Tai Shani & A—Z (Anne Duffau) presented a sold out evening of performances and screenings exploring and extending a research around amorphous living through technology & the inner space at Dilston Grove.
FEATURING: Laurie Anderson // Anna Bunting-Branch // Valie Export // Rebecca Jagoe // Sam Keogh // Maria Lassnig // Lynn Hershman-Leeson // Lawrence Lek // Rashaad Newsome // Tai Shani // Marianna Simnett // Zadie Xa // Special print by Allison Katz
In associate with LUX, Daata Edition and sixpackfilm & The Royal College of Art, School of Fine Art
“At the point of ‘Heat Death of the Universe’ or maximum Entropy / A realised cyborgian myth / A Subliminal intervention between Here and Nowhere”
(Tai Shani, The Vampyre, 2016)
One of the most admired and acclaimed experimental-performance artists in the United States of America, Laurie Anderson is a free-spirited, creative genius, whose work intrigues and mesmerizes audiences across the globe. From performing a symphony of car horns to performing on the violin wearing frozen skates, Anderson has the capability to add that rare edge to all her performances. In a career spanning over four decades, she has managed to create art using a variety of media, be it sculpture, spoken-word songs, films or projected imaginary. She has showcased her work across various prestigious museums across the world and has released seven albums under the Warner Bros label. Popularly referred to as the ‘godmother of the New York art scene’, Anderson’s innovative performances reveal immense creative energy, when compared to contemporary artist and musicians. She is fiercely unpredictable on stage and carefully mixes her experimental compositions with pop-synthesizing beats. Some of her well-known works include ‘Duets On Ice’, ‘O Superman’, ‘Home of the Brave’, ‘Homeland’, ‘The Waters Reglitterized’ and ‘Big Science’.
Anna Bunting-Branch (born 1987, Cambridge) is an artist and researcher based in London. Recent solo presentations include The Labours of Barren House, Jerwood Visual Arts, London (2017); W.I.T.C.H. (“Women Inspired To Commit Herstory and other tales…”),
Hardwick Gallery, Cheltenham (2015); Mizora – A World of Women, Passatge Studio, Barcelona (2014). Selected group exhibitions and events include Witchy Methodologies, ICA, London (2017); Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016, The Bluecoat, Liverpool / ICA, London (2016); Art Show, WisCon 40, Madison (2016); Everything Else, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Wellington (2016); Primary Care, Julius Caesar, Chicago (2015); Wendel! Open Your Door, CGP, London (2013); Performance Compost, KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2012). Anna Bunting-Branch is currently undertaking a practice-related PhD at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, supported by the London Arts & Humanities Partnership / AHRC. Her research explores science fiction as a methodology to re-vision feminist practice and its histories.
Valie Export, Prof. Dr. h.c.media and performance artist, filmmaker born in Linz, lives and works in Vienna. Export’s artistic work comprises: video environments, digital photography, installation, body performances, feature films, experimental films, documentaries, Expanded Cinema, conceptual photography, body-material interactions, Persona Performances, laser installations, objects, sculptures, texts on contemporary art history and feminism. Valie Export is one of the most important pioneers on conceptual media art, performance and film. Export took part at the documenta 12 2007, and documenta 6, 1977, in Kassel 1985 nomination of EXPORT’s feature film Die Praxis der Liebe, screenplay and direction, for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Since 1975 curatorial projects, international symposiums, exhibitions and film programmes. Her works are in international collections like Centro Pompidou, Paris, Tate Modern, London, Reine Sophia, Madrid, MOMA, New York, MOCA, Los Angeles ect. Since 1968 participation in international exhibitions, for example: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Venice Biennale, Venezia; documenta, Kassel; MoCA, Los Angeles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MUMOK, Vienna; Generali Foundation, Vienna; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles; Tate Modern, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; Metropolitan Museum, New York; ars electronica, Linz/Austria.
Rebecca Jagoe presents a body of work that is a body itself, an unruly body refusing to be consumed. Working across text, performance and sculpture, her practice addresses the aspiring self and notions of self-fashioning that might negate embodiment. Recent shows include A glass is half empty of everything but simple passage, at Seventeen Gallery; Unveiling (You embrace me, as I am) at Jupiter Woods (2016), OpenProcess 3: This Just Blows My Hair Back!, at Space Studios, The White Building (2016) and The Kiss at Blyth Gallery (2016). A commissioning editor at E.R.O.S., her text-based work has been published by E.R.O.S. Journal, Rice + Toye, Paper Journal and It’s Nice That Printed Pages.
Sam Keogh works across installation, sculpture, performance, drawing and collage. In recent work his installations facilitate a performance which morphs sculpture into props and collage into mnemonic devices or surfaces to be read as a half improvised pictorial script. Born 1985, Keogh is currently in residence at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.
Education: MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London, 2011 – 2014; BA Fine Art Painting, NCAD,Dublin, Graduated 2009. Solo Exhibitions include Eurocopter EC135, Dortmunder Kunstverein, Germany, June 2016; Four Fold, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, May 2015; Mop, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, September 2013; Terrestris, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, July 2012. Recent group exhibitions include Rijksakademie OPEN 2016, Amsterdam, November 2016; ECTOPLASM, curated by Padraic E Moore, 1646, Den Haag, October 2016; Lost & Found, curated by Geo Wyeth, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, September 2016; Riddle of the Burial Grounds, curated by Tessa Giblin, Extra City, Antwerp, March 2016; 2116, curated by Chris Clarke and Caitlín Doherty, Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland and the Broad Museum, Michigan, USA, March 2016; The Bandits Live Comfortably in the Ruins. curated by Sean Lynch, Flat Time House, London, March 2016;‘Something to be Scared of’ A.M. London, March 2015; Hall of Half Life, curated by Tessa Giblin, Graz Museum, Graz, Austria, September 2015; 30 Years the Future, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, December 2014; Dukkha, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, August 2014; LOCOMOTION, Store, London, May 2014; The Line of Beauty, curated by Rachel Thomas, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, July 2013; How to Read World Literature, The Public School, NYC, July 2013
Maria Lassnig was born in Austria in 1919, and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna during the Second World War. After visiting Paris in the 1950s, she developed an interest in different forms of abstraction, in which artists use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve their effect. She experimented with some of these styles herself, and returned to live in Paris between 1961 and 68.
Together with Arnulf Rainer and Oswald Oberhuber, she founded informal painting in Austria; founder of the art of body painting. Lived abroad in Paris (1961-68) and New York (1968-1980). Since 1970, she created autodidactically according to her own drawings on a self-invented work desk (not an animation desk). 1979 DAAD scholarship to go to Berlin. 1980-90 professor of the master class for Experimental Design at the College of Applied Arts in Vienna. 1982 founded the only Austrian teaching studio for animated film. Member of the Woman Artist Filmmakers Group New York (1972-80). Österreichischer Staatspreis (Austrian state award) for painting (1988). Member of the Austria Filmmakers Cooperative.
Over the last five decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has received international acclaim for her art and films. She is recognized for her innovative work investigating issues that are now recognized as key to the workings of society: the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. She is considered one of the most influential media artists and has made pioneering contributions in photography, video, film, performance, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art.
Her activist films on injustice within the art world and society at large have been praised worldwide. !Women Art Revolution! won first prize in the Montreal Festival for Films on Art and hailed by the Museum of Modern Art as one of the three best documentaries of 2012.
Lawrence Lek creates speculative worlds and site-specific simulations using software, video, installation and performance. Often based on real places, his digital environments and video game essays reflect the impact of virtual realities on our perception of the city. Contrasts between utopia and ruins, desire and loss, and fantasy and history appear throughout his work to symbolise this exchange.
Recent works and exhibitions include the Nøtel, his ongoing collaboration with Kode9, Seoul MediaCity Biennial 2016 at Seoul Museum of Art, Glasgow International 2016 at Tramway, Glasgow; Secret Surface at KW Berlin; Software, Hard Problem at Cubitt Gallery, London; The Uncanny Valley at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Unreal Estate at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Performance as Process at the Delfina Foundation, London. Lek is recipient of the 2016 Jerwood/Film & Video Umbrella Award and the 2015 Dazed Emerging Artist Award.
Mashing together American hip-hop culture and the European heraldic tradition, Rashaad Newsome produces collages, installations, performances, videos, and songs that send-up and celebrate African-American culture. Drawing from sources high and low, he masterfully appropriates the gestures, sounds, and symbols of black culture and European heraldry (coats of arms), demonstrating the surprising similarities between them. As he explains: “A coat of arms is really a collage of objects that represent social status and economic status and status as a warrior. […] Everybody wants to be the king of hip-hop.” For his exuberant, meticulously composed collages, for example, Newsome culls images from hip-hop and luxury magazines. Like coats of arms, they represent success and opulence, hip-hop style. In his “Shade Compositions” (begun 2005), he builds musical rhythms from what he calls “ghetto gestures,” revealing the grace and humor in head-cocking, tongue-clicking, and other expressions of displeasure.
American, b. 1979, New Orleans, Louisiana, based in New York, New York
‘Dark Continent Productions’ by Tai Shani is an on-going project that proposes an allegorical city of women, it is an experimental and expanded adaptation of Christine de Pizan’s 1405 pioneering feminist book, ‘The Book of the City of Ladies’ within which Christine builds an allegorical city for notable women drawn from a medieval conception of history, where fact, fiction and myth are blurred. This non-hierarchical approach also determines the construction of the characters and narrative of ‘Dark Continent’.
Taking Pizan’s book as a point of departure to imagine an alternative history which privileges, sensation and interiority and constructs a possible post-patriarchal future. This very loose adaptation offers an ahistorical, non-linear, non-place, simultaneously internal and geographic, past and future, a city in time but not in space. This city of women is populated by composite, symbolic protagonists that embody excess and examine ‘feminine’ subjectivity and experience as well as the potentials of a realism defined by excess and the irrational; qualities traditionally surrounding notions of “femininity”.
The project is iterated through disparate installations, films and performances that together form a mythology that conceptualises the ‘epic’ as a form test the potentials of feminist politics and ideologies, a platform to critique the current structures, norms and gender constructs, and imagine a post-patriarchal world.
Shani has presented her work extensively in the UK and abroad, including Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2016); Serpentine Galeries (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2015); Southbank Centre, London (2014-15); Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Matt’s Gallery, London (2012) and FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais and Loop Festival, Barcelona (2011).
Marianna Simnett is an artist based in London. Her work spans video, performance, installation and drawing, with a focus on bodies and their limits. She was a winner of the Jerwood/FVU Award in 2015, and had recent solo exhibitions and screenings at Seventeen and Serpentine Galleries. Forthcoming work includes a solo show at Matt’s Gallery in September and a musical film to be produced by Film and Video Umbrella.
Through performance, video, painting and textiles, artist Zadie Xa interrogates the overlapping and conflation of cultures that inform self conceptualized identities, notions of self and her experience within the Asian diaspora. Her intricate hand sewn fabric work stitches together familiar symbols of yin-yangs, knives, lucky numbers and monolid eyes, all operating within a system of personalized semiotics. These exaggerated motifs are utilised by Xa to both combat and engage with Eurocentric perceptions of Asian identity and otherness and aspire to create new and alternative Asian identity narratives often fantastical and within the realm of the supernatural.
Zadie Xa was born in 1983 in Vancouver Canada and currently lives in London UK. She received an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2014 and a BFA at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2007. Recent exhibitions and performances include; Basic Instructions B4 Leaving, programmed by PS/Y as part of “Hysteria 2017” Cafe OTO, London UK, 3 Thousand and 30 High Priestess of Pluto, Whitechapel Gallery; Linguistic Legacies and Lunar Exploration, Serpentine Gallery; Kind of Flossy, Assembly Point Gallery; A Rose Is Without a ‘Why’. It Blooms Because It Blooms, Carl Freedman Gallery; Ride the Chaktu // First Contact, Serpentine Radio; With Institutions Like These, Averard Hotel; At Home Salon: Double Acts, Marcelle Joseph Projects (all London, 2016); Schwabinger Tor, Munich (2016); and Studio Voltaire Open 2015. Upcoming exhibitions include; Walled Gardens in an Insane Eden, curated and organized by Marcelle Joseph Projects, Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome IT, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (both February 2017), Pumphouse Gallery (solo), programmed by PS/Y as part of “Hysteria 2017”, London UK (August 2017).
A- – -Z is an exploratory curatorial platform produced by Anne Duffau. Taking the formula of the alphabet, A- – -Z uses words related to the idea of Entropy as a starting point to map out and test various unstable potentials. one Letter, one experiment, twenty six times.