David Blandy's Choose Your Character
ICA – LIVE WEEKEND 1 – PERFORMANCE etc …
featuring artists: David Blandy, Tai Shani, boyleANDshaw, Brian Catling, Terry Smith, Aura Satz
Produced by: David Gryn
ICA London – 6-9 May 2010. For the first in a series of three Live Weekend programmes – David Gryn, director of Artprojx is producing several artist days of live art/expanded theatre/performance related artist’s events, screenings and music.
Each day will feature artist projects throughout the day and night:
David Blandy - Thurs 6 May ( See Trailer )
Tai Shani – Fri 7 May
boyleANDshaw – Sat 8 May
Brian Catling – Sun 9 May
Terry Smith – Sun 9 May
Aura Satz – Sun 9 May
ARTIST INFO & PROJECT DETAILS
Choose Your Character
As part of David Gryn’s LIve Weekend at the ICA, David Blandy’s day, “Choose Your Character”, will celebrate a variety of different fan-behaviours and sub-cultural obsessions that reflect the artist’s own passions. Including rooms featuring a Street Fighter IV tournament and Turntablist DJing, alongside a record market and Cosplayers
Features live music from Infinite Livez, King Cannibal, turntablists DJ Phaze, DJ Shorty, DJ CutWild, g-man and Priority Deluxe, music stalls from Ninja Tunes, Rough Trade, Soul & Dance Exchange and Flashback, hardcore fighting game tournament organisers Neo Empire and cosplayers the Rebel Legion and Heroes Alliance UK.
David Blandy lives and works in London, using video, performance and comics to address identity formation and its relationship to popular culture. Blandy searches for his cultural position in the world, often useing humour to ask just how much the self is formed by its immersion in the world of records, films and television, and whether the answers to life’s questions can be found in these mass-produced objects.
He has exhibited at venues such as The Bluecoat as part of the 2008 Liverpool Biennial, Turner Contemporary, Margate, The Baltic, Gateshead, Spike Island, Bristol, 176, London, Artprojx Space, Platform China Project Space, Beijing, and Museu da Imagem e do Som de São Paulo, Brazil and at various international screenings by Artprojx. His work is distributed by LUX.
‘Screentest: R-R-Rhine Peacetime 82′
On a sound stage, an actress is being filmed auditioning for a role in a fictitious film based on a strange, actual sequence of events that took place in West Germany in the hot summer of 1982. Over the course of 25 days in three unrelated, tragic incidents members of the US and UK peacetime army stole tanks and rampaged through various German towns and countryside leaving behind a trail of destruction, ultimately driving themselves over bridges and into trains to their deaths. The performance is accompanied by a live score by David J. Smith (Guapo, Stargazers Assistant and Amal Gamal Ensemble)
Film and Video Screenings selected by Tai Shani include: William Greaves, Jacques Rivette, Cartune Xprez, Jen Wu, Damon Packard, Jim Hollands, with Music by DJ Owen Hills (of Wooden Spoon and Dollboy)
Recent Tai Shani exhibitions and performances include: The Herzeliya Biennial, Israel; The Royal Academy, London; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Spike Island + Arnolfini, Bristol; A Foundation, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ARTIS Centre for Fine Arts Hertogenbosch, Stedelijk Museum Hertogenbosch; Liverpool Biennial 08; Artprojx at Rio Cinema, Dalston. She also writes and performs music as Cherry Mash Cherry.
boyleANDshaw with David Gothard present The Scuttler in collaboration with Sam Belinfante, Patrick Coyle, Adam James, JocJonJosch, Plastique Fantastique, Harold Offeh, Malin Ståhl, Malachy Orozco, Michelle Butterly, Keeley Forsyth and Max Reinhardt.
boyleANDshaw have worked in partnership since 2007, producing dense works with multiple and repeated socio-cultural, philosophical and aesthetic references and themes. Committed to exploring collaborative practice, they frequently elaborate their projects with other artists and performers. They consider themselves to be catalysts, producing conditions for the creation of the new and the unanticipated.
For the ICA they will be presenting and developing a new durational perfoemnaced-based work called The Scutler, collaborating with an array of artists, actors and musicians in an improvised and experimental way to bring to this new work to life throughout the various spaces of the gallery.
Their performance pieces include Dynamite Fighter (Artprojx at GSK Contemporary, Royal Academy, 2008), The Funnel of Love (176 Gallery, 2009), Maiastra, Please Sing! (Romanian Cultural Institute, 2009) and The Filthy Songs Of Their Fathers (Guest Projects, 2010). Among their current projects is an exploration of I Rise In Flame, Cried The Phoenix by Tennessee Williams, which they have been developing at the National Theatre Studio.
The Foundling: DRUNK AND DISORDERLY
The final part in a quartet of performances. The last chapter of the Foundling project Drunk and Disorderly will be workshopped as part of an open rehearsal and performed at the ICA. This forms the last of four distinct parts, which includes Lost and Found (performed at the Tete a Tete Opera festival in London 2008), Hide and Seek, (performed at the The Foundling Museum 2009) and Sticks and Stones (performed at St George’s Church in Venice 2009).
The Foundling project was developed through collaborative performances with the composer Ian Dearden, the singer Linda Hirst, the trombone player Miguel Tantos and the cello player Oliver Coates, which took place at in the Foundling Museum and at live performances in Venice and London.
The video works include texts by the writer Mel Gooding spoken by the actor Julian Bird. This performance includes Linda Hirst, Miguel Tantos, Oliver Coates and Danny Standing.
TURNTABLE TABLEAU, a film performance.
Aura Satz performs a talking book ventriloquist act, followed by a live soundtrack to her film on gramophone grooves. The hypnotic footage of spinning sound patterns is accompanied by a spiralling multivocal counterpart, a cornocupia of voices recounting a tale of mourning and technology, a forensic love-story of sorts in which the voices overlap, echo and pre-empt each other. The cinematic stage is animated by a voice-over carousel, a spinning tableau vivant, a canon of voices amplified by horns set on a rotating stage.
She has performed, exhibited and screened her work nationally and internationally, including FACT (Liverpool), Site Gallery (Sheffield), Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea di Trento (Italy), De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill-on-Sea), the Zentrum Paul Klee (Switzerland), Whitechapel Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the AV festival (Newcastle) and the IV Bienal of Jafre in Spain. In 2008 she had solo shows at Beaconsfield Gallery and Artprojx Space, and her film ‘Automamusic’ has since been screened by Artprojx at Tate Britain, Site Gallery, LOOP festival Barcelona.
Mr Rapehead is new 30 minute work made for the ICA extends his obsessive manipulation of the mysterious and enigmatic atmospheres by interrogating them with threats of violence and humour.
BC was born in London in 1948. He is a poet, sculptor and performance artist, who is currently working in video and live work. He has been commissioned to make solo installations and performances in many countries including; Spain, Japan, Iceland, Israel, Holland, Norway, Germany, Greenland and Australia His last solo show Antix at Matt’s Gallery drew much critical acclaim. He is the founder of the international performance group The Wolf In The Winter, whose most recent manifestation in the UK was at The South London Gallery. His video work moves between gallery installation and narrative films made in collaboration with Tony Grisoni. They also produce the no holds barred Cabaret Melancolique. He is Professor of fine art at the University of Oxford, and acting head of The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art
Artprojx will present films and videos by various artists throughout the weekend whose work connects to live art, expanded theatre and performance including:
Ashish Avikunthak – Kalighat Fetish
Shoja Azari – Windows
Brian Catling & Tony Grisoni – Vanished – A Video Séance & The Cutting
Mark Leckey – Cinema-in-the-Round & Shades of Destructors
Lynne Marsh – Plänterwald,
Jo Mitchell – Concerto for Voice & Machinery II
Matt Stokes – Long After Tonight
Kalighat Fetish, 1999, 22 minutes.
Kalighat Fetish (Kalighat Athikatha), 16mm transferred to DVD.
The film attempts to negotiate with the duality that is associated with the ceremonial veneration of the Mother Goddess Kali- the presiding deity of Calcutta. It delves into the subliminal layers of consciousness, underlying the ritual of Kali worship. The film ruminates on the nuanced trans-sexuality that is prevalent in the ceremonial performance of male devotees cross-dressing as Kali, in an act of obsessive devotion. 1999, 16mm, Color, 22 minutes.
Ashish Avikunthak is an experimental filmmaker who has been making films in India from the mid nineties. His films have been shown in various film festivals around the world. His short film Kalighat Fetish won the Best Documentary award in 2001 at the Tampere Film Festival, Finland. His films have been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London, Centre George Pompidou, Paris and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley among other locations. He has had retrospective of his works at Goethe Institute, Calcutta (2004), Les Inattendus, Lyon (2006) and at Yale University (2008). He has recently finished his first feature length film, Shadows Formless, which had its world premier at the Locarno Film Festival in 2007. He has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University and currently teaches at Yale University.
Windows, 2006, 84mins
Shoja Azari weaves together a loosely constructed narrative based on 9 single-shot scenes in which windows play a central role in the storytelling. This dark, violent vision of American society presents scenes of office rage, rape, and gun violence. Using the image of a window as a unifying motif (and in one case, the mind’s eye), Azari mediates between the internal and the external. In each sequence, he creates an elaborate visual choreography. As the camera pans, tilts, and tracks through the cinematographic space, the protagonists enact their own dramas across different planes of action. Throughout this process, Azari invokes the viewer’s imagination by adroitly exploiting the tension between on-screen and off-screen action. This combination of controlled camera movements and narrative suspense recalls such disparate filmmakers as Michael Snow and Alfred Hitchcock.
Shoja Azari was born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1958. He moved to New York City in 1983 and received an M.A. in Psychology from New York University. In 1997 he met artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, and together they have created a body of work (short films, video installations, and a multimedia theater piece) that has been exhibited around the world. Azari’s debut feature film K, based on three works by Franz Kafka, screened at the Venice Film Festival. Windows is his sophomore feature.
My Philosophy (compilation), 2010, 60mins
“So, you’re a philosopher?
Yes, I think very deeply… (repeat and scratch)”
Excerpt from My Philosophy, Boogie Down Productions, Jive/RCA 1988
For My Philosophy, David Blandy brings together a selection of his work from the past 8 years, all of which explores ways to live life in the modern world. Where do we find ideas to believe in if organised religion and philosophy no longer feel relevant, if popular culture is the only authoritative voice to which we have access? Blandy seeks answers to life’s questions from Ben E. King, Bruce Lee, Robert Johnson and David Carradine.
The programme will include two of his most recent films; Samurai Story (2008), in which Blandy tries to live by the code of the Samurai in a Japanese garden in Cheshire, which features a soundtrack written by English Dub legend Manasseh; and Crossroads (2009), which investigates the mythology around Robert Johnson, where Blandy, as the Blues Legend, takes a trip to the Mississippi Delta to find the crossroads where the bluesman made his legendary pact with the Devil.
David Blandy has just recently been announced as the winner of The Times/The South Bank Show Breakthrough Award, presented by Sir Ian McKellan at a ceremony shown on British national television.
BRIAN CATLING & TONY GRISONI
Vanished ! A Video Séance
VANISHED! A VIDEO SEANCE
Vanished! A Video Seance by Brian Catling and Tony Grisoni funded by the Arts Council of England. This collaboration between poet-performance artist and the screenwriter has produced a hybrid work that uses atmospheric narrative to unwind the compelling true story of “Gef, a spirit in the form of a mongoose with small yellow human hands”. The Father, Mother and Duaghter living in bleak isolation each tell the story, revealing their complex and hidden relationship which became a national curiosity.
“Scarier than Blair Witch,” wrote Jonathan Romney in The Guardian. “Vanished! comes into its own, making the most of ideas associated with projection: we are literally seeing the family’s fantasies and disturbances projected on screen… this is not simply a story of a folie à trois, but apparently a drama of deception and abuse… tellingly, nothing is spelled out.”
A professor lays claim to a preserved body unearthed in a peat marsh. He announces that the body is that of a 2,000 year old Iron Age man – an aristocrat – a Prince of the Fens – a willing sacrifice. An old woman cackles at the exhibited corpse. She says its the body of a lover of hers when a girl – a salacious fool who fell in the marsh one drunken evening on his way back from seeing her. The professor goes into a spin. He withdraws his precious find, goes home to seek comfort in his wife, a faded beauty, trapped in comatosed sleep. At night, the old woman goes to find her lost lover. The professors wife sleep-walks. And out in the marsh, something stirs…
“…making up such a bizarre apocryphal yarn is the sort of stunt that American independent film-makers would pull. It couldn’t happen in a British art gallery, could it?” Jonathan Romney.
Born in London in 1948. He is a poet, sculptor and performance artist, who is currently working in video and live work. He has been commissioned to make solo installations and performances in many countries including; Spain, Japan, Iceland, Israel, Holland, Norway, Germany, Greenland and Australia His recent solo show Antix at Matt’s Gallery drew much critical acclaim. Four years ago he founded the international performance group The Wolf In The Winter, whose most recent manifestation was at The South London Gallery. His video work moves between gallery installation and narrative films made in collaboration with Tony Grisoni. They also produce the no holds barred Cabaret Melancolique. He is professor of fine art at The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Linacre College.
Tony Grisoni worked in many different areas of film making before turning to screenwriting. QUEEN OF HEARTS, 1989 was his award winning first feature directed by Jon Amiel. He has worked closely with a number of directors including Michael Winterbottom, John Boorman, Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker and Terry Gilliam (FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and TIDELAND). Grisoni is also proud to count himself amongst the crew on board the ship of fools: THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE.
In 2001, Tony Grisoni made the trek along the people smugglers’ route from the Pakistan/Afghan border, through Iran and Turkey to Europe with the director, Michael Winterbottom. The resulting film, IN THIS WORLD, won the 2002 Berlinale Golden Bear.
Shades of Destructors, 2005
A dark and baroque narrative based on a Graham Greene story about the destruction of a house in post-blitz London.
A video lecture where “the artist offers a compilation of his talks on film, television and video about the relationship between object and image.
Mark Leckey (b.1964) is an artist whose obsessions range from the utmost refined fin-de-siecle decadence to ’80s clothes and club culture. He is together with Ed Liq, Bonnie Camplin, and Enrico David, the founder of the band donAtelier. His video ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ which has reached cult status is a rigorous research on the world of dance and identification constructed through labels and tones. Music escapism and ambiguous sexual identities are the pivots around which Leckey constructs a succession of images whose fascination has to do with an ungraspable visual seduction. Leckey has exhibited widely in the UK at Tate Britain, the ICA as well as in the United States and Europe. (Bio drawn from Kulturflash). Leckey is currently Professor of Film Studies at the Staelschule in Frankfurt am Main in Germany.
Plänterwald, 2010, 18mins
Lynne Marsh’s new single-channel video installation Plänterwald takes as its protagonist a derelict amusement park at the edge of the city of Berlin. Here, the masses are present through absence, as the park’s policed borders isolate it from public space. The work plays on the absurdity of the use of force in relation to the decay and obsolescence of the site. Plänterwald pursues Marsh’s exploration of worlds contained by an internal logic, and quietly, yet relentlessly-like the defunct roller coaster-echoes the rumbles of deep social and political fault lines and their explosive potential.
Lynne Marsh’s practice is located at the intersection of performance, cinema and the status of the image, at the convergence of cultural and social concerns that operate in speculative fiction, choreography, and staged events. Marsh’s recent video works shot respectively in a sports stadium and a TV studio investigate the inscription of individual bodies in architectural environments built specifically for mass consumption and mass cultural expression. Using codified cinematographic techniques (extreme angles, sweeping, panning and zooming shots), her vocabulary draws on the languages of video games, sports coverage, television broadcasting, and the cinematography of the early twentieth century.
Lynne Marsh was born in Canada and has been living and working in London since completing her MA at Goldsmiths’ College in 1998. Her video installations have been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2007), Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles (2008) and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal (2008) with an accompanying catalogue. Her work can be seen in an upcoming group show entitled There is no audience, at Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain in May.
Concerto for Voice & Machinery II, 2007,
HD video transferred to DVD, 40 mins
Concerto for Voice & Machinery II, was a one-off performance that took place at the ICA on 20/2/07 and was a commissioned re-enactment of the infamous performance by Einsturzende Neubauten and other musicians at the ICA on 3/1/84. Composed around the use of industrial machinery, the destruction of raw materials and ultimately, the theatre stage; the original performance developed through dynamics of spontaneity and improvisation towards an ultimately chaotic ending. The performance in 2007 took the relationship between that spontaneous event and the necessary choreography that a re-enactment demands as its dynamic, creating a desired and idealistic construct of the event, whilst simultaneously exploring issues around expectation and the authentic experience.
The 40 minute video explores the narrative of events that took place at the ICA on 20/2/07 of the one-off performance of CVM II and highlights the difference between the myth of the unfilmed original and the inherent stagedness of the rehearsed re-enactment.
Jo Mitchell was born in Northamptonshire in 1965, graduated from Goldsmiths with her MA in Fine Art in 1999 and lives & works in London.
The Untitled Star Wars Mocumentary, 2003, 50mins
The documentary Lucasfilm does not want you to see. It has to be seen to be believed. Contrary to some opinions, this WAS all in good fun. There is nothing caustic about any of it, I would hope Lucas himself could have a laugh. It may be a bit much for his kids though, not sure.
Director of numerous shorts and features spanning the past 27 years back to 1982, (the incredible year that started it all) including “The Untitled Star Wars Mockumentary”, “Apple”, “Dawn of an Evil Millennium”, “Sage Stallone: Portrait of a Madman”, “The Early 70′s Horror Trailer”, “Al’s Techno Bar”, “Chemtrails”, “Lost in the Thinking”, “RollerBoogie III”, the micro-budget “SpaceDisco One” and the 286min 2001 mega-epic “Reflections of Evil” See http://www.awayteamfanclub.com/reflectionsofevil for more details. As of early 2009 completed an adaptation of Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Quoted as saying “Too many months and years have and continue to waste away from life’s challenging hurdles. If there’s something to learn, fine but it’s too bad the work possibilities that could have been have to suffer along the way. The human life-span is too short”
Long After Tonight, 2005
Original: Single-channel, Super 16mm film and audio transferred to Digibeta/DVD. Duration: 6’45″
Long After Tonight documents a specially-organised event staged in St Salvador’s Church, Dundee. Parts of ‘Sally’s', as St Salvador’s was fondly known, were used during the 1970′s as a venue for the city’s first Northern Soul nights. Although these sessions were held in an adjoining hall, for the purposes of the film permission was sought to use the church itself. By transposing the event to the unique interior of the nave, the dancers are surrounded by the beautifully gilded and ornate religious imagery of the building, thus creating a connection between the location and the activity as expressions of faith, commitment and shared purpose. The people that participated in the filming came together from across the UK, some having attended the original events held at Sally’s. This link to the roots of the scene in Dundee, and the Northern Soul fraternity as a whole, is critical in establishing a heightened sense of unity and emotion evident in the film.
Matt Stokes’s practice stems from a long-term inquiry into subcultures, particularly musical ones. He is interested in the way music provides a sense of collectivity, acting as a catalyst for particular groups to form, shaping and influencing people’s lives and identities. Stokes’s works are often context-specific; he immerses himself in a setting and area of interest, through which collaborations with informal communities arise. After a process of collecting stories, information and materials related to their histories and values, Stokes produces artworks that depart from his research and take on a conceptual and aesthetic life of their own through films, installations and events.
Matt Stokes was born in Penzance, Cornwall and has lived and worked in NewcastleGateshead since 1993. His recent solo exhibitions include these are the days (Arthouse, Austin), Real Arcadia (LüttgenMeijer, Berlin), Now is Early (VOID, Derry), Long After Tonight (Kavi Gupta, Chicago and Ziehersmith, New York), [un]promised land (Attitudes espace d’arts contemporains, Geneva), Lost in the Rhythm (Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin), and Pills to Purge Melancholy (Collective, Edinburgh). He recently had shows at 176, London and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.
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“I work with artists who deliver extraordinary ideas. We all care about the ICA as a venue to nurture and launch the careers of 1000′s of artists since it first opened its doors. We care about it’s history, present and future – regardless of what it shows and who runs it.” David Gryn 2010