David Gryn / Artprojx programmes an evening of artists’ films and videos. Featuring artists: David Blandy, Mel Brimfield, Kota Ezawa, Dara Friedman, Rashaad Newsome, Martha Rosler, Terry Smith
The Voice and the Lens: Part I
at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
Friday 9 November, 7-9.30pm (doors 6.45pm)
Tickets £6 / £4 students & unemployed
Weekend pass £10.50 / £6.50 students & unemployed
To book visit www.bookwhen.com/ikongallery
Performances and screenings
Second Floor Galleries
Adam de la Cour performs his interpretation of Kurt Schwitters’ seminal text performance piece, Ursonate, with Neil Luck, alongside his own performance pieces reimagining Al Jolson (La Nosloj), and I-Paine, a violent reading of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man featuring martial arts…
Adam also performs Live Adult Chat, his new work with Bruce McLean, created especially for The Voice and the Lens (see Exhibition for details of Drumstick, the film counterpart to this performance).
Amy Cunningham performs Oracle, created for The Voice and the Lens (see Exhibition for details).
Neil Luck & Fiona Bevan present a new collaborative work incorporating Luck’s trademark post-symbolist foley and Bevan’s penetrating feminist subtexts. Their interrogation of recorded media takes the form of juxtaposed scenes drawing influences from Grand Opera to Soap Opera.
“Spine-tingling. Fiona Bevan completely transported me” Alex James, Blur
“Soulful and eccentric” Guardian
Dante Rendle Traynor performs a new work, building on his highly theatrical alter egos, together with his film something for everyone.
Luke Deane presents a performance of luke and luke like to look and listen (see details of the film in the Exhibition).
Sepideh Saii – Behind The Scene (2010)
This film features footage from La Vie en Rose, the Hollywood portrait of Edith Piaf. A young woman is seen intently watching and listening to ‘Piaf’ being called from her dressing room to perform on stage. When ‘Piaf’ finally exits her dressing room, so does our heroine, masking Piaf both visually and in audio by singing her own estranged tune.
Stella Capes – Knights Move Thinking (2009)
Shot with a single take, Knights Move Thinking sets up a struggle between performer and voice to construct an image for camera. A voiceover recites fragments from theatre scene-settings, whilst a ‘stagehand’ builds an abstract composition challenging what’s being described. The fixed camera endeavours to capture the unfolding composition, which is constructed in almost complete darkness.
Ed Atkins Delivery To The Following Recipient Failed Permanently (2011)
“Depth, both physical and emotional, is phony here: the back of a head as the most opaque, resistant thing I can think of; smoke as an explication of a particularly morbid kind of speech, like barium quaffed before an x-ray to illuminate those darkened paths inside you; words that seem caring– but which are in fact exploitative tropes conveyed with a cool impunity to anyone who’ll listen. Music! – especially for you.”
Samuel Beckett – Not I (1972)
Not I features a spot-lit mouth in an otherwise dark space, focusing on an actress’s mouth. The mouth utters at a ferocious pace a logorrhoea of fragmented, jumbled sentences which obliquely tells the story of a woman who appears to have suffered an unspecified traumatic experience. This performance, featuring Julianne Moore and directed by Neil Jordan, was made for the Beckett on Film project.
Anri Sala – Answer Me (2008)
Filmed in the abandoned dome of a Buckminster Fuller-designed surveillance station, the dome’s distinctive echo, triggered in the film by a man playing the drums in the large, empty space, drowns out all of the dialogue spoken by the female character, with the exception of the words that give the film its title.
Elsewhere in the galleries:
Simon Lewandowski demonstrates and performs with his automatic voice machines.
Events Room, 7-9.30pm
Artprojx programmes a night of artists’ films and videos.
Featuring artists: David Blandy, Mel Brimfield, Kota Ezawa, Dara Friedman, Rashaad Newsome, Martha Rosler, Terry Smith
Director David Gryn writes:
‘Sound marshals my seeing and music dictates much of my moving image tastes. Quoting Bill Viola: “ .. sound … goes around corners, through walls, is sensed simultaneously 360 degrees around the observer and even penetrates the body …” All the artists that I have selected have taken the voice and made me want to watch their films and videos over and over again.’
ARTPROJX is a leading brand that screens, curates and promotes artists’ moving image and other art projects, working with leading international contemporary art galleries, art fairs, institutes and artists. Forthcoming project Art Video at Art Basel Miami Beach 2012
David Blandy – White and Black Minstrel Show (2007), From The Underground (2001), I Am (2003-04), Sons of Slaves (2006), and Secrets and Lies (2002)
Blandy’s work deals with his problematic relationship with popular culture, highlighting the slippage and tension between fantasy and reality in everyday life. Either as a white man mouthing the words to the underground soul classic “Is it because I’m black” in White and Black Minstrel Show (2007), or discovering his father courtesy of Star Wars in I Am (2003), Blandy is searching for his cultural position in the world.
Rashaad Newsome – Shade Compositions (2009)
Newsome’s Shade Compositions takes up the body language and voice of certain women of colour — wondering how a seemingly sassy street expression extends across the globe as an open vernacular.
Mel Brimfield – He Hit Me…And It Felt Like A Kiss (2011)
Singer Gwyneth Herbert performs a reworked version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Memories as a half-carved sculpture emerging from a block of marble, but wistfully regretting her abandonment by the sculptor having been relegated to storage when he became interested in abstraction.
Kota Ezawa – Beatles Über California (2010)
Ezawa’s mash up blends an animation of The Beatles’ 1964 performance on The Ed Sullivan Show with the Dead Kennedy’s ‘California Über Alles’.
Dara Friedman – Musical (2007/08)
For three weeks Friedman invited ordinary New Yorkers to burst into song on street corners, in coffee shops, museums and train stations. Friedman’s film collates those discrete happenings, creating a sprawling American musical that is by turns uproariously funny and devastatingly sad.
Martha Rosler – If it’s too bad to be true it could be disinformation(1985)
Rosler’s video uses a partially demagnetised videotape to engage problems of reading popular news media. This video presents news coverage of US conflicts in Latin America during the early 80s, which various media techniques for vilification, obscuring fact with allegation, propagating an illusion of truth.
Terry Smith – Unsung (2012)
Unsung is an homage to Robert Rauschenberg and Merce Cunningham, inspired by their performance at Dartington in 1964. It features vocalist Linda Hirst, who has worked with Cage, Berio, the Michael Nyman Band, Royal Opera House and many more.
DAVID GRYN / ARTPROJX