The Other Workspace - an exhibition in parts

The Other Workspace

An Exhibition in Parts

Ben Cain, Aernout Mik, Sally O’Reilly

Laure Prouvost & Francesco Pedraglio, Jamie Shovlin, Cally Spooner

4 March- 8 April 2011

Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Canterbury

5 March – 8 April 2011

Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm

Saturday 12-5pm

Opening Event: 4 March 5-9pm

Part 1: Ben Cain solo 4 – 19 March

Part 2: Ben Cain, Aernout Mik, Jamie Shovlin 22 March – 8 April

Performances & Workshops: Laure Prouvost and Francesco Pedraglio 2pm, 1 April

Sally O Reilly 2pm, 2 April(booking advised - see below)

Cally Spooner 5pm, 8 April (followed by closing event)

In The Other Workspace, seven artists using sculpture, film, performance and text explore the role of collaborative and dissenting processes in defining space. The exhibition will change over the course of a month, in reflection of the fluid nature of the Herbert Read Gallery space and the works on display.

At the core of this exhibition lies the question, “What is it that differentiates this gallery space from the other spaces within the University for The Creative Arts building, and how stable is that differentiation?”
As such it explores notions of work, education, dissent and description, and aims to articulate the viewer’s position in relation to these factors.

The exhibition will open with a new set of works by Ben Cain. These will include a large modular architectural intervention, sets of hand-made objects, texts and presentation platforms, which will also be represented through a series of documented workshops and reconfigured as the show progresses. As part of this Cain will be working with IVIVI dance company to interpret workshop actions.

These works ask how the gallery might be seen in light of the workshop and studio spaces on site; whether the modes of production enacted there might have equivalents in the gallery – where the ‘work’ and outcomes of that work might not be that same as the material objects represented there.

Halfway into the exhibition, on 21 March, Cain’s work will reconfigure to accommodate two further works.

In Aernout Mik’s Glutinosity, we witness a familiar orgiastic scenario resembling a riot: uniformed men, balaclava wearing figures and demonstrators tussle on the roadside. However, any presumed differences between police and protester dissolve as the camera strafes the scene: The space the figures exist in is in flux – with background and foreground shifting counter intuitively. They appear to be trapped in time and space; their pushing and pulling that of a single multifarious organism.

In Jamie Shovlin’s Mike Harte- Make Art, the artist presents a portrait of his college friend Mike, who struggled to make any ‘work’, instead preferring to send Shovlin letters and cuttings that he thought his friend would find interesting. For this piece, Shovlin collects 36 of these funny, perverse observations, stating that he “hope[s] that the upshot of this one-way correspondence was, if nothing else, the development of a pretext for Mike Harte to make art. Of course, he had no idea of this at the time of sending each of these envelopes.” Shovlin’s presentation asks questions about art’s ability to confer value and its need for a supporting narrative.

The exhibition will also feature three performative works. Laure Prouvost, in collaboration with Francesco Pedraglio, will give a performance on Friday 1 April at 2pm. Prouvost’s work presents the artwork as a shaggy dog story, where the meaning (or punchline) is under fire from mistakes, mistranslations and competing exterior voices.

At 2pm on Saturday 2 April, as part of a project for Whitechapel Gallery (where she is writer in residence),Sally O’Reilly will be holding a workshop which “invites participants to collaborate on the writing of a new radio sitcom that explores mainstream (mis)representations of the art world and the intersections between live performance and writing.” The project will utilise the ‘rules’ of sitcom writing, exploring the tragicomic predicament of the artist whose persona is continuously shaped and used by outside forces. (Booking is advised for the workshop – please email or telephone the number below).

Cally Spooner will give a performative lecture on 8 April at 5pm. Spooner’s energetic, entertaining performances translate other people's texts, existing artworks, historic events and notation into live productions, where the performers enact the difficulties of determining how to speak or behave in a way that is faithful to these sources.

The Other Workspace was made possible by CD:EK (Curatorial Development East Kent), an 18-month programme supporting the professional development of early career curators based at three host visual arts organisations in East Kent. CD:EK is supported by Arts Council England, South East and by Canterbury City and Ashford Borough Councils.

Aernout Mik’s Glutinosity appears courtesy of carlier | gebauer and the artist.

Jamie Shovlin’s Mike Harte – Make Art appears courtesy of V22 and the artist.

Thanks to IVIVI dance company.

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