Matt’s Gallery and CGP London present the second in a new series of co-productions Cantata Profana by Matt Stokes. The exhibition runs parallel with a new commission of work at Matt’s Gallery, Madman in a Lifeboat in Mile End (1 April–24 May 2015).

The presentation of both works across east and south London this spring marks the culmination of Stokes’ year-long fellowship.
Cantata Profana is six screen video and sound installation focusing on the physicality of extreme metal vocalists and the ability of their voices to immerse a listener and transcend both the individual performer and group.

Cantata Profana takes the form of an amphitheatre of video projections presenting a new musical composition, created in partnership with British composer Orlando Gough, artist and musician Tim Kerr and six grindcore vocalists.

Cantata Profana interweaves extreme metal music culture with classical choral traditions, to create an unexpected union. The intense sounds and body movements of the vocalists, together with the backdrop of the outdated German Democratic Republic radio studio in which the piece was filmed, all contribute to the atmosphere of this unique and enveloping work.

Stokes’ practice has developed from a long-standing enquiry into events and beliefs that shape people’s lives and identities. Music – its history, subcultures and socio-political effects often provides the catalyst for researching and forming collaborative relationships with musicians, writers, actors, com- posers and communities, bringing together their interests, knowledge and skills in potentially conflicting situations. By exploring the resulting exchanges of ideas, the final outcomes challenge our assumptions and understanding about specific scenes or chosen ways of living.

The vocalists featured in Cantata Profana include: Anders Bakke (She Said Destroy, Norway), (Kastrated, UK), Dente
(Rompeprop, Netherlands), Alex Hughes (Hatred Surge, USA), Alex Jockel (Krupskaya, UK), Der Kurt (Paroxysm, Germany).
Matt Stokes (b.1973, Penzance, Cornwall) and has lived, studied and worked in the north east of England since 1993. In 2006, he was the winner of the Beck’s Futures Prize, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Jarman Award. Recent solo exhibitions include In Absence of the Smoky God, Site Gallery, & Sensoria, Sheffield 2014; Dance Swine Dance, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool 2014; Give to Me the Life I Love, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne & The Whitechapel Gallery, London 2013; Nuestro tiempo/Our Time, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), Seville, Spain, 2011; Cantata Profana, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2011; The Distant Sound, De Hallen, Haarlem, Netherlands, 2011 and No Place Else Better Than Here, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany in 2010.

Matt Stokes is represented by Lüttgen, Cologne, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead and ZieherSmith, New York.

A CGP London and Matt’s Gallery presentation in association with Forma Arts. Originally commissioned by Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Germany, produced by Forma Arts with support from De Hallen Haarlem, Netherlands and Arts Council England. It has been exhibited at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; De Hallen Haarlem and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.


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