From script to reading to exhibition to performance to print
5 September – 6 October 2013
Rowing is pleased to present From script to reading to exhibition to performance to print, a collaboration with Performance as Publishing (Ruth Beale and Nicole Bachmann). Taking the form of an exhibition in progress, From script to reading… is punctuated by a series of performative events and a publication.
With works and interventions by: Am Nuden Da, Nicole Bachmann, Ruth Beale, Neil Beloufa, Alex Cecchetti, Guy de Cointet, Beth Collar, Marcelline Delbecq, Jess Flood-Paddock, Mark Geffriaud, Chosil Kil, Patrizio Di Massimo, Sharon Morris, Rory Pilgrim and Benjamin Valenza. Publication contributions by: Fiona Banner, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Michael Dean, Marcelline Delbecq, Emma Kay, Jess Flood-Paddock, Katja Novitskova, Francesco Pedraglio, Alun Rowlands and Cara Tolmie.
From script to reading to exhibition to performance to print is an exhibition that evolves over one month and loosely follows a circular movement taking into consideration the different forms and formats text can inhabit. It goes from script to spoken word, from pieces in the exhibition serving as starting points to performances, remnants of performances becoming an exhibition. A library area where documentation of previous performances, as well as other materials and various publications provided by artists involved in the project will be available to the public for the duration of the exhibition.
Linking together a variety of artists’ work and practices which use text and script as a starting point, the fragmented organisation of the exhibition challenges the boundaries between event and exhibition, beginning and end, inviting visitors to experience the gallery as a continually growing event.
Am Nuden Da will prepare the exhibition space at Rowing, installing their work Facebook Blue Filler quoting the rhythmic manner of Blinky Palermo’s Blaue Dreiecke, 1970, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. Interested in the mark as a point of derivation, the installation presents itself slightly above eye height as an extended ellipsis, a lead-in to, and out of the main event. The installation is based on what seems to be the most frequently circulated image of the Palermo work, the crop of this particular photograph includes 8 triangles over 3 walls.
Performing Keywords, 2013
Beale employs both archive research, and collaborative and discursive processes to explore the relationships between culture, governance, social discourse and representation. These forms of socialised questioning feed into writing, performance, drawing, video and the collection and representation of archival materials.
Performing Keywords is an enactment Raymond Williams’ Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society through choreographed maneuvers, props, readings and sound. The live 30-minute performance explores Raymond Williams’ rationale, and how changes in meaning reflect the political bent and values of society. A script compiled from William’s own writing, including unpublished personal papers, lays out Keywords as a collection of interconnected terms, and reflects on his attempt to measure cultural shifts against linguistic shifts. The performance was devised through a workshop process with a group of volunteer participants in Margate, Kent. It was first performed as part of Words to be Spoken Aloud at Turner Contemporary in March.
Story Line: Marie & William, 2013
“When this story enjoys it from the front its name is Marie, when it enjoys it from the back its name is William.” Marie & William is part of a new series of performances by Alex Cecchetti. A story is told and visualised while drawing its internal structure. The drawing choreographs the body of the storyteller while also working as a mnemonic artefact.
Like Valhalla, 2013
Collar’s performance Like Valhalla comes out of an ongoing exploration into landscape, historical narratives, memory and their relation to trauma and violence. Built out of interactions with the fens in East Anglia (UK), epic poetry, local history pamphlets, news footage, Hollywood and the Victorian historical novel, she finds the Dionysian in the suburban and the brutal in the innocuous. Attempting to delete the distance between us and the past, Collar questions the romantic image of the landscape, the hero, and history.
…smoke and mirrors, alibi, 2012
After studying photography in Chicago (Columbia College) and New York (ICP), Marcelline Delbecq has gradually moved away from photography to focus on the cinematic potential of writing through installations, films, readings and publications. She uses both narrative and narrator (the voice) to create an uncanny world where texts generate mental images shifting from description to fiction, from past to present. Voices act like voice-overs to cinematic narratives where words, transformed into visions, call the whole act of beholding into question.
…smoke and mirrors, alibi is a reading in rhythm with the cadence of the slide projector. Borrowed from Julien Gracq (Reading, Writing), the title is a metamorphosis of its content: a subjective history of photography, or the frozen image, through the description of photography and photogram, that the carousel persistently exposes in its absence.
A new refutation of time, 2013
Within an eclectic body of work, one can underscore Mark Geffriaud’s interest for monuments dedicated to non-events. Questions of disappearance and emptiness appear regularly in his work, which plays repeatedly with key elements such as books or light. Focusing on the circulation and disappearance of imagery and form, Geffriaud’s works draw upon a fragmented archaeology in which misunderstanding as a cognitive process plays a great part. Free associations, formal comparisons and false fictions allow the artist to share a kind of subtle and shifted perception of the world.
A new refutation of time is a performance by Geffriaud, consisting of a polyphonic reading of the eponymous essay by J.L. Borgès. Composed of two essays written in 1944 and 1946, Borges’ texts are preceded by an introduction that exposes the paradoxical intention of the writer to demonstrate the non-existence of time. For Borges, printing both versions of this essay was a way of increasing its paradox as both essays take different ways to reach the same conclusion.
Geffriaud’s performance consists of the simultaneous reading of both essays by a woman and a man. A score written by Geffriaud on each page instructs the performers about their reading. Their voice will meet, match, then separate again although they keep saying very similar things but in two different ways. Having the opportunity to switch from one voice to the other or melt the two together, the audience is immersed in a narrative informed by a fluctuating timeline and oscillation through linguistic space.
For the Oak, 2013
Sharon Morris is an artist and poet who trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, where she is currently head of the doctoral programme researching the relation between words and images using psychoanalytic theory and the semiotics of C.S. Peirce. Her artworks include installation, film, video and live performance with projection. Her most recent performance and film-poem were made for Film in Space, Camden Arts Centre. False Spring, Enitharmon, 2007, her first collection of poems, was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Jerwood Prize and Gospel Oak, her second collection has just been published by Enitharmon Press, 2013.
For the Oak is the title of a series of evolving performative art works that involve still and moving image projections, video and 16mm film. Taking the English/Common Oak as a leitmotif, For the Oak looks at the apparent schism between the urban and the rural through the specifics of Hampstead Heath and the City of London. Based on drawing, photography and writing, the text moves both recursively back into ancient history and forward into an imaginative dystopia in an attempt to understand the present moment.
Documenting the changing seasons reveals the current slippages that indicate climate change. The first version was performed publically at the e and eye event, Tate Modern, 2006, and has evolved with version involving music for Crazy Wisdom at King’s Place, 2009, and using 16mm film for Film in Space: Café Curio, Camden Arts Centre, 2013.
First created and performed in 2011 by a group of teenagers from Haarlem, The Netherlands, Wholeheartedly was realised in a year that had severe consequences for young people, including mass education cuts, unemployment, political brutality, and riots in London. Now nearly 2 years later, Wholeheartedly has been recontexualised for the first time in the UK for Rowing, exploring the hopes and concerns of a new group of teenagers. Inspired by the words of political activist Aung San Suu Kyi, the teenagers will bring to life a sung and spoken chant:
An absent voice, An absent voice
A beating heart, A beating heart,
Interweaving their voices, thoughts and feelings and music, the group will reflect upon the chant’s words to express their own personal and political concerns for the future. As the performance is brought to life during the course of the exhibition, a single, silent drawing is exhibited before the performance takes place on 6 October.
Rory Pilgrim (1988 Bristol, UK) graduated from Chelsea College of Art, London in 2008 and later participated at De Ateliers, Amsterdam from 2008-2010. In 2012, Pilgrim was nominated for the Volkskrant Art Prize in which his work brought together communities from religious, LGBT and human rights backgrounds to focus on the the question ‘How can we protect all love?’ in response to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. Pilgrim was also honoured last year by being commissioned to orchestrate the official reopening ceremony of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam with a large scale performance, broadcast also for television. Solo shows and commissions include COCA Rotterdam (2014), SIC Raum für Kunst, Luzern (2014), Art Liste 18 Basel (2013), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2010 and 2012), ARCO, Madrid (2012), Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (2011). Group shows and commissions include De Hallen, Haarlem (2011), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2010), Site Gallery, Sheffield (2010) and Sculpture International Rotterdam (2009).
Courtesy of De Hallen, Haarlem
Since 2006, Benjamin Valenza has been building a collection of postcards as a playful way to consider daily and poetic writing. This epistolary form led the artist to create a new literary persona, Josef Hannibal, with whom Valenza exchanges notes, impressions, and ‘linguistic vandalisms,’ without a pre- established programme. At Rowing, Valenza will read an extract from his Circa Circa script comprised of 15 postcards. Focussing on the duality of this text, the artist will enact through performance, polyphony and recorded voices.
Organised by artists Nicole Bachmann and Ruth Beale, Performance as Publishing investigates the shifting relations between performance practice and discourse, event and writing. The project explores the work of contemporary artists who use text and writing/speaking as a basis for their performance. Text does not primarily appear as a means of communication but as an end-point which has a shape and structure of its own. The performative act appears as an investigation into how meaning can be transformed and constructed through speech act and the voice, whereas ‘static’ pieces play on the potentiality of this event.
Am Nuden Da, the space is prepared
12 September – 6 October
Am Nuden Da, Chosil Kil, Guy de Cointet, Jess Flood-Paddock, Neil Beloufa, Nicole Bachmann, Patrizio di Massimo, Ruth Beale
Art Licks Weekend, Thursday 4 October – Sunday 6 October
Thursday 12 September, 6-9pm
Exhibition opening and performances:
Alex Cecchetti, Beth Collar, Benjamin Valenza
Thursday 3 October, 6-9pm
Performances: Ruth Beale, Marcelline Delbecq
Saturday 5 October, 3pm
Performances: Mark Geffriaud, Sharon Morris
Sunday 6 October, 3pm
Performance: Rory Pilgrim
Designed by An Endless Supply, the publication will be produced with interventions by Fiona Banner, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Michael Dean, Marcelline Delbecq, Jess Flood-Paddock, Emma Kay, Katja Novitskova, Francesco Pedraglio, Alun Rowlands and Cara Tolmie.
Curated by Nicole Bachmann, Ruth Beale (Performance as Publishing) and Guillaume Breton, Tyler Woolcott (Rowing)
With project support from
Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
Special thanks to architect