one can find an impressive lineup of gallery spaces and publishing houses, including Arcadia Missa, Banner Repeater, Project/Number, and French Riviera from London, curatorial collective Mexico from Leeds, as well as Matt Jenner’s 100-deep Foam archives and ‘anonymous’ contemporary art collective Pelican Haus.

See the Space-Time: The Future event page for details. **

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Sarah Boulton + OPENYOURKIMONO @ P/N, July 18

17 July 2014

London’s Project/Number art initiative will host the physical launch of Sarah Boulton‘s newly commissioned work for OPENYOURKIMONO on July 18 from 6 to 9pm. 

The launch of the online platform, titled, will be accompanied by writings and poetry by Sophie Jung, a light box created by Jesse Darling, and what Boulton calls her “holy trinity” online platform/installation/physical work that stands held together with pearlescent spray paint.

This digital launch follows other OPENYOURKIMONO digital commissions including one by Hannah Lees last month.

See the OPENYOURKIMONO event page for details. **

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 1.38.06 PM


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Anticipating Mat Jenner’s first Foam exhibition

21 May 2014

Artist Mat Jenner’s roaming art project, Foam, opens this week at London’s Project/Number gallery. Unlike many art programmes, this one features no canvases, no video installations, no performances. What we traditionally allow to be named as art is conspicuously absent, and instead Jenner presents an archive of one-off 12-inch dubplates commissioned from over 100 participating artists ­– including Yuri Pattison, Benedict DrewGandT, Cecile B Evans, Jaakko Pallasvuo – along a wall of stainless steel pieces that stand like backdrops. The archives, he seems to say, are the art.

In our email correspondence previous to the show, Jenner is obliging and affable, responding promptly even in the bedlam days prior to opening. The only prickle I feel from him is when I ask for private digital copies of the records for the preview that are sure to exist because, well, we live in the digital age. “No to copies,” he answers bluntly, “you have to be with them to listen to them”.

In this way, Jenner’s Foam functions as a response to this modern religion of ours in which everything exists in its digital form – first, after, alongside, but certainly. The name of the project speaks to its expansiveness, its malleability, and that of the archives – Space and time are reborn to us today – to its design. The line, lifted from Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner’s The Realistic Manifesto, harks back to the religiosity of this sentiment: we are reborn only because a rebirth is necessary.

The revival to which Jenner alludes is that of physicality, of the reverence we have for those things which we still can hold. The archive, in its components and its entirety, echoes the sentimentality of all those who still cherish the physical copies of the things they love ­­– the frayed edges of the book, the splattered paint of the frame, the smooth finish of the LP. “The insistence on a restricted physical relationship with these records is an attempt to explore the problematised condition of these records as artworks,” Jenner writes in an email. “It is a romantic and futile attempt to negate their dissemination. By doing this I’m hoping to slow down an audience, to make more explicit their spatial and temporal relationship to the work.”

It is an ode to a time past, as Jenner knows, necessarily nostalgic and futile, but it is just as much a nod to a future that Jenner knows is his to create. In positioning the records as art, he revives the act of listening to that of performance, or rather to that of participation in a performative act. Listen to them as though for the last time, Foam seems to say, echoing the sensibility of Gabo and Pevsner in their manifesto. Listen as though your life depends on it.

The conceptual framework of the project functions alongside its more pragmatic, sociable one, through which Foam functions as a catalyst for creativity. The range of archival material is expansive, including spoken word, field recordings, electronic noise, and soundscapes, among others. From the minimal glitch soundtrack of Brian Moran gleaned from the digital data of Snapchat, to the Gregorian church chant style of Mark Dean’s Nico cover, to Paul Purgas’ dark electro sounds derived from 3D stimulations of architectural interiors, it is apparent that the conceptual mentalities of the participating artists have created a breed of sounds all of its own. “It is one of the best compliments I could have had about the project,” says Jenner, “that the artists involved want to run with it”.

And run with it they did. Participating artist Charlie Woolley took his faux metal band idea and made it real with the formation of Lead Pipe, and Jesse Darling took her audio cover of Drake’s ‘Marvin’s Room’ and produced a whole video for it. In that regard, Foam functioned as a creative jumping point for works that continue to live and expand outside the contours of the exhibition. The visual artists participating do not go gently into the good night of their visuals, leaving the making of LPs to established musicians. Instead, they remain all of it: artists, musicians, creators, living out the last lines of Gabo and Pevsner’s text:

“Art is called upon to accompany man everywhere where his tireless life takes place and acts…so that the flame of life does not go out in man.” **

The first exhibition of Mat Jenner’s peripatetic Foam project is running at London’s Project/Number project space from May 23 until June 15, 2014.

Header images courtesy Mat Jenner.

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Project Lalo London running Mar 5 – 8

4 March 2014

The UK edition of international exchange between LA and London, Project Lalo is running across five venues, from March 5 to 8.

Featuring art and artists at IJV, Transition Gallery, studio 1.1, Campbell Works and Project/Number, with Kim Schoen, The Black Dogs, Michelle Chong and Roni Feldman among them, spaces from the two cities have been paired off to host a cross-section of work from both.

See the Campbell Works website for details. **

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