Tag Archives: Johanna Kwiat

STUDIO CRITIQUE

Johanna Kwiat: Tampering

Saturday, 3 December 2016, 14:00–16:00
Studio, 19 Farquhar Road, London SE19 1SS
Rail/Overground: Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill

In December we’re heading to Crystal Palace to view and discuss the work of Johanna Kwiat. After graduating from Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, Johanna studied Fine Art at Working Men’s College in London. She is based in London and currently works from ASC studios. Johanna is a co-founder partner of Art Brixton.

Johanna Kwiat [2011] Artemisia at IKEA. Photographic print (still from a mobile phone film), 32 x 24 cm.
Johanna Kwiat [2011] Artemisia at IKEA. Photographic print (still from a mobile phone film), 32 x 24 cm.

Most of my practice happens outside of the studio and/or gallery context. My practice is rooted in my everyday life. My work is a material or intellectual explosion culminating a long process of analyses or annoyingly circular thoughts, images and tensions. I work with mixed media, often with what I find available, and select that which is relevant to communicate my ideas. I have been preoccupied with themes of cultural myths of identity, gender and the autonomy of reason, as well as the nature of reality we live in and the possibility of circumventing its constraints. I think a lot about alienation (self and structurally imposed) and especially the persistent and seemingly universal need of private ownership, its relation with everyday violence, specifically the unseen, hidden or unspoken. I am interested in violence as an inherent quality of relationships. And yet my work is most of all an intimate history. I rework my story, parts of which I find echoed in others’ histories: imposed gender, gender roles, sexuality and forms of representation. I look at relationships between people, natural forms, signs of social aspiration and financial standing. I tamper with them. Acting out in social, public space is what interests me, and describes the way I work. I steal estate agents’ signs from real life locations. I invade an environment, space or context and question its familiar set-up.

Johanna Kwiat [2014] OutGrown (detail). Installation, reclaimed estate agents' signs, acrylic paint.
Johanna Kwiat [2014] OutGrown (detail). Installation, reclaimed estate agents’ signs, acrylic paint.
Johanna Kwiat [2016] Sanity – Work In Progress. Performance Crystal Palace – Pimlico, two weeks and two days.
Johanna Kwiat [2016] Sanity – Work In Progress. Performance Crystal Palace – Pimlico, two weeks and two days.
Johanna Kwiat [2016] Untitled. Digital image.
Johanna Kwiat [2016] Untitled. Digital image.

An opportunity for artists, curators, designers, film-makers and other producers to present their work to an audience of peers for discussion and feedback.

This event is free and open to everyone. Please book your place. If you’d like to show your work please scroll down for more information and the event archive.

Showing your work

STUDIOCRITS typically focus on the work of one artist at their studio or other appropriate venue. There is no standard format however, because everyone’s practice is different.

If you’re interested in showing your work at a STUDIOCRIT please download the infosheet and follow the directions to send us your proposal.

VENUE The venue will most likely be your studio. If you don’t have a studio don’t worry, we can find an alternative. You might have an exhibition on, you might show your work in your flat, community space or temporarily available space. The space needs to be appropriate for the display of your work with a capacity for about 10 people.

DATE & TIME We will set a date and time that is most convenient for you and your venue. Weekends and weekday evenings are convenient times for most people. The crit normally lasts two hours with a break in the middle. Please consider providing snacks and refreshments.

STRUCTURE Think about what work you would like to show and how you would like to structure and conduct the crit. We will discuss this and identify or develop a format that is suited to your work. Think about the practical or theoretical questions that you would like to raise, what aspects of your practice would you like to draw attention to and discuss?

DOCUMENTATION Please prepare a short bio and up to 6 images of your work for the website. This is to give potential audience members an idea of what your work, practice and/or research is about, attracting an audience with common interests. We will work together to present your work in the best possible way.

BIO Please prepare a short bio no longer than 250 words. This should outline your practice, background, education and what you are interested in exploring in the STUDIOCRIT, highlighting the topics and themes that you would like to address in the discussion.

IMAGES Choose up to 6 images that best represent the questions that you would like to raise about your practice. The maximum resolution for images is 923 pixels on the longest side, if in doubt and for the best results please send hi-res images. Please send captions with your images and include the title, date, materials and dimensions/duration for each one.

STATEMENT You might want to discuss an artist statement or application/proposal in conjunction with your work. Your statement should be no longer than 500 words, please print 15 copies and bring them along.

ARCHIVE
#01 Maria Christoforatou: Displacement▾

Sunday, 20 March 2016, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Rail/Overground: New Cross Gate, Queens Road Peckham

Maria Christoforatou [2011] Untitled (small house). Balsa wood and china porcelain, 18 x 18 x 18cm.
Maria Christoforatou [2011] Untitled (small house). Balsa wood and china porcelain, 18 x 18 x 18cm.

Maria Christoforatou lives and works in London. Her practice is concerned with the unnerving relation between belonging and unbelonging examined through the notion of one’s home. Maria received her BA (Hons.) in Fine Art from the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) in Greece and her MA in Painting/Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London. She recently graduated from Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London with an MPhil in Fine Art Practice-based research. Her research focuses on narratives of home and displacement in contemporary art practice. She investigates experiences of displacement through the idea of home, where ‘home’ is identified, mediated and ‘re-made’ through media and materials of different kinds, and how objects both mediate for the artist and become agents of experience for the viewer.

Maria Christoforatou [2015] Constructing spaces series. OHP projector installation.
Maria Christoforatou [2015] Constructing spaces series. OHP projector installation.
Maria Christoforatou [2015-ongoing] Dislocated series. Collage on paper, 21 x 14.8cm.
Maria Christoforatou [2015-ongoing] Dislocated series. Collage on paper, 21 x 14.8cm.
#02 Jo Wolf: DATA▾

Saturday, 9 July 2016, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Rail/Overground: New Cross Gate, Queens Road Peckham

Based in London, Jo Wolf works conceptually with mixed media. Although her pieces result from an act of inquiry, the consequent material form is equally relevant to the idea. Coming from a DIY culture and maker’s background, Jo studied at Camberwell College then Central Saint Martin’s and after graduating in 2005, has maintained a pre-emerging position of artistic obscurity. From 2008 she took an interest in the cause alongside the impact of the economic crisis and responded by creating a limited collection of 3D design and 2D depictions of mass circulated imagery. Her recent series sees a return to abstract compositions.

DATA: a series of observations, measurements or facts. From Latin: dare to give.

The DATA series consists of two sets of eight canvases, entitled DATA.0 and DATA.1, which were inspired by a reading of ‘The Death of the Author’. Written in 1967, the French literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes proclaimed, ‘a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination’, and that ‘It is language which speaks, not the author’. He states that ‘a text is … drawn from many cultures and entering into mutual relations of dialogue, parody, contestation, but there is one place where this multiplicity is focused and that place is the reader…’

Bathes offers a theory that informs our understanding of this realm of reading and interpretation. Applicable not only to the written text however, which is open to translation and elucidation, it is also considered in the reception of a work of art. Yet the visual text or artwork often conveys information through media with the omission of written language. Our understanding of art is affected by what we know and believe, a perception based on learned assumptions regarding taste, truth, beauty, status, experience, etc. The authority of a work of art and its meaning alters according to the context in which it appears and although artists may give a rationalized explanation of their work, the gap between words and what we see may not be completely settled.

In the art world, critics hold the strongest platform from which to deliver their views of the artwork, beyond the artist, yet their opinions often expand or contradict the original said intentions. This process of presentation and judgment begins in art school, in the critique. DATA tells an abstract tale of one experience of this process, it also raises questions about the role of the crit and the significance of the rhetoric.

DATA.0: Eight relatively small square paintings consisting of the basic elements of painting, in an aesthetically purified abstract form, question the conceptual relationship between the object/canvas, text/title and meaning.

DATA.1: Constructed from silks of unrestricted colours, the larger canvases mirror the geometric compositions of the first series and although removed from the realm of painting, pose the same questions.

#03 Dasha Loyko: Autonomy and Critique▾

Saturday, 15 October 2016, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Rail/Overground: New Cross Gate, Queens Road Peckham

I am a London-based artist who is currently in the process of applying to MFA programmes. I was born in 1995 in Minsk, Belarus, and moved to the UK in 2009, at the age of 14. I am now in my third year of BSc in Philosophy at LSE. I received some formal art training in Minsk but have since practised independently and in the recent years my work has taken a much more conceptual turn. My research has been fuelled by the study of philosophy, critical theory and I have recently become fascinated by the notion of the abject. I work across a wide range of media and my practice could roughly be divided into two categories: institutional critique and the art driven by my preoccupation with human autonomy.

Dasha Loyko [2016] Tips For Designing Your Dream Bathroom (maquette of central fragment).
Dasha Loyko [2016] Tips For Designing Your Dream Bathroom (maquette of central fragment).

1. Autonomy

Through painting, video, sculpture and installation, I explore the relationship between subject and object. My departure point is the notion of the border of your own body. I am interested in the construction of psychological and physical barriers and in distancing yourself from the rest of the world as a necessary part of identity formation. Personal space, privacy, autonomy and the sense of your body as having definite borders, as being discontinuous from everything else around you, are some of the concerns which underpin my practice.

Some of the materials I choose to use, such as gloves or shower curtains, have a literal meaning as barriers but I also want them to evoke tactile associations. In the everyday life these are some of the things which are connected with disgust at touching something unpleasant, toxic, sticky, or wet. I want this tactility and also the scale of my work to act as a connecting link between the piece and the viewer, so that she can relate to it and measure it up against her own body.

A few worries arise: Do the tactile associations function in the same way for the audience as they do for me? Does the medium of painting divert the attention away from the conceptual issues and towards the formalist ones?

Dasha Loyko [2016] Nude (Grey on Yellow). Oil on canvas, 100 x 110 cm.
Dasha Loyko [2016] Nude (Grey on Yellow). Oil on canvas, 100 x 110 cm.
Dasha Loyko [2016] Maman (video still). Immersive installation. Video, 3-10min independent loops.
Dasha Loyko [2016] Maman (video still). Immersive installation. Video, 3-10min independent loops.

2. Critique

In my critical work I address the following questions: What does it mean for a work of art to be a success or a failure? What does it mean for text to be ‘about’ an artwork? How and why is an artwork legitimised through discourse? I reflect on the process of research and the constant chase after innovation. I also wonder whether addressing these worries should necessarily be branded as critique.

Dasha Loyko [2016] IMG_001. Aliminium print, 101 x 101 cm.
Dasha Loyko [2016] IMG_001. Aliminium print, 101 x 101 cm.

[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB

[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy

Friday, 12 April 2019, 6:30pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Closest stations: Whitechapel / Aldgate East
Facilitated by Nat Pimlott
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Markus Lüpertz [1965] Schuhabdruck—dithyrambisch (Shoe print—Dithyrambic). Ströher Collection, Darmstadt, Germany.
Markus Lüpertz [1965] Schuhabdruck—dithyrambisch (Shoe print—Dithyrambic). Ströher Collection, Darmstadt, Germany.
DOWNLOAD Friedrich Nietzsche (2003/1872). The Birth of Tragedy. Blackmask Online. Chapters 1, 16, 17, 23 and 24 (please note this starts from Chapter 1 after the introduction by Nietzsche titled an ‘Attempt at self criticism’ (1886) further down on the PDF under the title the Birth of tragedy).

The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche’s first book, published in 1872 when he was 28, is both a historical study of the origins of Greek tragedy and a complex and compelling argument for the necessity for art in life.

In the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche describes two competing impulses in Greek culture – the Apollonian and the Dionysian.

Apollo as the god of the plastic or representational arts of painting and sculpture, is associated with beauty and order.

Dionysus in contrast is the god of the non-representational art of music, and associated with flux, mysticism and excess. Through music man is given a true glimpse into the nature of life, and the dissolution of individual identity in communion with nature.

While the Apollonian artist is associated with light and clarity, the Dionysian offers an insight into the darker side of life, a confrontation with the pain and destruction of existence.

Nietzsche argues that these forces and artistic tendencies which were in conflict were merged in Attic tragedy with the combination of the musical chorus and poetry. He believed the combination of these states produced the highest forms of music and tragic drama, which not only reveal the truth about suffering in life, but also provide a consolation for it.

While this mixture of competing forces was richly realised in  Attic tragedy Nietzsche traces how the arrival of Socratic culture which prioritised the purely intellectual and rational led to the destruction of myth and the art of the tragedy.

In the second half of the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche uses this framework as the basis of a critique of the rationalism of late nineteenth-century German culture.

In its wide-ranging discussion of the nature of art, science and religion, Nietzsche’s argument raises questions about the vitality and nature of culture in a secular, rationalist modern world.

It contains themes that will remain important in Nietzsche’s later work – including the ‘will’ (an ultimate force which determines human life which will become in his later work the ‘will to power’) and, as he sets out in his preface to the second edition, a critique of Christianity and modern science as forms of belief that he argues do not bring man close to the real meaning of life.

It also contains the roots of arguments that have proven to be some of Nietzsche’s most influential. It’s critique of rationalism in western culture links it to modernism; in it’s focus on dreams and the origins underlying latent content it also seems to have links to psychoanalysis; and in his search for the unknown origin behind avowed or accepted ones it also presages the work of post-structuralists such as Derrida, whose own work depends on disputing of accepted interpretations and origins.

The birth of tragedy has become one of Nietzsche’s best known and most influential books and a source of a challenging rich argument for how aesthetic experience relates to the meaning of life and other questions that remain central to the practice of art and criticism today.

Questions

  • What is the Apollonian and Dionysian? Is this opposition the right one?
  • Are there other forces that need to be considered? and is it relevant in interpreting art today?
  • How does rationalism and science shape modern culture?
  • What role can myth play in culture now?
  • Is aesthetic experience the only truth in a secular world?
  • Where is the Apollonian and Dionysian in modern culture? Does the Dionysian need revival?
Markus Lüpertz [1965] Schuhabdruck—dithyrambisch (Shoe print—Dithyrambic). Ströher Collection, Darmstadt, Germany.
Markus Lüpertz [1965] Schuhabdruck—dithyrambisch (Shoe print—Dithyrambic). Ströher Collection, Darmstadt, Germany.
Suggested further reading

Monthly reading group for artists, researchers and anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. Everyone is welcome to propose a text and facilitate the reading group. Please book your place and download the shared document. For more information and an archive of previous events please scroll down.

Free & open access

The reading group is free and open to everyone who wants to join as long as they commit to the reading. Please register and arrive early, doors will close when we reach maximum capacity. Don’t forget to download the shared document and bring a hard-copy to the book club. Please consider donating to help cover our expenses and keep us going.

Discussion & decision-making

Texts are selected by group consensus on the basis that they reflect on the relationship between practice and theory. This includes a broad variety of texts, from philosophy to politics and aesthetics to science fiction – there is no limitation.

Facilitating the book club

[SYMPOSIUM] is a supportive community of peers who discuss and unpack their research interests. All participants have the opportunity to facilitate the book club on a text of their choice. If you would like to propose a text, you can start preparing right now:

[1] Decide on a text that you want to discuss.

[2] Do some background research and write a short introduction to provide some context, from your own perspective. When was it written? Why was it written? Who wrote it? Was it a response to something else? Why are you interested in the text? How does it relate to, or inform, your practice or your research?

[3] Pace the reading. How long is the text? If it is short, can we discuss the entire text in a 2-hour book club? If the text is long you may need to divide it up between two or more sessions.

[4] Write down some questions that you would like to bring to the discussion. Suggest some further reading and an image or two, with captions.

[5] Download the infosheet and send us your proposal.


[SYMPOSIUM] ARCHIVE

#34 Jared Diamond: Collapse
Friday, 8 March 2019, 7pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Alter Us

#33 Claire Bishop: Artificial Hells
Friday, 8 February, 7pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Eva Ruschkowski

#32 Eagleton & Zizek: The Idea of Communism
Friday, 14 December 2018, 6:30pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Neil Lamont

#31 Mark Fisher: Capitalist Realism Pt.3
Friday, 9 November 2018, 6:30pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Silvia Bombardini & Elliot C. Mason

#30 Debord: The Culmination of Separation
Friday, 12 October 2018, 18:30–21:00
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Penelope Kupfer & Darshana Vora

#29 Deutsch: Why are flowers beautiful?
Friday, 14 September 2018, 18:30–21:00
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by John Fortnum

#28 Fisher: Capitalist Realism Pt.2
Saturday, 9 June 2018, 2:30pm – 5:30pm
UNISON/Yurt Café, Limehouse, London E14 8DS
Facilitated by Sophia Kosmaoglou
Part of Antiuniversity Now 9-15 June 2018

#27 Derrida: Signature Event Context
Friday, 11 May 2018, 18:30–21:00
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Nat Pimlott & Sophia Kosmaoglou

#26 Derrida: Structure, Sign and Play
Friday, 13 April 2018, 6:30pm–9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Sophia Kosmaoglou

#25 Fisher: Capitalist Realism Pt.1
Friday, 9 March 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Facilitated by Sophia Kosmaoglou

#24 Cohn: Representation and Critique
Friday, 9 February 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Aris Nikolaidis

#23 Adam Curtis: HyperNormalisation
Friday, 12 January 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by
Neil Lamont

#22 Debord: Negation and Consumption
Friday, 8 December 2017, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Aristotelis Nikolaidis

#21 Adorno: Commitment
Friday, 10 November 2017
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Nat Pimlott

#20 Foucault: Of Other Spaces
Sunday, 15 October 2017
UNISON/Yurt Café, Limehouse, London E14 8DS
Facilitated by Dasha Loyko

#19 Bishop: Pedagogical Projects
Monday, 24 July 2017
Guest Projects, 1 Andrews Road, London E8 4QL
Chaired by Renata Minoldo
Part of School of The Damned‘s Common Room

#18 Virno: The Dismeasure of Art
Friday, 9 June 2017
Grow Elephant, New Kent Rd, London SE17 1SL
Chaired by Rubén Salgado Perez

#17 Judd: Specific Objects
Friday, 21 April 2017
88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH
Chaired by Richard Burger

#16 Deleuze & Guattari: Rhizome
Friday, 10 March 2017
88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH
Chaired by Katie Tysoe and Sophia Kosmaoglou

#15 Marx: The Fetishism of the Commodity & its Secret
Friday, 10 February 2017
Wimbledon Art Studios, London SW17 0BB
Chaired by Sophia Kosmaoglou

#14 O’Sullivan: The Aesthetics of Affect
Friday, 13 January 2017
Louise House, Dartmouth Rd, London SE23 3HZ
Chaired by Katie Tysoe

#13 Foucault: The Four Similitudes
Friday, 9 December 2016
88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH
Chaired by Penelope Kupfer

#12 Foster: Post-Critical?
Friday, 11 November 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Dasha Loyko

#11 Badiou: Art & Philosophy
Friday, 14 October 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Kerry W. Purcell

#10 Sontag: Against Interpretation
Friday, 9 September 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by F. D.

#9 Groys: Under the Gaze of Theory
Friday, 8 July 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Sophia Kosmaoglou, respondent Johanna Kwiat

#8 Rancière: Problems & Transformations of Critical Art
Friday, 10 June 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Stephen Bennett
Part of Antiuniversity Now 9-12 June 2016

#7 Sewell: Tate Triennial III
Friday, 13 May 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Richard Lloyd-Jones

#6 Duchamp: The Creative Act
Friday, 8 April 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by F. D., respondent Penelope Kupfer

#5 Latour: On Actor Network Theory
Friday, 11 March 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Johanna Kwiat

#4 Barthes: The Death of the Author
Friday, 12 February 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Henrietta Ross

#3 Owens: The Discourse of Others
Friday, 8 January 2016
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Sophia Kosmaoglou

#2 Abu-Lughod: Writing against Culture
Friday, 11 December 2015
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury

#1 Kant: What is Enlightenment?
Friday, 13 November 2015
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by Sophia Kosmaoglou

Tampering & Similitudes

For our first event in December we’re heading to leafy Crystal Palace for a [STUDIOCRIT]. Join us this Saturday, 3 December to view the work of Johanna Kwiat and discuss Tampering, survival and the everyday. This event is free but due to limited capacity booking is essential.

On Friday, 9 December we’re reading The Four Similitudes from The Order of Things by Michel Foucault (1970) at [SYMPOSIUM]. This discussion will be chaired by Penelope Kupfer. Please note that this event is taking place at MayDay Rooms.* For more information, to book your place and download the text please follow the links.

There’s no [ARTCRAWL] in December 2016 while we have a winter break but it will be back again on the last Saturday of the month from January 2017.

If you would like to get involved and show your work in a [STUDIOCRIT], chair the [SYMPOSIUM] book club on a text of your choice, curate an [ARTCRAWL], run a [WORKSHOP] or other event please get in touch.

*The Field will be closed during the next couple of months for renovations and maintenance. If you know any free or affordable venues for our events in the meantime please let us know.

Johanna Kwiat [2016] Sanity - Work In Progress. Performance Crystal Palace - Pimlico, hair, duckweed, two weeks and two days.

[STUDIO CRIT] Johanna Kwiat: Tampering
Saturday, 3 December 2016, 14:00–16:00
19 Farquhar Road, London SE19 1SS
Rail: Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill
Free, please book your place
In December we’re heading to Crystal Palace to view and discuss the work of Johanna Kwiat. After graduating from Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, Johanna studied Fine Art at Working Men’s College in London. She is based in London and currently works from ASC studios. Johanna is a co-founder partner of Art Brixton.

Penelope Kupfer [2015] Moth (detail). Ink on paper, 1654mm x 2054mm.[SYMPOSIUM] Foucault: The Four Similitudes
Friday, 9 December 2016, 18:00 – 20:30
88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH
Chaired by Penelope Kupfer
Free, please book your place
On Friday, 9 December we’re reading The Four Similitudes from The Order of Things by Michel Foucault (1970).

IMAGE CREDITS
Johanna Kwiat [2016] Sanity – Work In Progress. Performance Crystal Palace – Pimlico, two weeks & two days.
Penelope Kupfer [2015] Moth (detail). Ink on paper, 1654 x 2054mm.

Latour, The Field, Duchamp

Spring 2016 was a busy time at ART&CRITIQUE! We launched two new events the [GALLERY TOUR] and the [STUDIO CRIT] and we hatched new plans. For more details please read on.

[SYMPOSIUM]#5 Latour: On Actor Network Theory, 11 March 2016

Lloyd, John Uri & Curtis Gates Lloyd [1884] Plate XXIII. A fresh rhizome of Cimicifuga racemosa. In Drugs and Medicines of North America. Cincinnati: Lloyd & Lloyd.
Lloyd, John Uri & Curtis Gates Lloyd [1884] Plate XXIII. A fresh rhizome of Cimicifuga racemosa. In Drugs and Medicines of North America. Cincinnati: Lloyd & Lloyd.
The discussion of Bruno Latour’s essay On Actor Network Theory (1990) was chaired by Johanna Kwiat. Johanna animated this difficult text and provided several imaginative routes into its many folds. She summed up the discussion by pointing out that “Latour invites us to think in terms of associations / connections, which don’t need to be qualified as ‘social’, ‘natural’, or ‘technological'”. For Johanna this has the consequence of unsettling “humans or/and human networks [from] their traditionally privileged position”, inviting us to “question the Cartesian legacy (modernism as we understand it), and that in itself is a bonus of reading this text”.

[GALLERYTOUR]#1 From Hoxton to Mile End, 19 March 2016
Chris Alton [2016] Under the Shade I Flourish. Installation view at xero, kline & coma, London 2016.
Chris Alton [2016] Under the Shade I Flourish. Installation view at xero, kline & coma, London 2016.
In March we launched the first [GALLERYTOUR] which took us from Hoxton to Mile End. We visited xero, kline & coma to see Chris Alton’s exhibition Under the Shade I Flourish. Blending fact and fiction in an installation comprised of video, posters, music and diagrams, Alton sets up a compelling account of the ill-fated blues-band Trident. The video documentary centres around the figure of Michael Ashcroft, the band’s manager and former Conservative party member, peer and tax exile who has been been at the centre of several political and financial controversies. The documentary chases up a series of ostensibly inconsequential clues in a futile attempt to solve the mysterious disappearance of the band members in the Bermuda Triangle, a metaphor for British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies that function as tax havens, a “cornerstone of institutional corruption worldwide”.* If you missed this exhibition you can see it at Lewisham Arthouse from 17-22 May 2016.

The next stop was Cell Project Space for Iain Ball’s installation Praseodymium Intracrine Signal Aggregate, the ninth in his Rare Earth Sculpture series. Ball’s installation engages with the paranoia induced by sustained surveillance. Despite the obvious connections that we were able to make, we couldn’t work out how the different components of the installation – the sculpture, the camera and the monitors – were interacting. The final stop on the tour was at Chisenhale Gallery to see Park McArthur’s exhibition Poly. This installation was composed of plinths along one side of the room bearing found objects that reference the body (condoms, latex gloves, oxygen masks, heel cushions, elbow braces). On the wall hung two sheets of paper soaked with super-absorbent polymer, electric heaters were placed around the edges of the room and three massive blocks of black acoustic foam were wedged into a corner. Like sarcophagi stored in a museum basement these monumental black blocks skewed our sense of balance in this rather empty room. The air felt dry, as though all the moist air was being sucked out by the black blocks. We were not sure whether this was a physical perception or a conceptual one. One of the plinths carried a stack of redacted photocopies of a letter notifying users of the closure of the Independent Living Fund. This was an uncomfortable place, it reminded us that the politics of austerity are having an unequal effect on society by targeting groups that are least able to resist.

*Doe, John (2016). The Revolution Will Be Digitized. Statement issued by the source of the Panama Papers on Thursday 5 May 2016. For more details see Shane, Scott and Eric Lipton (2016). Panama Papers Source Offers to Aid Inquiries if Exempt From Punishment. New York Times, 6 May 2016.

[STUDIOCRIT]#1 Maria Christoforatou: Displacement, 20 March 2016
Maria Christoforatou [2009] Collapsed. Metal strips, dimensions variable.
Maria Christoforatou [2009] Collapsed. Metal strips, dimensions variable.
At the launch of the new [STUDIOCRIT] event series we explored concepts of displacement, home and the unhomely with Maria Christoforatou.

Maria’s work explores the emotional and physical dimensions of belonging via the concept of “home”, suggesting that ideas of home are nostalgically associated with imagined authenticity rather than lived experience. It is therefore a concern with identity that lies at the root of her project. To read more about Maria’s work and the studio crit please visit the event review or the event page.

Maria Christoforatou: Displacement. Studio Crit #1. The Field New Cross, 20 April 2016. Photo by Maria Christoforatou.
Maria Christoforatou: Displacement. Studio Crit #1. The Field New Cross, 20 April 2016. Photo by Maria Christoforatou.

Maria’s studio crit highlighted a common interest in the concepts of home, (dis)location, identity and urbanity so we’re on the lookout for a venue to organise an exhibition around these themes. If you’re interested in collaborating either as an artist, writer, curator or editor please get in touch.

If you would like to show your work at a Studio Crit from June 2016 onwards please visit the page to read the guidelines and get in touch with a preferred date so we can start planning. The Studio Crit is a good opportunity to set some goals for your work and it takes time to organise and promote, so we need to work towards it. The purpose of a studio crit is to visit an artist’s studio for a structured viewing and discussion of the work.

[SYMPOSIUM]#6 Duchamp: The Creative Act, 8 April 2016
Marcel Duchamp [1914] Pharmacie.
Marcel Duchamp [1914] Pharmacie.
On Friday 8 April we discussed Marcel Duchamp’s paper The Creative Act (1957). Many thanks to F.D. for chairing the discussion and Penelope Kupfer, who fulfilled the role of respondent.

F.D. contextualised the 1957 Convention of the American Federation of Arts where Duchamp delivered this paper, providing a great deal of intricate background information and a set of questions to facilitate the discussion. The discussion centred on questions relating to the role of the artist as “mediumistic being” in juxtaposition to the mediating role of the spectator who “brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications”. We discussed Duchamp’s use of the mysterious terms transubstantiation, transmutation, aesthetic osmosis and especially his concept of the personal ‘art coefficient’.

Sketch of the personal 'art coefficient' by Stephen Bennett.
Sketch of the personal ‘art coefficient’ by Stephen Bennett.

Stephen Bennett made a diagram of how the ‘art coefficient’ works which helped us visualise the process. We wrapped up with responses to F.D.’s question on whether “found images can be considered readymades” by focusing on Pharmacie (1914). This is probably Duchamp’s first assisted readymade or appropriated found image, a technique that the Situationists would later call détournement.

Richard Burger and the Symposiastes at The Field Kitchen, 13 April 2016
Springtime at The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross, London SE14 5HD.
Springtime at The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross, London SE14 5HD.

On Wednesday 13 April, regular participants of the book club ran the Field Kitchen, a collaborative meal prepared every Wednesday evening at The Field, New Cross. Richard Burger cooked an exquisite pasta dish with peas, beans and sage, topped with pepper cheese and accompanied by a delicious home-made white wine from Greece.

Join us on Wednesdays for a home-cooked meal, catch up with some familiar faces, meet new people, help us cook and support this experimental community space. Food is served at 7:30pm, it’s pay what you can and the income goes towards expenses for the running and maintenance of the Field. If you would like to help out, setup is from 6pm and there’s always something to do until everything is cleared up at the end of the evening. You can also volunteer to cook by adding your name to the list on the wall.

[GALLERYTOUR]#2 From Whitechapel to Liverpool Street, 30 April 2016

On Saturday 30 April the group visited the Whitechapel to see Parallel I-IV, a video installation by Harun Farocki and Imprint 93, an exhibition of prints from the 1990s by then lesser-known contemporaries of the YBAs. The next and final stop was at Raven Row to see Channa Horwitz, a neglected and excluded artist in her own time. This exhibition has been compared to the current exhibition of a similarly neglected female artist, Hilma af Klint at the Serpentine.

We’re visiting the Serpentine next Saturday 14 May on [GALLERYTOUR]#3. But first up is [SYMPOSIUM]#7 on Friday 13 May where we will be discussing a review of Tate Triennial 3 (2006) by Brian Sewell. This session will be chaired by Richard Lloyd-Jones.

All [ART&CRITIQUE] events and free and inclusive so please feel free to invite your friends or bring them along. The London Event Calendar is jam-packed with exhibitions, events, courses and deadlines. Browse some of these below or follow [ART&CRITIQUE] on Twitter or Facebook for irregular event updates.