‘Host’ 2012 exists as an opportunity for artists from any country or discipline to spend time away from their current environment and work on existing projects or new ideas. The airy live/work studio can accommodate individuals, collaborations and collectives for six weeks in the vibrant area of London Fields. The successful candidate will be based on the doorstep of the 2012 Olympics and nestled inside the artistic East End of the capital.

Each visiting artist will enjoy a dynamic and vibrant period of work in which they have a live/work studio at their disposal in order to give their projects complete focus. They will also be introduced to new contacts within the local artistic community, cultural institutions and the general public, giving the artist the chance to make great new contacts and improve their networks. ‘Host’ is a completely independent initiative realised by GALERIE8 and the Arthaus. It receives no government funding, grants, nor special allowances. The residency is however partially supported by the two abovementioned factions.

GALERIE8 will provide a contribution to transport from the resident’s home country of a maximum of £500, as well as a stipend of £350 for the duration of the residency. Host will also provide a bicycle for travel whilst in the capital, while the Arthaus provides free accommodation as part of their new in-house residency facilities.

This programme does not cover materials needed for the work made during the residency nor does it cover living expenses, the stipend could however be utilised for either of these factors.

For more information and application procedures click here

Posted at 3:31pm.

Matt’s Gallery, 28 September – 20 November 2011

Things to do this week: Well, if you are interested in video art and happen to be art-ing around the East End, you could go and see TO DO, a solo show by British artist Emma Hart. Hart was recently chosen as the Guardian’s ‘artist of the week’ and her show at Matt’s Gallery doesn’t disappoint. Entering the exhibition, viewers are greeted by a barrage of fluorescent colours, a cacophony of sound, and cameras dressed up in comic-inspired graphics - initially it appeared as if someone had thrown Vito Acconci, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pipolotti Rist together in a martini shaker and this was the resulting concoction. In actual fact, the show is altogether unique.




The exhibition has been described as ‘a sculptural video installation that performs itself’ as each of the 30 works incorporates a camera balanced on a tripod. The tiny camera screens glow with a strange, disconnected mix of still and moving digital video pieces - of people, of cutout birds, and of the artwork itself. Each of these emits its own soundtrack, so that the resultant auditory experience is not unlike being in the centre of a group of overly excited schoolchildren all talking at once. Walking in and out of the camera sculptures, I had the strange feeling that I was being watched, and low and behold, it wasn’t long before I peered into one of the screens and saw my own image. 


Some of the cameras are decorated with arrows, directing your path, and others carry messages, such as ‘Guess’, ‘Wait’, ‘Remember I was here first’, and ‘The past is always in 2D’. The interactions of sound and image make you feel like you have been unwittingly cast in a reality television show, or caught by one of the army of CCTV cameras in Mile End Park which line the paths like giant vigilantes. 

It is not simply the sound and trickery of the cameras that make the sculptures feel alive - it is also the fact that they all invoke a bird-like spirit. Some of the tripods have webbed feet and one of the camera lenses acts as a nose on an owl’s face, while many others are adorned with feathers and claws. Hart seems to be alluding to bird watching, the way we document things and how this depends on our angle of seeing and our way of scrutinising images. The play between paper birds and technology also acts as a reminder of the incessant interruption of technology in our lives and that even in nature it is difficult to escape it. In one video of a vibrating cut out bird, a woman’s voice repeatedly says, ‘take take take,’ referring to the repetitive ‘takes’ of film, but perhaps also to the greed with which we take over nature, without giving back. 

This new body of work marks a departure for Hart, who many might know for her work Lost, in which she shoved her camera under cupboards and beds on a search for her watch, taking the viewer on a journey through an underworld of mothballs and dirt. Matt’s Gallery has long been a place where artists can experiment with new ways of working. In 1987, Richard Wilson flooded the gallery space with 200 gallons of used sump oil for his piece 20:50, which was subsequently bought by Saatchi and now features as a main attraction in his west end gallery. This is Hart’s first collaboration with the gallery - and they surely have another star on their books. 


Matt’s Gallery is located at 42-44 Copperfield Road, Mile End, London E3 4RR.

During exhibitions the gallery is open Wed-Sun 12-6pm.

- Stephanie Harris

Posted at 3:39pm.

A quiet, calm moment of contemplation from Maria Chevska and Simon Morley amidst the installation of Guest from the Future….

We look forward sharing a glass of wine, a bit of cheese, and thoughts on painting and poetry tomorrow night.

We do hope you can join us.

Guest from the Future: Maria Chevska and Simon Morley

Private View: 26 October 2011, 6-9pm at Arthaus

-GALERIE8

Posted at 5:47pm.

Anna Akhmatova, from ‘Poem Without a Hero’, translation by D.M Thomas

Posted at 8:15pm.

A sound of steps of those not here
Over the gleaming parquet. Blue
Cigar-smoke. All the mirrors show one who
Would not gain entry if he should appear.
No better, no worse, than others – but frigid
Lethe’s not touched him, and his hand is warm.
Guest from the future, will he really come,
Taking the left turn across the bridge?

Tonight marks the opening evening of a collaboration with artist Ayuko Sugiura and L’Amant dining for a pop-up restaurant and installation at the Arthaus. Commissioned by GALERIE8 to coincide with the occasion of Frieze Art Fair week, L’Amant dining will host three evenings with a commissioned installation of Sugiura. Both have been inspired by the concept of ‘leaves and layers’, merging shapes and hybrid sculptural forms to create an immersive, multi-sensory experience.


The artist explains that the work intends to show a ‘complicated balance of feelings’ - an important element throughout her practice, which always relates to human emotions and sensory experiences. Comprised of six projections and a sculpture of suspended leaves, there is a sublime beauty in the transformation of materials into an immersive environment. The leaves used for the interlaced screen and light throughout express a feeling of loss and departure, but also one of acceptance and rejection and a hope for reclaiming something anew. 

The projections onto the suspended leaves’ surface hold patterns of found and filmed imagery that Sugiura shot along the Thames river. The leaves, symbolic of the end of life and time that is lost, are covered with the projected images bringing about their restoration.  Light is the physical material, which literally changes the object on surface, merging shapes and meanings to create a ‘hybrid’ sculptural form and immersive environment.

- Text by Jaime Marie Davis, Images by Chloe Sylvestre

Ayuko Sugiura, The Lover, 2011, 13 Wednesday – 15 Saturday 2011, 7:30pm – 1:00am.

L’Amant Dining Thursday 13 - Saturday 15 only, 7:30pm. Bookings can be made at www.banhmi11.com/amant or by calling 077 50293656.  

Ayuko Sugiura is represented by WW Gallery, London.

Posted at 1:56pm.

The work of Chris Andrew Jones demands a double take. It’s captivating, awe-inspiring - and yes, a bit eerie. The intense presence of his life-size sculptures emerges from the vicissitude of collaged subjects and flourishes from the detritus of the disseminated image. Travelers, Mad Max inspired motorcycles, and vanitas motifs create a Momento mori in Jones’ works as he advances that it’s the approach to the medium that informs the message. And here the message is one of breakdown as much as it is renewal.

We stopped by Space Studios around the corner from the gallery last week to see what  Jones was working on for the exhibition The Future Can Wait, opening on Tuesday as part of a double bill with Saatchi’s New Sensations. Stacks of old magazines, encyclopedias, calendars, manuals, posters, models and toys were piled around the perimeter of the studio to make room for the new work taking over the centre of the room- so large, in fact, that the other half was being stored in the neighbouring space. 

We sat down to ask him a few questions about his working process, motivations for material, and how he presently feels about the so called ‘future’. 

GALERIE8: The title of the work included in The Future Can Wait is Old Raa Boh? Where is the title of the work taken from? You mentioned that you chose your titles post-production - why is it important to do at that stage? 

CAJ: Well, that’s the working title, I dont think it will be the final one, its just a phrase that has been in my head while making it - it’s wikipedia’s phonetic interpretation of the call the rag and bone man made during his rounds, his cry being broken down over the years from ‘old rag and bone’ to this abstracted version. I like the way it sounds, like some mystical incantation. But is derived from this very mundane thing - which kind of reflects this everyday transmutation that the rag and bone man was involved in… Maybe it will be the official title…

The title for me is usually appropriated, collaged on often right at the end, not because it is unimportant, quite the opposite, a title must add something or there’s no point, and at the very least it should definitely not detract from the piece, and so getting it right can be tricky.  It usually happens at the end because then I have a good idea of an atmosphere I want to suggest with the title, and also what I don’t.  I think its important to not point at any specific aspect of the work with a title, it should just add to a flavour.

It shares some similarities to your previous work, Repair is the Dream of the Broken Thing. Is this a series? How do the two relate, if at all?

CAJ: I don’t consciously work in series, but of course themes repeat. They are related in as much as they both take historical, obsolete things as their starting point, their general form. The ‘Repair..’ piece was made in response to the specific place I was working at the time, Peekskill in upstate New York - i was interested in the history of the city and how it had changed over the years - and I approached this piece in a similar way.

Looking out of my studio window in Hackney I often see guys collecting scrap in trolleys, eking a living from the detritus - I saw an abandoned caravan stripped to a shell over a couple of days - and I began thinking about the more formal, previous incarnation of this trade.  I’m interested in things that facilitate change, that exist in flux, especially when they themselves become redundant. 

This previous title (Repair…) seems appropriate for all of you work, in some way. How do you feel about ‘the future’? Hopeful? Do you have a dystopian outlook or consider it an illusory concept?

CAJ: That title is a line from a song by The Silver Jews (Dave Berman writes some of the best lines and must be the lyricist most used by artists). It was playing while I was looking at the piece and it stuck - it summed up the feeling of that piece for me and on some level, the state of the world at the time. And yes, we seem to be returning to that place again - or rather, we never left.

I’m fascinated by concepts of time and space in general. The future is as relevant or irrelevant as the past - it’s all the same stuff. I like to mess with chronologies in my work, the photograph appears to remove things from their space-time, and there’s an unsettling absurdity that I like to play with. The pieces hopefully operate in between these different time zones, whether real, depicted, simulated etc.

In more prosaic terms of ‘the future’ I think it would require some hefty optimism to deny that we appear to be in the twilight of our current systems, at least as we know them. All systems breakdown eventually, give way to entropy, change being the only constant and all that… and even accounting for our persistent attraction to dystopian themes, I think it’s undeniable that we are living in some pretty unstable times.


Why have you been drawn to paper? Is it the fragility? Organic materiality? Or is it the way it carries a particular message?

CAJ: It’s less the paper and more the printed image, but yes the fragility is important. The papery physicality of this depicted space is key to the work - the permanence of the image is in a way betrayed by the flimsiness of its support, whilst at the same time it also allows the intangible to be very physically manipulated.  So there is a dichotomy between what is represented and what it actually is, a large amount of the work is a play on this.

Why choose the mass produced image to begin a unique authorship of your own?

CAJ: I used to take my own photographs to make things with, but there came a point when I felt that it was unnecessary and actually limiting. I switched to appropriating images from books and magazines, mainly in order to add an unpredictability to the image selection. The random nature in which images appear whilst I’m making a piece is integral, the studio floor becomes a palette. It’s usually covered with images and the piece almost emanates from this overflow.

I also appropriate the forms as well, casting objects from life or scaling up patterns for paper models. It’s important that my actions are more of an appropriation and subversion of an existing thing than how well I could make something myself.

 

Who, or what, if anything has been an influence on your work?

CAJ: Well, everything - an artist doesn’t work in a vacuum, and a piece is just the distillation at that time of the experiences they’ve had and what’s going on around them.

But, more specifically, surrealism has always played a part – Ernst, Duchamp.

At college, I was really into Tom Freidman and Fischli/Weiss and more recently I admire the work of Thomas Houseago, Matthew Monahan, David Altmejd, to name a few.  Also, working for Nigel Cooke after my MA was possibly the best education. Working for a painter while making sculpture really created a shift in my work.

I get a lot from films, books and music, often analyzing what makes a certain piece of music, for instance, so interesting can provide the key to resolving a piece. But yeh, everything…

-Jaime Marie Davis

___

Chris Andrew Jones is one of the artists exhibited in The Future Can Wait at B1 Victoria House Bloomsbury Square, 11 - 17 October 2011.  His work, The First Years of His Reign, 2006 is also on view at GALERIE8.

Posted at 3:01pm and tagged with: The Future,.

In and Around E8 - Pop in and see Auerbach to the Future, the first UK solo exhibition of emerging artist Sophie Derrick at DegreeArt.

Collapsing the mediums of digital photography and figurative painting, Derrick creates colourful compositions that transform the artist into her own model influenced by expressionist painter Frank Auerbach. Coating herself in oil paint, Derrick takes a photograph and then adds thick layers to the print, with process mimicking the image. Her new stop motion animation film ‘How to Become A Painting’ will lay the process bare. 

Gorgeous. And gruesome. 

Auerbach to the Future is open 6 - 30 October 2011 at Degree Art’s Execution Room, 12a Vyner Street, London E2 9DG

Posted at 3:27pm.

In and Around E8 - Pop in and see Auerbach to the Future, the first UK solo exhibition of emerging artist Sophie Derrick at DegreeArt.
Collapsing the mediums of digital photography and figurative painting, Derrick creates colourful compositions that transform the artist into her own model influenced by expressionist painter Frank Auerbach. Coating herself in oil paint, Derrick takes a photograph and then adds thick layers to the print, with process mimicking the image. Her new stop motion animation film ‘How to Become A Painting’ will lay the process bare. 
Gorgeous. And gruesome. 
Auerbach to the Future is open 6 - 30 October 2011 at Degree Art’s Execution Room, 12a Vyner Street, London E2 9DG

Anyone with an interest in contemporary Eastern European art should visit London Print Studio, where the gallery is hosting an ambitious exhibition of 18 artists from countries of the former Soviet Bloc to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although all the artists hail from different nations, are from different generations, and work in different media, their work is united by one thing – it addresses social issues with a directness and honesty that would not have been tolerated under the oppressive political regimes that previously reigned in their respective homelands.

Curator Eve Kask has chosen a deliberately ambiguous title from the show - Memoirs From a Cold Utopia – pointing to the fact that the failed utopian vision does not simply apply to “the heartless machinations of Soviet centralism” but also to “the inbuilt brutality of a free market economy.” Simon Rees, Curator at the Contemporary Arts Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania says for a decade Eastern European artists have been fascinated with Hal Foster’s idea of the “artist as ethnographer” and have worked to mine the history of Soviet rule. Equally, their work is interlaced with a sense of melancholic loss of yet another failed dream – that of a free, western-style consumerist paradise - which in many cases materialized in disappointment for those who were faced with an altogether different reality of rising prices and falling living standards. In the arts, 20 years on, the restrictive state funding of communist states has not been equalled by the ‘free’ market and Eastern European countries still face under-funding by comparison to their counterparts in the ‘west’. It is the combined reassessment of the clashing cultural values of two oppositional ideologies that makes this exhibition so fascinating.

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Posted at 10:40pm.

In 1978, the iconic Romanian artist Ion Grigorescu - known mostly for his self-recorded, solitary performances - cast himself in two roles for the 8mm film Dialogue with Ceauşescu where he scripted and performed opposing positions: the artist and authoritative dictator in conversation.

Grigorescu, wearing a photographic mask of Ceauşescu filmed face to face with the artist, reminds himself, ‘if the people cannot rule, they should criticize’. Here and in many of the artist’s performative works, the photographic image is a material not simply to document a temporal action, but a surface to revisit, produce dialogue from, and critique. The conversation between the two is an aggressive address by the artist to the dictator about the public’s disappointment with his leadership.

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Posted at 4:55am.

The riots in London and across the country have brought an onslaught of accusations about the lack of opportunities versus opportunism, and resonated in many ways with recent protests on education. Common ground, however, is certainly found in sympathy for families and businesses that have lost their homes and livelihoods. 

As part of a large-scale community project, and fundraiser for those that has been affected by the recent disturbances,SoundFjord is collaborating with Audio Gourmet’s Harry Towell, with the assistance of Bartosz Dziadosz, to produce an album created by the people, for the people. Once complete the album will be available as a download at the Audio Gourmet website and all monies will go towards assisting those who have lost so much.

Soundfjord is gathering sounds and samples from artists, musicians phonographers and the general public all over the world of which Audio Gourmet will then process/assemble them into an album. 

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Posted at 3:41pm.

Leading up to Puppetry and Power at GALERIE8, I would like to share with you one of the great 20th century puppet performances - a sweet, charming video of Alexander Calder performing his work ‘Cirque Calder’ - from the Whitney Museum (by WhitneyFocus)

Created after Calder first moved to Paris in 1926, the circus became an ongoing obsession. Designed to be packed into a suitcase (which notoriously grew to five suitcases over time), Calder would take his figures and stage with him and spontaneously perform while travelling - a literal one-man travelling circus.

- Michelle Schultz

Posted at 4:55pm.

Lines weaving in, out and around, the work of Parisian street artist l’Atlas’ is a striking maze of letters in graphic form. Often balancing separate ideas in a single cohesive piece, he considers the diversity of his audience and ability to speak to them through a “universal language” of simplicity. With striking similarities to the work of Daniel Buren’s stripes and work which prompts the viewer to “see”, l’Atlas’ moniker addresses the viewer literally as the world, in which they are surrounded.

The artist’s work is also influenced by optical art, Minimalism, Kufi and other Arabic Calligraphy which he studied extensively. For a commissioned work with GALERIE8 projects, he uses fluorescent bright colors he says recall op art and illusion, but it also stand as an epilogue to a recent joke taken seriously - of him being colour-blind. Working also with tape and aerosol, l’Atlas checks his precision before going into another room to spray paint, happily stating: I am better than a machineTwo days and 16 cans later, L’Atlas Building is ready for its installation with UV lights for a 4 floor installation - bringing a wholly new direction for the artist. 

 

- Photos and text by Laima Zvidra

Posted at 5:16pm.

Sound is ever-present; auditory mediation saturates life in the digital age – from soundtracks, to mobile telephones, to ‘noise’. Sound indexes past times and distant places; it is texture, the unseen fabric of our environment, often lying just beyond our conscious perception. It streams across networks, interrupts spaces, and shapes private dreamscapes. Sound is produced by transcoding and translation, generated from bodies both artificial and natural, transmuted into images and objects. It is produced and reproduced, stretched and compressed, imagined and heard.  - Sonic Residues, Consortium for Digital Art, Culture, and Technology (cDACT)

Throughout six weeks in July and August, this series will aim to critically engage with the surrounding environment through sound, and to explore the influences it has on new ways of making and experiencing visual forms.

The series includes a broad range of artists and creators that are increasingly blurring genre lines and sensibilities in the realms of sound and the visual. Participating artists will do this by recording the sounds of architectural spaces, re-inventing musical instruments, using sound as a sculptural material, or working with music and cinematography.

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Posted at 9:09pm.

The first time I encountered the LE GUN artists, I had to go and stick my head up their ass - quite literally. Their giant installation ‘Le Bum’ forced you to cross polite social boundaries and immerse yourself in their world through the most guarded of bodily orifices. However, once inside, it was quite like the rest of their work - arresting, mesmerising and difficult to withdraw from - and distinctively LE GUN.

 

For those obsessive collectors of all things pulpable and palpable, LE GUN’s publications are highly coveted. An art object in their own right, the passionately curated pages filled with illustrated narratives are selected by the collective. Carefully constructed, the journey through them is always worth the wait.

The collective was founded in 2004 when a group of MA students in Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Art joined forces and to create a magazine decreed to be called LE GUN. The publication extended into an exhibition, the students became graduates, and LE GUN plotted their takeover of the world. The fifth edition of LE GUN is now on the shelves, and numerous exhibitions and events have strengthened their hold on the eccentrics and dreamers in London and beyond.

 

LE GUN’s projects don’t easily give in to categorisation, and even when deciphered, truths may in fact be constructed fictions. Their latest project shown recently in Berlin, ‘The Unknown Room’ begins with a suitcase found in Hackney containing the diary of flamboyant Jazz singer George Melly and takes him on a journey through LeGundon. Fact, fiction, and imaginings are combined to immerse you (and the late Mr. Melly) in an all-encompassing space of LE GUN. 

 

I have longed to exist in their black and white world - and with their involvement this summer in our upcoming Hackney Hoard exhibition and events, it looks like I just might have the chance.  

- Michelle Schultz

All Images Courtesy of LE GUN. 

Posted at 8:49pm.