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David Blandy, Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski, Terry Smith – RCP Film and Video Commission 2013

In 21 Prescot Street, Art, Artprojx, David Blandy, David Gryn, French Riviera, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski, Terry Smith, Video Art on 10/10/2013 at 11:18 am

Royal College of Psychiatrists 

Film and Video Art Commission, 2013

21 Prescot Street

David Blandy – Wanderer through a sea of fog

Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski – Solstice

Terry Smith – About Face

Curated by David Gryn

The foyer of the Royal College of Psychiatry’s new building at 21 Prescot Street proudly hosts three specially commissioned video artworks. These works, shown in rotation, were conceived for the space and presentation on a bank of three screens, offering staff, members and visitors both a pause for contemplation and a visual provocation. The RCP’s decision to prioritise the inclusion of contemporary art in this way signals both a recognition of psychiatry’s importance to visual and aesthetic culture, as well as the importance of the institution to work with a wide array of partners from across the cultural spectrum.

The three artists presented here are all highly regarded and critically respected, each with an established yet distinctive video practice. Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski’s montage of scenes shot on the solstice along ley-lines in Glastonbury, captures a meditative and mystical calm awash with colour. David Blandy playfully fuses the arcade game with the Romantic era paintings of sublime landscapes. Terry Smith, a life-long local East Ender, utilises the three screens to explore the face, playing the familiar child’s game of ‘mix and match’; the inter-changing eyes, nose and mouth, here, draw attention to the way we look at, read and understand faces.

The impressive new RCP premises is a wonderful context for presenting these art works and has been an honour to work on for the participating artists, and we hope the works will in turn be a delight for all the users and visitors of the space.

Sequence 01.Still001

David Blandy


“Wanderer Through a Sea of Fog” is a three screen video work that forms a meditation on our relationship to the sublime in the digital age. The work documents an unending transition between psychological states, a passage of the soul, from fog to clarity, with the constant presence of the “dark wood” of Dante’s Comedy. A digital version of the artist, as though exited from an old computer game, walks through landscapes formed from adapting and combining paintings by the Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. Our environment has changed, as we move to a more digitally-mediated life, but our anxieties, confusion and awe in the face of nature remain.

David Blandy is an artist who investigates our relationship with the popular culture that surrounds us, investigating what makes us who we are. Blandy has exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including Kiasma, Helsinki; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart; Baltic, Gateshead, and was the recipient of the Great North Run Moving Image Commission 2011. In 2010 he was Winner of “The Times/The South Bank Show Breakthrough Award”, and he is represented by Seventeen Gallery. His films are distributed through LUX.


Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski


Shot over the course of a few days prior to the Glastonbury Festival 2013, on the ley line running through the Vale of Avalon, Solstice is an exploration of the histories, landscape and atmosphere of what has come before and what will be. A landscape film in which the artists play with light and architecture to create a dreamy montage of loosely connected and at times abstract imagery, leaving the narrative up to the eye of the viewer. A poetic offering of something that is both myth and reality.

Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski live and work in London. Their multi-disciplinary practice encompasses video, music, performance, installation, screenprints and sculpture. Their work has been shown in London, New York, Berlin and Paris. Recent group exhibitions include Oblique at David Dale Gallery, Glasgow; Les Urbaines, Lausanne, Switzerland and E-Vapor-8 at 319 Scholes, New York. Recent performances by their band Das Hund include Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Zabludowicz Collection, London and Cell Project Space, London. Their Artists Commission was published in Issue Ten of Art Licks Magazine, which also featured them on the cover. Their 2012 solo exhibition Danse-moi vers la fin de l’amour was the culmination of a two year project by the artists, exploring the freedoms that result from the hedonistic ritual of dance. In 2011 they were shortlisted for the Converse/Dazed Emerging Artist Award with The Whitechapel Gallery. They also run French Riviera a gallery space in Bethnal Green, London, which operates as an extension of their long-standing collaboration.

image fro APTerry Smith

ABOUT FACE, 2013: In the diagnosis of many physical and mental conditions observation is paramount. But every day we all make decisions about our fellow travellers by their dress sense, demeanour and disposition; we have soft forensic eyes that observe constantly. Artists have used portraits and in particular self-portraits to explore the nature of looking and being looked at, this work About Face attempts to bring this painting characteristic to the moving image. Assembled from hundreds of still images, this is a stop-motion animation synced to three screens. 

Terry Smith lives and works in London’s East End. He has created large-scale installations and site-specific interventions worldwide since 1994. The building interventions began with a series wall cuts in houses ready to be demolished in East London by gaining illegal entry and making the work in secret. Other works that evolved from this period include Capital, 1995 an intervention in Gallery 49 at the British Museum, six wall cuttings at Tate Modern during its reconstruction in 1996, and at MACBA, Barcelona where he fired 35,000 staples into the walls of the museum.

Preoccupied with exploring and experimenting in new media, recent projects, have included Broken Voices 2007, The Foundling 2009 both works that incorporated a tour of performances from Liverpool to Venice, and made a series of works for a choir in Caracas, Venezuela called Caracol 2010. In 2011 his solo show Parallax, curated by David Thorp at the John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, brought together for the first time many of the diverse strands to his practice. In 2012 he made two performance works, Combine and Unsung. In 2013 he has had a major presentation of his work in New York, one in partnership with the New Museum and Ideas City, which consisted of a 20m x 12m drawing on the outside of buildings in the East Village, and the other at The Drawing Center.

David Gryn / Artprojx

Art Curator/Advisor

David Gryn is the founder and director of Artprojx, screening, curating, promoting and lecturing on artists’ moving image and other art projects, working with leading contemporary artists, art galleries, museums, art fairs, art schools and charities worldwide.

David Gryn has worked with Art Basel in Miami Beach, Tate, ICA, Camden Art Centre, MoMA, Whitney, Frieze, Armory Show, LOOP. Projects in Birmingham, Liverpool, Morocco, Venice, New York, Barcelona, Hamburg, Moscow, Vladivostok. Artists projects worked with include: Mark Wallinger, Dara Birnbaum, William Kentridge, Susan Hiller, William Eggleston, Martha Rosler, Christian Marclay, Mickalene Thomas, Jeremy Deller & Nick Abrahams, Susanna Wallin and many many more …

For more information contact:

David Gryn, Artprojx