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Group Exhibition
Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB, United Kingdom
October 14, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Cake Hole by Tom Estes

CAKE HOLE by Tom Estes at Nottingham Contemporary as part of In Dialogue

In Dialogue, is an international event interrogating how artists and researchers use dialogue in practice, through different forms of discussion, presentation and performance. The event took place on August 30th 2012 in one of the galleries at Nottingham Contemporary. At over 3,000 square metres, Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest contemporary art centres in the UK. This purpose built structure was designed by the award winning architects Caruso St John, using revolutionary concrete casting technique. Nottingham Contemporary organizes four to five major exhibitions a year, bringing the work of the world’s contemporary artists to Nottingham.

In the Live Art performance 'Cake Hole' artist Tom Estes cuts holes in donuts while members of the audience take pictures on a communal camera that was passed around. The simple act of cutting holes in donuts or 'punching holes in donuts' is based on a slang term in activist circles meaning doing something that has little or no real impact. The title of the work 'Cake Hole' is also from a slang term. Generally expressed as ‘shut your cakehole’ it means ‘shut up and keep your opinions to yourself’.

As an artist Estes has always leaned toward making Live Art performance work that is participatory or immersive in some way. The audience participation in Cake Hole means that they go beyond mere spectatorship to become part of the performance, and the pictures are then posted on on-line social networking sites and web sites for another, wider on-line audience. 

Artist Tom Estes:

“As an artist I am interested in human social relationships as mediated via machines.  At the core of my work is an attention to the new forms of interconnectivity digital platforms provide.  We are completely enveloped by abstract systems and inundated with information that we are struggling to come to terms with. They enable us to do things but they also do things to us and do things at us. So this tour offers me an opportunity for some personal exploration, to meet new people and to access new audiences.”

Estes’ work  is an exploration into the complex place and function of the historical narrative in contemporary culture. Estes strives, not to break down these introverted, often self-imposed boundaries,  but to look at how this changes how we look at things and to explore the resulting changing values.  So his work looks at how data flow from the virtual realm impacts on the significance and symbolism of real-world human senses. But in doing so, he has begun to generate unexpected questions about how art might be able to inscribe itself on the surface of reality- not to represent itself on the surface of reality –not to represent reality, nor to duplicate it, but to replace it.

Curated by Rhiannon Slade (NTU), Heather Connelly and Viviana Checchia (Loughborough University), In Dialogue was chaired by Dr Anna Ball. In Dialogue focused on performance, translation, as a methodology and curatorial practice, through a number of panel discussions, performances, workshops and presentations. It utilized an eclectic mix of approaches and provide an opportunity for local, national and international dialogue between participants. The symposium grew out of a conversation regarding individual research interests; it deliberately sets out to present different ways in which the arts/artist use this term. It is curated by Viviana Checchia, Heather Connelly and Rhiannon Slade, and supported by Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University – where each of the aforementioned participants are studying for their practice led PhD’s. It took place at three sites across the city of Nottingham on August 30th – 31st August, supported by Nottingham Contemporary. The program will include a communal meal at a local Community Hall on Thursday evening and a day of activities at Primary, an artist-led space. Resident Artist Rhiannon Slade curated the In Dialogue Symposium with fellow artists Heather Connelly and Viviana Checchia which took place at Primary on the 31st August 2012. There was a fantastic line up of guest speakers and a jam packed two days of live performances, papers and panel discussions with artists, researchers and curators from Palestine, Scotland, Canada, USA, Italy, Serbia, Germany and UK. 


Helen and Newton Harrison, WochenKlausur, Katarina Zdjelar, Clare Charnley, Fucking Good Art, John Newling, Alexandra Ross, Bisan Abu Eisheh, Mirna Bamieh, Dr. Alex Mevel, Bartram and O'Neill, Rebecca Beinart, Trio Collective, Tom Estes, Traci Kelly, Steve Fossey, Julie Fournier Levesque, Matthews and Allen, Rachel Parry, Miffy Ryan, Helena Tomlin and Julie Davis, 20//20, Simon Withers

You can download the programme here:

Posted by Abel Magwitch on 10/14/12

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