Lying on rocks, sitting in windows, standing on chairs (20–21 May)
Lying on rocks, sitting in windows, standing on chairs presents the work of nine artists across three spaces in the Royal College of Art: the Hockney Gallery, the Lecture Theatre and the RCA Library.
The exhibition is curated by first year MA Curating Contemporary Art students and features work by: Julien Bismuth, Ruth Buchanan, Lucy Clout, Guy de Cointet, Aurélien Froment, Tamara Henderson, Shahryar Nashat, Javier Peñafiel and Andy Wake.
The exhibition invites viewers to follow a chain of translations and correspondences across and between the three spaces and to consider the specific modes of display associated with them. All three modes of display carry particular historical references and ideological connotations; they further offer different spatial and temporal formats which generate possible scenarios for encounter between artwork and audience. The works presented act within and against the exhibition formats in question.
The three clauses of the title, taken from a work by Ruth Buchanan, can be read as performative scenarios which echo the three exhibition spaces, and hint, by allusion, to the potential for a shift in their meanings or conventional use.
In the Hockney Gallery, Aurélien Froment’s Un Paysage de Dominos (Landscape of Dominoes) (2011) presents a repeated pattern of illustrations across one wall, including a series of pedagogic objects or ‘gifts’ developed by the nineteenth century educationist Friedrich Fröbel to illustrate the idea of education through self-activity. Further works by Julien Bismuth and Lucy Clout invite the viewer to consider their position in relation to discrete objects, playing with the idea of performativity that emerged in the wake of Minimalism.
Froment’s wallpaper acts as a pictorial transcription of his video Second Gift (2010), which is screened in the Lecture Theatre 1 as part of a two-part programme of video and audio works by Ruth Buchanan, Lucy Clout, Tamara Henderson, Shahryar Nashat and Andy Wake. Following a series of ‘warm-up’ exercises led on screen by Clout, viewers in the theatre are transported to a studio and a cafe terrace in Rome by Shahryar Nashat’s video work, Quad (2010) where the lingering gaze of a camera describes a particular experience of four works by other artists. Tamara Henderson’s Vögel in Haus (2010) creates an exhibition space filled with unfamiliar, kinetic forms that enact a playful theatricality. Andy Wake introduces the audience to a world of mythical shape-shifters, and Ruth Buchanan’s Sculptor (2010–11), presents a circuit of shifting relationships between the individual and the collective.
The exhibition continues within a single edition book contained in the RCA Library. This includes reproductions of works on paper by Guy de Cointet whose reversed script is deciphered using mirrored paper, extending the drawing from the page into real space. Julien Bismuth’s short novels invite the reader to interact with the printed page by literally unfolding a narrative, whilst seven selected pages from Javier Peñafiel’s Agenda del fin de los tiempos drásticos (Diary of the expiry of drastic times) (2009) reports on experiences beyond the page, set against the structure of a diary. A text by Ruth Buchanan, Lying on rocks, sitting in windows, standing on chairs (2008–11) draws the reader into a scripted conversation that imagines possible scenarios for encounter, and can be read in parallel with the three exhibition spaces.
A list of works, exhibition map and screening programme can be found at: www.lying-on-rocks.rca.ac.uk
We would like to acknowledge and thank Ruth Buchanan for lending the title,
Lying on rocks, sitting in windows, standing on chairs, to the exhibition.
We are grateful for the support of Ditto Press.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Screening Programme Schedule
Lucy Clout, manual non manual manual, 2010, video, 18’32”
Shahryar Nashat, Quad, 2010, HD video, 10’43”
Ruth Buchanan, Sculptor, audio, 14’31”
Screening from 7pm on Thursday 19 May (private view)
Screenings at 1pm on Friday 20, Thursday 26 and Saturday 28 May and at 7pm on Saturday 21 and Friday 27 May.
Tamara Henderson, Vögel in Haus, 2010, 16mm transfer, 6’50”
Aurélien Froment, Second Gift, 2010, HD video, 5'29", 6'01" and 7'51"
Andy Wake, Trickster Cycle, 2007, video, 10’29”
Screening from 7pm on Thursday 19 May (private view)
Screenings at 1pm on Saturday 21 and Friday 27 May and at 7pm on Friday 20, Thursday 26 and Saturday 28 May.
MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art
Co-founded by the Royal College of Art and the Arts Council England, the MA in Curating Contemporary Art was established in 1992. It was the first postgraduate programme in Britain to specialise in curatorial practice as it relates to contemporary art.
b. 1973, Paris, France. Lives and works in New York, USA
Julien Bismuth is both an artist and a writer. He studied visual art at UCLA and is currently completing a doctorate in Comparative Literature at Princeton University. His work moves between the fields of painting, drawing and installation and displays a recurrent interest in narration and performance, operating in the space between visual art and literature.
Recent exhibitions include The Ventriloquism Aftereffect, GAK Bremen 2011;and Frustum, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2011, Vienna; Group Show, Galerie Catherine Bastide, 2011, Brussels; Terminal Jest, Articulture Biennial Arts Festival, 2011, Delaware; A painting show, Autocenter, curated by Aaron Moulton, 2011, Berlin; Julien Bismuth, Bloomberg SPACE, 2010, London; Mind the Gap, CRAC Centre Rhénan d’Art Contemporain, 2010, Alsace; Mine, Solo presentation at The Armory Show New York; Les Tristes: Invisible-Exports (with Lucas Ajemian), Invisible-Exports, 2010; and Some Thing Else, Peter Blum, 2008, New York; Les Continents incontinents, 2009 and Solo Show, 2008 both Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris; The Golden Ass, The Box, 2010; and Solo Show, The Box, 2008, Los Angeles; Titled (Untitled), Galerie Parisa Kind, 2010; and Monologues For Minerals, 1.1 (Salt Flat/Radio Stück), Galerie Parisa Kind, 2007.
b. 1980, Te Ati Awa/Taranaki, New Zealand. Currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany
In her work Ruth Buchanan seeks to address the condition of artistic agency today – both as a physical position and a material form – and does so by bringing various elements together in precisely choreographed spatial and temporal situations.
Recent performances include The weather, a building, performed as part of Push and Pull, Tate Modern, London, 2011, Sculptor, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, 2010, Circular Facts – Lying Freely Part II, If I Can't Dance Tonight…, Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam, 2009. Recent exhibitions include Madame Realism, Marres, Maastricht, 2011, Lying Freely, Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht, NL, 2010, Several Attentions – Lying Freely Part III, The Showroom, London, 2009. Forthcoming projects include a new performance A Wayward Punctuation, Liste 16, Basel and solo exhibition Eigenwillige Zeichensetzung, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz. Buchanan actively initiates and contributes to print based projects.
b. 1980, Leeds, UK. Lives and works in London, UK
Performance, and the experience of viewing performance, constitute the basis of Lucy Clout’s practice. This is reflected in the production of objects, sound work, video and installation, as well as straight-performance. Through a use of humour and pastiche of works in several different media, Clout presents a meditation on the act of display; exposing visual clichés and uniform presentational modes in favour of a series of meditations on looking and not seeing, and seeing without looking.
Lucy Clout gained her MA Sculpture at Royal College of Art, London, 2009, and her BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London, 2004. Recent shows include Limoncello, London, 2011; International Project Space, 2010, Associates, London; The Way in Which it Landed, Tate Britain, London; and Associates in New York, Phillips de Pury & Co., New York, all 2008.
Guy de Cointet
b. 1935, Paris, France. d. 1983, Los Angeles, USA
After living in New York in the mid-1960s Guy de Cointet moved to Los Angeles where he lived and worked from 1968 until his death in 1984. The encrypted text-based works on paper and stage plays that he produced during this period are constructed around language, often taken from sources as diverse as the writing of Raymond Roussel and television soap operas.
After his death de Cointet continued to be an important influence on the work of Los Angeles-based artists including Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy, and since 2004, the French curator Marianne de Brugerolle has led a renewed interest in his practice. She has organised the re-staging of many of his theatre works, often including actresses such as Mary Anne Duganne Glicksman, who appeared in the original performances.
Recent exhibitions and performances include the 29th Bienal de São Paulo, 2010, Playground Festival, Leuven, Belgium, 2010, Stedelijk Museum and Theater Frascti, Amsterdam, 2010, Fiac / Le Louvre, Paris, 2010. His work will feature in the forthcoming 54th Venice Biennial.
b. 1976, Angers, France. Lives and works in Dublin, Ireland
Aurélien Froment graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1999, and from DNSEP, Ecole Régionale des Baux Arts, Nantes, France in 2000.
Froment works across different media, including film, photography, performance and bookworks, addressing the idea of narrative and how it is constructed through the structure of memory. He is interested in the way we perceive the images that surround us, and his works often play with illusions: flattened perspectives, shifting scales and vanishing objects. Within his work specific objects are probed from different perspectives to unpack the ways in which meaning is formulated through a complex interaction of context, objecthood, cultural memory and the self.
Froment has contributed to numerous exhibitions internationally, including Passengers 2.12: Aurélien Froment, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, 2009; Froebel Suite, Gasworks, London, 2009; Superdrome, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2008 and Mercury in Retrograde at De Appel, De Appel, Amsterdam, 2006.
b. 1982, Canada. Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden
Through her work Tamara Henderson interrogates the spatial and historical boundaries of various media. The artist uses film, sculpture, drawing, and printed matter, which are combined and orchestrated into oneiric narratives. Her work refers to script-writing and poetry, bearing elements of imagination, chance and dream.
Previous exhibitions include, You and Me We’ll end Up in a Chair by the Sea, A1C Gallery, Newfoundland, Canada, 2010, When I'm Not Around, Articule Gallery, Montreal, Canada, 2008, Pensée Sauvage? On freedom, Frankurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 2007.
b. 1975, Tehran, Iran. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Shahryar Nashat’s works include videos, photographs, sculptures and installations that interrogate dramatic structures with an emphasis on display, staging and rehearsal. The works often give expression to unconscious desires, and accommodate the lingering gaze of the viewer. Nashat investigates collections and reproductions of art works, as well as questions relating to appropriation, display and the apparatus. He uses one mode, form or medium to surrogate another, and plays with the sympathetic relationship between these genres.
Recent solo shows and projects include Workbench, Studio Voltaire, 2011, Line up, Kunstverein Nurnberg, 2010; Remains to be seen, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen and Plaque, Kunstverein Potsdam, both 2009; and Because the Ultimate Foundation is Not Founded, Elisabeth Kaufmann, Zurich, 2008.
Group shows include: Frieze Projects, 2010, Silberkuppe: Old Ideas, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel and Silberkuppe: Under One Umbrella, Kunsthal Bergen, both 2010; Shifting Identities, Kunsthaus Zurich, 2009; H Box, Tate Modern, London and Art Unlimited, Art Basel, both 2008; and Swiss Pavilion, Venice Biennial, 2005.
Nashat will participate in Bice Curiger’s ILLUMInations at this year’s International Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He is represented by Silberkuppe, Berlin.
b. 1964, Saragossa, Spain. Lives and works Barcelona, Spain
Javier Peñafiel’s drawings, videos, texts and sculptures make up a linguistic system in parallel to reality. Throughout his career Peñafiel has built up a universe inhabited by characters and sentences that work autonomously; phrases that interrupt the silent and routine-based language used by a spectator, or videos in which diverse elements are combined to form tableaux, sharing a space whilst maintaining separate identities.
Peñafiel’s work explores both the necessity and the difficulty of communication. He investigates the double position that language can represent, both as an obstacle and a bridge for communication. Through projects such as Egolactante, 1997 - ongoing, or Agencia de intervención en la sentimentalidad (Sentimentality Intervention Agency), 1997-2001, Peñafiel researches trimensional devices that work with biographic illusion. Works including Mere coincidence, 2008, and the Agenda del fin de los tiempos drásticos (Diary of the expiry of drastic times), 2009, explore the inversion of hierarchical structures within art institutions.
b. 1978, Dundee, Scotland. Lives and works in Dundee and Glasgow, Scotland
Andy Wake graduated with an MFA from Duncan Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee in 2006, where he currently works as a lecturer.
Working in a variety of media, including video, installation and performance, Wake seeks to disrupt the observer's 'neutral' relationship with an artwork. He produces videos, drawings, texts and sculptures for both exhibition and performance formats. Yet his body of work appears to rebel against the confines of these forms of display, seeking to thwart the observer's ability to experience the work within a finite encounter.
Engaged in the crossover between the categories of artwork, artefact and prop, Wake works with an array of objects which he recasts in constantly changing contexts – his props for video occasionally go on to appear in sculptural installations, or video monitors might later integrate with sculptural objects. Building up a series of loose leitmotifs, Wake re-works meanings, titles and media over different displays. Time is conceived as non-linear; subjected to the mechanics of video technology, it appears scattered, folded, cyclical.
Previous exhibitions include The Associates Show and Free Association: Filmworks by The Associates artists, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2009, When Something Becomes Nothing, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2007; Working Things Out, Spike Island, Bristol, 2007; RSA, Edinburgh (curated by Generator Project Space, Dundee), The Visitor and the Other (Collaboration with Dr Aileen Stackhouse), Generator Project Space, Dundee, 2006.