Sophie Chapman + Kerri Jefferis write manifestos. They write in marker pen on walls and on sugar paper sheets, all caps: statements, questions, quotes. They also write rules, for each other and other people, provocations and terms of engagement. There are schedules too, and to-do lists and in-jokes and scores. It’s a part of externalising their process — a necessary one when working together as a pair or in larger groups — and it significantly shapes what is to come. These texts and diagrams are preparatory materials, scores for activity, but sometimes after the fact, they are one of just a small physical trace of actions that involve a handful to a hundred or more people.
hmn is a quarterly sound-based test centre organised by artist Anne Tallentire and writer Chris Fite-Wassilak. This roaming event series, running since February 2015, is an intimate and unique platform for artists, thinkers and workers from a range of backgrounds to present new work. Conceived as an alternative space for testing ‘what sound is and can be’, each edition takes up residence for an evening in venues such as libraries and community centres across London. In a recent conversation with Beth Bramich, Tallentire and Fite-Wassilak discuss the project’s intentions and outcomes, and its ongoing development.
Bad Vibes Club Podcast co-host Beth Bramich talks to the artist Chloe Cooper about her work with Jenny Moore and Phoebe Davies as Bedfellows, a research project about sex re-education, performing an Internal Scratch at Battersea Arts Centre, sex education at the British Museum, sex positivity, activism and consent. Listen to the episode here.
The day after the opening of Ruth Beale’s exhibition ‘Bookbed’ at Peckham Platform the gallery is busy, the door swinging open and shut almost constantly. Beale is sitting opposite me on the eponymous bed explaining how the previous week has involved a lot of late night sewing. A stripy green mattress re-fashioned into the shape of an open book that curves gently away from its central ‘spine’, the Bookbed is wonderfully soft, a perfect place to sit, lie or curl up with a good book. Positioned in front of the gallery’s shop-window it is presented as a first taste of the exhibition to the passers-by of Peckham High Street. The situation is at once intimate – it’s not everyday an artist invites you into their bed – and performative: we are something of a spectacle, to those looking through the window, but also to the gallery visitor, who may never have dreamed of clambering onto an artwork.
Over the last five years Wysing Arts Centre has experimented with different programmatic structures in order to support artists to make new work. During 2013 they will be further exploring how structures, some visible and others implied, might be used to uncover meaning, narrative, paradox or indeed certainty through their prestigious residency programme. This year there will be two sets of residents, the first group is made up of Anna Barham, David Osbaldeston, Charlotte Prodger and Florian Roithmayr. The programme title, ‘Convention T’, refers to logician, mathematician and philosopher Alfred Tarski (1901-1983) who applied logic to sentence structure in order to make the truth visible through language. Tarski created a structure, a meta-language, that could be applied to real, everyday, language in order to generate true statements, known as T sentences -— ‘A and B’ is true if and only if A is true and B is true translates as Snow is white if and only if snow is white.
The second of two interviews with Wysing’s 2013 artists-in-residence is with Charlotte Prodger, an artist based in Glasgow who works with 16mm film, video, writing and performance. She uses the meeting of language and technology to generate cross-associations and slippages, inviting new routes of interpretation. Source material includes YouTube videos, personal anecdotes and the legacy of structural film and queer subjectivity, which she uses to explore contradictions that arise between form and content.