The exhibition space will take the form of a room conceived by Odišarija and built by East Anglia Records, where Duffield will perform on the opening evening amongst the other works, along with the screening of a new film by Harriet Rickard.
The fourth edition of Art Licks Weekendis on across London, running September 30 to October 2.
Happening at various locations around London and free to all, the three day art and culture festival will be host to a number of artist-run projects, young galleries and curatorial collectives that are at an early stage of their career. Bringing together contributions from emerging artists, the festival aims to celebrate the “grassroots projects [that contribute] to the cultural life of London.”
With the accelerated pace of commodification and consumption of marginal identities (and spaces) globally, comes the question of, and tension between complicity and resistance in political art and social critique. Discourse is developing beyond ideas of visibility and representation to notions of assimilation into existing cultural paradigms, which is why AQNB was in Los Angeles to present the ‘Accessing Economies: Engagement & Withdrawal’ screening and reading at Club Pro LAon July 17 to interrogate the politics of identity within commercial or institutional spheres.
It’s part of an ongoing series of screening, reading, performance and discussion events lead by editor Jean Kay and organised in collaboration with video production partners Video in Common, and follows similar events already held in London and Berlin –two key cultural centres in the art editorial platform’s network. Titled ‘The Future Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed’ and ‘At the Backend’, together these earlier programmes interrogated the systems and infrastructures embedded in networked communication, and how this affects distribution, flows of information and power, as well as language, community-building and identity formation.
Meanwhile, ‘Accessing Economies’ carries on that conversation into the consequences of structural affiliations as both inspiring and influencing critical art practice, and creating new markets. Maria Gorodeckaya, for example, inverts the gaze through the lens of female sexual desire in ‘do it for me’, while Vika Kirchenbauer‘s queer subjects confront the high art voyeur with ‘YOU ARE BORING!’: “I mean, who wouldn’t want to fuck a work of conceptual art?”
Evan Ifekoya talks marginality as a lived position for AQNB/ViC editorial video commission ‘Genuine. Original. Authentic.’ and Sarah Boulton‘s poetry, read by Ulijona Odišarija, passively lingers in the margins, outside of valuation, by dealing with what the artist describes as “what you don’t need to say, and not saying it”. Imran Perretta‘s ‘Untitled (work in progress)’ explores the privilege of apprehension and self-analysis for a work in progress video, while Ann Hirsch and Cristine Brachepresent two videos that concisely and consciously apply for access to systems of power and control, only to complicate and disrupt them when awarded it.
Below is the full programme of video, audio and stills of the works presented in their running order:
Maria Gorodeckaya: ‘do it for me’ (2016) [5:11]
Moscow-born, London-based artist Maria Gorodeckaya explores the nature of women’s objectification,
reclaiming the gaze through the lens of the camera and re-directing it onto the male body. Inverting sexual power dynamics, Gorodeckaya’s work expands into poetry, sculpture and installation, building on her interests in desire and its suppression by religious, economic and institutional means.
London-based artist Evan Ifekoya discusses their ongoing music video series, questioning the notion of cultural or personal authenticity and what it means to be entertaining. Also working with collage, knitting and drawing, Ifekoya talks about deconstructing pervasive gender binaries, expressing the banality and importance of physical ‘making’.
Vika Kirchenbauer: ‘YOU ARE BORING!’ (2015) [13:44], ‘COOL FOR YOU – GIVEN YOUR CONVENIENT ABSENCE’ (2016) [2:25]
Berlin-based artist Vika Kirchenbauer looks at the transference of (certain) bodies and politics from subcultural to high art spaces and the new dynamics that emerge. In complicating ideas of performance and shifting the spectator’s perspective back on themselves, Kirchenbauer questions how power and self-understanding is renegotiated within an institutional framework.
Sarah Boulton: Poetry read by Ulijona Odišarija [2:59 min]
London-based artist and poet Sarah Boulton presents moments of inclusivity, engaging and implicating its audience directly or with distance, or both. Friend and fellow artist Ulijona Odišarija reads as a single clear voice without embellishment, expressing a certain creative ambience around perceptions and consciousness in relation to objects that refuse signification and thus capital value.
Imran Perretta: ‘Untitled (work in progress)’ (2016) [5:00 min]
London-based artist Imran Perretta explores the liminal space between socially and culturally constructed spaces, as well as the role of the body within that. Inscribed as they are with external assumptions, prejudices and, above all, concerns, Perretta’s film is an interrogation of white-washed narratives of privilege and their ideologies of self-actualisation, described in an aqnb review of his performance work as, “the over analyzed body in stark contrast to the under analyzed body”.
Ann Hirsch: ‘Here For You (Or my Brief Love Affair with Frank Maresca)’ (2011) [14:06]
LA-based artist Ann Hirsch interrogates (networked) media and its false assumptions of personal freedom. Placing herself in the externally constructed environment of a reality TV programme and its culture of constant surveillance, Hirsch surrenders to the mechanism of production, where she and 14 other contestants vie for the affections of ‘Frank the Bachelor’ on camera with no control on how they’re viewed, edited or represented.
Cristine Brache:, ‘Sequence 02 1’ (2016) [15:56 min], ‘finally people are reading about me’ [00:14 min] (2016)
Toronto-based artist and poet Cristine Brache shows marginal women’s bodies and their reproduction as objects in circulation. In complicating and questioning economic, political and sexual power relations as both oppressed and empowered, Brache’s at times fetishistic work expresses a tension between aspiring for access and visibility, and the means by which one achieves it.
aqnb and Video in Common (ViC) are presenting screening, performance and discussion event, ‘Accessing Economies: Engagement & Withdrawal’ at Los Angeles’ Club Pro LA on July 17.
As discourse develops beyond ideas of visibility and representation to notions of assimilation into existing cultural paradigms, aqnb editor Jean Kay will be presenting a selection of artists’ works that considers the consequences of structural affiliations and institutionalisation as both inspiring and influencing critical art practice.
‘Accessing Economies’ follows similar events organised by the art editorial platform and video production partner ViC in London and Berlin –two key cultural centres in the aqnb network. Titled ‘The Future Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed’ and ‘At the Backend’, together these programmes interrogated the systems and infrastructures embedded in networked communication, and how this affects distribution, flows of information and power, as well as language, community-building and identity formation.
Unveiling opens with an arrangement of texts published online on June 16, followed by a weekend of sporadic interventions and intermittent ‘events’, which will unfold as “points of concentration” exploring how artistic space becomes visible or withdrawn within the space of language.
Artists have been selected based on their relationship to the “intersection of writing and objects” and the event not only launches Jupiter Woods’ new publishing practice but a new programme of performance-based residencies, exhibitions and happenings “carefully fluctuating between the public and private, displayed and withdrawn”..
The London-based artist presents a new body of work, which starts at 7am just before the day begins and as natural light starts to unfold. The work will explore moments of inclusivity, engaging and implying its audience directly or with distance, or both.
Emily Berry writes she struggled with the responsibility as the annual editor of The Best British Poetry 2015, beginning her introduction with a tentative “Hi, it’s quite scary to be the sole editor of an anthology.” It’s an admission that feels distinctly gendered in its hurried disclosure. I felt it beginning this review, knowing no other way to acknowledge my own felt inadequacy as poetry critic than to deflect. The only honest critics, I am starting to believe, are the ones that know how to tell a story.
“On the one hand…who am I,” Berry writes, “to be deciding, on my own, what is ‘best’ (not to mention ‘British’)?” The question barely has time to register before she follows it with: “On the other hand I thought I was exactly the person to be deciding it. I mean, we all think that whatever we like is the best, right?” To be sure, what has made its way into the book is not the best of Britain in any way that is quantifiable or conclusive in its execution, but rather the best of Berry’s research, which proves to be quite enough.
In my mind –where what I like is the best –her results are extraordinary —a 70-plus collection of writings that manages to feel both timeless and patently of this time. It is no coincidence, perhaps, that the first five poems of the anthology are written by women, and that the gender breakdown of the anthology itself veers distinctly towards the feminine. That’s not to say that it is a “feminist” anthology, or one of “female writers” —it seems simply that given the opportunity to select content based on one’s intuition, as Berry did, one always chooses that which elicits a personal response. And what could be more personal, I suppose, than one’s gender and its tenuous existence in the strata of society.
Aria Aber opens the anthology brilliantly with ‘First Generation Immigrant Child’, tossing her freedom and religion at each other like firecrackers—her “sucking and studying / another girl’s body, my mind a knot of tinkling beads / tangled inside a stranger’s unwashed hands,” then her headscarf in a mosque, her cousin whispering “Blood is thicker than water, / even for whores, her breath a verve of Darjeeling and Marlboro / Lights.” Astrid Alben’s ‘One of the Guys’ follows like the continuance of one long, interrupted thought (“not too much poetry / should be done by too many girls. You see, or elthe!”), taken up by Rachael Allen like a baton in a relay race with the poem ‘Prawns of Joe’ and this single, devastating opening sentence: “When I had a husband I found it hard to breathe.”
It’s not all women, certainly, nor is it all ‘women’s issues’ (though only the witless —of which there are so many!—would use that term). But the collection has a particular feeling, which, while basic enough once articulated, remains almost absurdly elusive: it seems to hold the experiences and idiosyncrasies of one sex in equal regard to the other, presenting each as nothing more or less than the experiences of a single person responding to the world around them.
One such experience, and my favourite piece in the anthology, is Paula Cunnigham’s ‘A History of Snow’, told in a broken dialect reminiscent of writers like Flannery O’Connor and the characters of antebellum. “It was a wild sudden,” it begins, following a young girl as she falls severely ill and is saved, in a moment of almost banal kindness, by a stranger at the hospital.
There are too many good pieces to enumerate –including pieces by Sophie Collins,Daisy LaFarge,Sarah Boulton, Jesse Darling–and besides: often it is the lines, not the works, that stay with you. There’s “…and I am running out of places to hide…” from Janette Ayachi’s ‘On Keeping a Wolf’; “another part which I can only describe as / the distance between distance / and distance” from Crispin Best’s ‘poem in which i mention at the last moment an orrery’. Then there’s basically every existing line from Kit Buchan’s ‘The Man Whom I Bitterly Hate’ and from Niall Campbell’s ‘Midnight’, which begins with the discovery that “all because I’d held my child, / oh heart, and found that age was in my cup now” and ends with this single indisputable truth: “no heart grown heavy, heavier, with caring”. **
Organised by artist Marios Stamatis the event, including spoken word, live music and performance, complements the Faith Dollars… themes of what its press release calls “financial abstraction, absurdity and surrealism”, as explored through the “contemporary experience of post capitalist realism”.
“So we thought about things behind doors (outside or inside) and the idea of knowing that something is somewhere else—and feeling its presence via the somewhere elseness,” writes Sarah Boulton, one of the four curators behind the independent, artist-run publication Low Impact. Boulton, along with Valinia Svoronu, Eiko Soga and Sarai Kirshner, had finished out their Slade degree show last summer, realizing they found their works inadequately articulated in a way that was perhaps even inarticulable. “[M]aybe it existed in between the body that was summoned silently by the work & the objects or combination of videos in the room,” Boulton continues, it being perhaps the true intent of the works, their inarticulable communication.
The product of this dissatisfaction was Low Impact’s first issue, titled ‘Transparent Entities’, a kind of reaction to the intangibility of the energies created during the Slade degree show—a “more difficult communication than just what you saw/see in front of you”, composed of images and texts gathered from their friends, including a ‘Love Letter’ from James Lowneand a contribution from Harriet Rickard, among others. For their second issue, ‘Shallow Waters’, which launched in London on August 5, the four artists reunited to create what Boulton calls a position of transparency and of denial, one where “waves happen” and are felt. “This probably doesn’t make much sense,” she writes in what is supposed to be an elucidating email. “These things aren’t invisible; it’s not like: invisible/visible. It’s more like visible beyonds.”
Contributing to the issue are a dozen new artists, each supplying some elusive condition which, though almost entirely disjointed and personal, threads the works together in way that makes some sense—a kind of sensical beyond. The editorial contribution that opens the issue reads like a mindless recording of an emotional public event—a neglected ransom, a crying prime minister, the loved ones left behind—juxtaposed with a dry, medical description of the glands responsible for crying. Later, Georges Jacotey‘s sketches are visible, rough drawings of two men in impassioned coitus superimposed with the impassive faces of women, neither watching nor looking away. One of the more coherent works is a short story—a fraction of a story, by anyone’s standards but Lydia Davis’ perhaps—by Emily Berry called ‘Practice’ that begins and ends abruptly, a snippet of a feeling that one nevertheless feels develops outside of the confines of the story, pointing to something else, to something that is still happening.
Cristine Brache contributes two poems that seem to speak through one another—paying others to give me confidence / as i confidently experience / a complete lack of control (from ‘totalitarian nature’); i know objectification is a totalitarian function / i know that i too am a product / and perhaps that i have belonged to you (from ‘i know whoever sees me dance is gonna like it’). That’s followed by two surveillance state reference-rich collages by Iain Ball, complete with Anonymous-style masks and a faded sketch of Edward Snowden.