Shezad Dawood (b. London, 1974) works across film, painting and sculpture to juxtapose discrete systems of image, language, site and historical narrative. His practice often involves collaboration, working with groups and individuals across different territories to physically and conceptually map far-reaching lines of enquiry. Dawood’s paintings and sculptures interplay with his film work as liminal extensions of his interrogation of perception, the politics of place, and structures of belief.
Dawood’s work has been exhibited internationally, including Modern Art Oxford (2012) , Busan Biennale (2010), as part of ‘Altermodern’, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, Tate Britain (2009), and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). Recent projects include feature film Piercing Brightness (2013) and an upcoming solo exhibition at Parasol Unit, London (2014). Shezad is a Jarman Award nominee (2012). He currently lives and works in London, where he is Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster.
Art and Life by Liu Bolin
17:00, Sunday 6 April 2014 Free Entry - Booking Essential
'Those years made me feel like people can exist or completely disappear' - Liu Bolin
Liu Bolin, known as ‘The Invisible Man’, is a Chinese artist working in Bejiing. He is part of a socio-political tradition in China which explores the relationship between state and society. Liu is from a generation of artists who, emerging from the Cultural Revolution, sought to explore the identity of the Chinese individual. His series Hiding in the City began when, in 2005, the Chinese government shut down the artist’s district of Suo Jia Cun. Over one hundred buildings were demolished, including Liu’s own studio. In each work, Liu paints himself conforming to the background, leaving him barely visible. In Hiding in the City - Family Photo, featured in our current exhibition ‘INTERACT’, Liu addresses China’s well-publicised One Child Policy.
East Wing Biennial has invited Liu Bolin to London in April for what looks set be an extremely interesting talk you will not want to miss. Liu will explore the relationship between his art and his life experiences, the relationship between the form of artistic expression and the inner world of the artist, and how to touch the soul and spirit which artists invest into their artworks.
The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.
This talk is the second in a series dealing with concerns around spectatorship running alongside the Courtauld Institute of Art’s student-run East Wing Biennial exhibition INTERACT: Deconstructing Spectatorship.
Organised by East Wing Biennial with the artist, with thanks to Klein Sun Gallery, New York.
Queer Issues: Can a Homosexual be a Member of the Communist Party?
Free Entry - Booking Essential
Talk with artist Yevgeniy Fiks and a special performance by Ben Cottam
Completely bland photos of tourist sites – or little-known public toilets – become transformed for the spectator in the light of the Soviet recriminalisation of homosexuality, rekindled in the debate on LGBT issues in the context of the Sochi Olympics. The performance will comprise letters from British Communist Harry Whyte to Comrade Stalin, May 1934, read by sellout Edinburgh Festival comedy writer and performer, Ben Cottam.
Whyte’s Marxist defense of homosexuality will be accompanied by Fiks’ photos of gay cruising sites through the Soviet period to the early 1990s (see his book Moscow, 2013), prior to the artist’s lecture.
Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972. He has lived and worked in New York since 1994. His focus on the Post-Soviet dialogue with the West has inspired projects such as ‘Lenin for Your Library?’ (Lenin’s ‘Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism’ was mailed to one hundred global corporations as a donation for their corporate libraries); ‘Communist Party USA’ (portraits of current members of Communist Party USA, painted from life in the Party’s national headquarters in New York City); and the ‘Communist Guide to New York City’. He has exhibited at the Winkleman and Postmasters Galleries (New York), Mass MoCA and the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art; the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Marat Guelman Gallery in Moscow; Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico City, and the Museu Colecção Berardo in Lisbon. His work has been included in the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2011), Biennale of Sydney (2008) and Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007). ‘Monument to Cold War Victory’ is a continuing project.
This talk is the first in a series dealing with concerns around spectatorship running alongside the Courtauld Institute of Art’s student-run East Wing Biennial exhibition INTERACT: Deconstructing Spectatorship.
Organised by Professor Sarah Wilson with the artist and Ben Cottam, with thanks to Gemma Rolls-Bentley and Dr Jack Hartnell.
Sunday 23 February Open Day
Our current exhibition, INTERACT: Deconstructing Spectatorship, is open to the public this Sunday 23 February, from 12 to 4pm.
Featuring artists such as Manfred Bockelmann (pictured), Shezad Dawood, and Cordelia Donohoe, INTERACT seeks to challenge traditional perceptions of viewers and their relationship to art. The artists of INTERACT play with the role of the spectator; some invite them to interact with the works in order to realise and overcome this preconceived role, whilst others pose different questions and terms of reference.
Entry is free, exhibition catalogues will be on sale - every purchase supports the exhibition.
There will be further Open Days on Sunday 30 March and Sunday 27 April, with more dates and events to be announced in the future.
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The East Wing BiennialCourtauld Institute of ArtSomerset HouseStrandLondon, WC2R 0RN
Lilian Ptáček, Bite Size (After Lunch), 2013
Installation, fish tank
Lilian Ptáček is from Deptford, South London, and in her third year at the Glasgow School of Art studying a BA in Painting and Printmaking. Her work is grounded in drawings that reach into a sculptural realm through unconventional methods, such as casting etching plates into plaster or wrapping drawings around pre-existing objects.
Bite Size (After Lunch) represents a stylistic departure for Ptáček. Consisting of a fish tank containing five goldfish that is concealed apart from the front plane and has a scene of the Alps printed on the window side, it becomes the window. As this is the only source of natural light for the corridor it drastically alters the space and feel of the corridor. The Swiss scene printed on acetate and stuck to the back of the tank is a direct quotation of the Patrick Caulfield painting, After Lunch.
Ptáček is interested in the idea of palimpsests, the ancient wax writing tablets that were wiped for reuse, and the layering of meaning this entails. This interest is particularly evident here where Ptáček layers and stitches together different images, allowing the viewer to interpret each image as a separate entity, or to consider the whole work. As she writes, ‘Bite Size playfully stacks these windows, provoking the spectator to experience the fish tank as a snippet of exoticism and the Swiss scene as an imaginary realm of serenity.’
The work asks the viewer to consider their own approach and interaction with art. The East Wing exhibition began in 1991 as a way to fill the dearth created by the Courtauld collection gaining its own gallery space. The founder of East Wing, Joshua Compston, wished to ‘destroy the nudity’ of the Institute and decorate it with art. This motivation is reflected in Bite Size (After Lunch). The fish tank itself was inspired by the artist noticing their use as decoration in a Glaswegian restaurant and therefore calls into question the use of live animals as decoration and, indeed, art.
Twitter - @lilianptacekTumblr - lilianptacek.tumblr.com
Uriel Orlow, Unmade Film: The Staging, 2012
HD Video, Silent, 9’ 30”
Unmade Film: The Score, 2013
Audio and Video, 45’
Uriel Orlow is known for working in deconstructed media that explore the conditions of memory and history, whilst resisting a finite or complete narrative. Producing installations that include photography, video, drawing and sound, Orlow places different modalities in correspondence with each other. As well as re-assembling fragments from the past, Orlow approaches memories as contemporary events, functioning as non-concrete sites of cultural and personal investment and cross-inflection.
These strategies are acted out on the site of Deir Yassin in Unmade Film, a project which spans different media, suggesting a film but remaining unmade, represented at East Wing in its staging and score. A culturally significant site in Palestinian history, Deir Yassin was depopulated in April 1948. Later, used as a location for a mental hospital for those who survived the Holocaust, still in use, the site has been inaccessible to outside visitors. Different points in the present and past colour the artist and participant’s understanding of Deir Yassin, and the mediation of this experience becomes all the more pronounced as visitation is restricted. The impossibility of Unmade Film speaks of the enigmatic quality of human experience, and the uncounted subjective modulations of this experience that take place as time passes. The inaccessibility of Deir Yassin resists the archaeological instinct, denying a template for a traced history. Instead, the indefinite existence of the place is evoked in subjective terms. The collaboration of different people in The Score and The Staging allows for different responses to the history of Deir Yassin to be present within the works. Orlow, in leaving much of the editorial and artistic work of the film undone, leaves the viewer in a position in which they are able to navigate the components unguided. Without the directive hand of the artist or director, the viewer is left to decide for themselves the relation of the score to the staging, and the meaning they might create together.
Troika, Path of Most Resistance #1, 2013
Path of Most Resistance #1 is a collaborative piece by Troika, a group consisting of artists Eva Rucki, Conny Freyer and Sebastien Noel. The group met while studying at the Royal College of Art and subsequently founded the collective in 2003, exploring their similar artistic interests through experimental projects.
Troika creates work collectively through detailed research, dialogue and experiment. They have a cross-disciplinary approach and work in various media such as drawing, sculpture, architecture, and contemporary installation. Their work has been exhibited at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Britain and MoMA New York.
Technology is frequently used in their artistic projects. They also have a shared interest in spatial experience and perception. Their work explores juxtapositions between solitude and interaction, transition and permanence, the artificial and the natural; they seek to synthesize many of these opposites.
Path of Most Resistance #1 is one of the collective’s ‘Light Drawings’. In this series of works on paper, various shapes and lines have been intricately drawn with remains of electric discharges. In these fragile shapes and lines it appears that organic basic forms are repeated indirectly. The process has created tracings that are both playful and vulnerable.
The circular pattern of Path of Most Resistance #1 is an abstract form that creates an interaction between technology and nature through art. Artists have explored the boundaries between science and art extensively in the last decade; the inclusion of this piece seeks to create a synthesized dialogue of this interaction. Furthermore, the artwork challenges the spectator’s perception of how the drawing has been created, leading to a reconsideration of preconceptions about the creative process.