hmn: The Space of Hesitation

 

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Location for hmn2: Hertsmere Road E15, 18 May 2015. Courtesy the artists

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.

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Emma Smith: Euphonia

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Emma Smith, Euphonia, 2018, installation view at Bluecoat, Liverpool. Photograph: Rob Battersby © Bluecoat

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like peoples’ voices have been getting louder recently. There’s an urgency bubbling, a building hum, occasionally erupting into shouts and sobs, a startling squall. In a time of social division, there are also movements to form communities and to lend our voices to causes, to find better ways to communicate and to prevent the mental anguish of isolation. The premise of Emma Smith’s exhibition ‘Euphonia’ is that through speech we are constantly making music together, and that this collective action is important for social connection. This music is made not just through song, but in our everyday social interactions, our voices unconsciously hitting complementary notes, our speech patterns merging with others’ rhythms, becoming more harmonious as we bond.

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Knotted Mass II

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Holly Slingsby, ‘Knotted Mass II’, 2016–18. Courtesy the artist.

‘Knotted Mass II’ is an artist’s book developed from Holly Slingsby’s 2016 performance of the same name at The Bower’s pop-up project, Finishing Touch, London. This work evolved from her research into the language of hair in the narratives of pop-cultural and mythical figures. It took place by candlelight, drawing from a rich selection of images, where hair is both subject and object, exploring its significance in popular culture, history, mythology and religion. ‘Knotted Mass II’ includes texts and images from the performance, new drawings, photographic documentation, and a specially commissioned text by Beth Bramich.

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Bad Vibes Club at Flat Time House

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Flat Time House is hosting The Bad Vibes Club in 2017–18. Bad Vibes Club is a forum for research into negative states. Whilst at Flat Time House, Beth Bramich and Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau will host 6 months of reading groups, a number of live events, and the launch of a new publication in June 2018. Please come along! All welcome, if you haven’t managed to make the reading groups before, now is a great time to start.

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Failed States #1: Island

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Failed States, Photo From Cliff’s Edge, Isle of Portland, Dorset.

I took a bottle of water and a bleakening worldview. Moving forward, pretending not to be moving away from, following the A-road to the island, on the edge of the asphalt all the way along the causeway. I was attempting to come up for air in that not-quite-defeated repeating way that I do. The little bastard of optimism and the desire to be empty kept me coming round and round to this lurching motion. The island is tied, tethered at its northmost to the mainland; it rises up bluntly and then slumps forward a few miles south into the sea. The cliffside route offers breathtaking views.

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Caroline Achaintre

 

Caroline Achaintre, Double Wurst, 2015, installation view, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, 2016. Photograph: John McKenzie © BALTIC
Caroline Achaintre, 2016, exhibition view, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Photograph: John McKenzie © BALTIC

The French/German, London-based artist Caroline Achaintre has been exploring the peculiar psychology of the mask for more than a decade. This has led her to some unusual places – from the costumes and characters of the European carnival and commedia dell’arte to catwalk fashion, S&M dens and schlocky sci-fi and horror films. Her work is heavily indebted to the German expressionists’ appropriation of primitive forms and the playful permissiveness of pop. Her first major survey, this exhibition brings together 63 works, including hand-tufted wool wall hangings, ceramic sculptures, prints and watercolours. Continue reading “Caroline Achaintre”