We are delighted to announce that we have secured another four years of funding as an Arts Council England NPO.
Willie Doherty, Loose Ends, Matt’s Gallery, private view 02 July 3 – 6pm, exhibition runs 05 – 30 July 2017, Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6pm
Matt’s Gallery presents Loose Ends, a recent two-screen video installation by Willie Doherty. Shot in locations in Donegal and Dublin the footage depicts two places connected through events leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising and its conclusion. Exploring how people, events and sites associated with the 1916 Easter Rising are remembered and imagined today, Doherty’s asks if a residual response to these events continues to be played out and how the voices and actions of one generation resonate in the unconscious of another.
Gola Island is the largest of Donegal’s small offshore islands, covering about one square mile. Two fishermen from Gola, Charles Duggan and Patrick McGinley were crewmembers of the yacht Asgard, which on the 26th of July 1914 docked at Howth, Co. Dublin and offloaded a consignment of guns and ammunition that would subsequently be used in the Easter Rising of 1916.
The final days and hours of the Rising unfolded in and around the Moore Street area of Dublin. Escaping from the GPO after it caught fire following a bombardment by British artillery, volunteers made their way to Moore Street and tunnelled through the terrace, making number 16 their final headquarters. After realising they could not escape without causing further civilian deaths, Pádraig Pearse issued the order to surrender from 16 Moore Street.
Filmed in 2016, Doherty uses his camera to examine the material evidence of how these places look 100 years after those events. A slow, extended zoom brings the viewer closer to the surface of existing architectural structures and the surrounding urban and rural contexts while a voiceover explores the fraught relationship between fiction and reality.
Willie Doherty: Loose Ends at Matt’s Gallery is generously supported by Arts Council England and is commissioned by Arts Council of Ireland as part of the Open Call National Project Award and co-commissioned by The Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Nerve Centre, Derry, Donegal County Council, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin and Matt’s Gallery, London.
Possessions_inc is a video and web project by Matt’s Gallery and Richard Grayson. Episode 13 is currently available to watch.
Over 2016 and 2017 Matt’s Gallery will be posting monthly instalments of the video project Possessions_inc. Part series, part blog, part essay, part talking head, Possessions_inc. is an expanding exploration of: ideas of value, ways we invest in objects, the Bilderberg owl, animatronics, the mystery of Rennes Le Chateau, codes, fakes, oligarchs, the missing head of Philip K Dick, treasure hunting, M.R. James, the V.I.P. Lounge, drug smuggling, computer animation, animism, Pygmalion and the insurance industry.
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To watch the episodes click here
Richard Grayson, HYPERactive, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Braddon, Australia, 07 July – 02 September 2017
Richard Grayson’s Possessions_inc. Episodes 1 – 13 is being shown in the group exhibition HYPERactive, curated by David Broker. The show explores the problematic space between reality and hyperreality morphed into a zone of hyperactivity where the audience must navigate various courses of earnest trickery, contradiction and illusion. Exhibiting artists alongside Grayson include Bianca Beetson, Claudia Chaseling, Jay Kochel, Catherine Laudenbach, Rebecca Selleck and Jay Younger.
Benedict Drew, The Trickle-Down Syndrome, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 07 June – 03 September 2017 ; Art Night 2017, 01 July 2017
Benedict Drew’s solo exhibition is at the Whitechapel Gallery, accompanied by the release of his new record Crawling Through Tory Slime. Co-commissioned by Whitechapel Gallery and Art Night 2017, The Trickle-Down Syndrome is comprised of five connected yet distinct rooms drawing on wide-ranging references, from the stage sets of classic Hollywood cinematographer Busby Berkeley to the Surrealist worlds of artist Max Ernst. Drew invites viewers through a dizzying array of kaleidoscopic projections, vividly coloured video screens, experimental synthesizer compositions, hand-drawn landscapes, large-scale banners, human-shaped sculptures, a tiered stage, painted canvas tambourines and an accompanying audio narrative all coming together to take visitors on an emotional and sensory journey. Drew’s new LP was conceived over the same period as his Whitechapel exhibition and is released by Mana Records. Further details and excerpts can be found here.
On 01 July, as part of Art Night 2017, Benedict Drew will present a durational performance with video and music, made in collaboration with a big band. Located in Drew’s Whitechapel Gallery installation, the performance brings together a group of leading experimental musicians to produce exhilarating sounds of increasing intensity throughout the night.
Lindsay Seers will show a new video installation during Art Night 2017, inspired by occultist, magician, poet and novelist Aleister Crowley in the ceremonial setting of the Grade-II listed Masonic Temple at Andaz London, which still functions for masonic lodge meetings. Curated by Fatos Üstek, and conceived as new site-specific commissions, Art Night 2017 responds directly to east London’s heritage and diversity.
Lindsay Seers’ Suffering continues the artists fascination with storytelling and the work of memory. Seers asks us to pause, to take a moment, and contemplate the private creative life of Tasmanian artist Leo Kelly. Seers has built a corrugated iron hut inside Mona. The hut resembles a rundown church (a ‘tin tabernacle’, says the artist) but is, in fact, made in the style of Kelly’s unusual self-built house in Queenstown, a small town in Tasmania’s own wild west. Seers met Kelly, a once-devout Catholic who experienced divine visions, in 2011 when she was travelling in Tasmania. Kelly invited Seers to his home (which features a small chapel and observatory) and revealed his extraordinary output as a painter, as well as his extensive collection of found objects. Kelly died a few years later, drawing Seers back to Tasmania to tell the story of Kelly and his art—‘to give an image of this man and his concerns’, she says, and to show us ‘the extent of his beliefs, his sincerity, his conviction’. Suffering was commissioned by and presented at The Unconformity in Queenstown, 2016.
Anne Bean will be giving a talk at the ICA as part of the Stanley Picker Lectures series. In Anne’s book Autobituary, the writer, Guy Brett captures the scope and reach of her practice: “Reading Anne Bean’s CV is like following a continuous performance, a continuous response to the world… a ‘magicification’ of the world. The panoply of places she has worked, times of the day or night, interiors, exteriors, seasons, publics, materials, concepts, tools, is astonishing: all shifting but all attuned to unique situation.” The Stanley Picker Public Lectures on Art programme was established in 2007 by the artist Elizabeth Price to provide a platform for prominent contemporary artists and thinkers to present their ideas and work to a public audience.
Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen, The Aalto Natives, Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice, 13 May – 26 November 2017
Nathaniel Mellors in collaboration with Erkka Nissinen is presenting The Aalto Natives at the Finnish Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. The artists share an interest in narrative fiction, and employ an irreverent and often transgressive form of satire to critique power structures, morality and the status quo. The Aalto Natives brings together Nissinen’s intuitive, do-it-yourself attitude to digital animation and his penchant for naïve musicality, with Mellors’ writing-based approach to filmmaking, and integration of sculpture.“The Aalto Natives explores themes such as the invention of the nation state and the origins of culture by way of absurdist satire. Dressing its intellectual ambitions in deceivingly comical gear, the work addresses the complex challenges our globalized world faces today, like neoconservative nationalism, intolerance, and class polarization,” says curator Xander Karskens. The narrative multimedia installation, that offers the viewer a dynamic, immersive theatrical experience, has been conceived for the architectural and ideological context of the Finnish Pavilion, designed by architect Alvar Aalto in 1956. Conflating ideas and tropes from archaeology, anthropology and science fiction, the work re-imagines Finnish society through the eyes of two messianic outsider figures, who offer a cosmic-comic perspective on Finnish creation mythology, contemporary Finnish society, and its possible futures.
Congratulations to Marianna Simnett, who will be showing new work in a solo exhibition at Matt’s Gallery in September 2017, and is one of six artists shortlisted for the 2017 edition of the Film London Jarman Award. According to the jury: “The work of this year’s shortlisted artists is highly attuned to the challenging and rapidly changing world that it engages with. Working at the interface between contemporary filmmaking and performance, forensics, augmented reality, choreographed, participatory and activist practices, each artist has developed a highly distinctive voice that brings us up close to the complex conditions of human experience in the context of major social, political and cultural forces.” Other shortlisted artists include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Oreet Ashery, Adham Faramawy, Melanie Manchot and Charlotte Prodger.
Roy Voss is presenting an exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex. The show comprises over a hundred collages made by cutting a single word from the back of a found postcard and reinserting it into the image of the front. Each word is chosen to describe something about the scene, forming a short, open narrative. This exhibition originated and was first shown at Matt’s Gallery in March 2015.
Alison Turnbull is showing Orto Botanico in the group show 31 Women at London’s Breese Little. 31 Women channels the pioneering spirit of the exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim’s New York gallery in 1943. Featuring artists within Guggenheim’s circle, 31 Women combines work by successive generations of practitioners from the 1940s to the present day. Taking cues from the transitional moment when Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism co-existed in 1940s New York, two thematic threads will be traced. The first privileging artistic positions embracing the psychological, instinctual and erotic, or which depend on notions of chance, the uncanny and accidental. The second establishing a continuity of formalist inquiry incorporating multiple modes of abstract mark making and production.
Jordan Baseman’s new film 1977 will be on view at The Chapel of House of St. Barnabas in London. 1977 is a sound work featuring an elderly woman from Omaha, Nebraska. We hear her speaking about her out of body experience that created radical change in her life and eventually led to her love for a man who she initially rejects, refuses and resists, only to then spend the next 40 years of her life with her persistent beau. We hear her describe, in detail, her feelings as she witnesses her man die. The 15 minute long work is constructed from 5 hours of interviews recorded over a number of weeks. For reasons of privacy, the narrator of 1977 wishes to remain anonymous.
Jordan Baseman’s film The Black Sea will be screened with AEMI / Artists’ and Experimental Moving Image at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. The screening is programmed by Susan MacWilliam.
Graham Fagen is showing work as part of Glasstress, which brings together 33 leading contemporary artists from Europe, the United States, the Middle East and China in an ambitious exhibition exploring the endless creative possibilities of glass. Curated by Dmitry Ozerkov (Director of the Hermitage 20/21 Project for Contemporary Art at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg), Herwig Kempinger (President of Secession, Association of Visual Artists, Vienna) and Adriano Berengo (President of Fondazione Berengo and founder of Glasstress, Venice), the 2017 edition of Glasstress presents an impressive line-up of artists including Ai Weiwei, Jan Fabre, Abdulnasser Gharem, Alicja Kwade, Paul McCarthy, Laure Prouvost, Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Schütte and Sarah Sze. With little or no prior experience working with glass, these artists have embraced the challenge of creating extraordinary works in this very delicate medium in collaboration with Muranese artisans. The remarkable output of this unusual encounter defies the stereotypes associated with this ancient craft, ultimately pushing the boundaries of both contemporary art and glass.
Graham Fagen is participating in kill switch, an exhibition by six contemporary artists reflecting on loss, displacement, and hope. The press release describes a kill switch, also known as an emergency stop or e-stop, as a safety mechanism used to shut off a device or machinery in an emergency situation in which it cannot be shut down in the usual manner. Unlike a normal shut-down switch/procedure, which shuts down all systems in an orderly fashion and turns the machine off without damaging it, a kill switch is designed and configured to completely and as quickly as possible abort the operation (even if this damages equipment) and be operable in a manner that is quick and simple (so that even a panicking operator with impaired executive function or a bystander can activate it). Alongside Fagen, featured artists include Gema Álava, Suso Fandiño, Misha Bies Golas, Travis Somerville and Melissa Vandenberg.
Graham Fagen’s The Slave’s Lament is on show at the National Galleries Scotland. Replete with a moving score written by Sally Beamish, performed by the Scottish Ensemble and Reggae singer Ghetto Priest, and produced by legendary On-U-Sound founder Adrian Sherwood, Graham Fagen creates a fascinating soundclash, where Burn’s poetry finds a haunting bedfellow in Jamaican reggae music – and finds much common ground. This evocative video installation was originally curated by Hospitalfield, Arbroath and exhibited at Scotland + Venice 2015, when Graham Fagen represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale.
Graham Fagen, Polygraphs, Gallery 4, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow, 17 February – 17 September 2017
Graham Fagen is exhibiting work as part of the group exhibition Polygraphs at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, Gallery 4. Polygraphs is a group show with works from Glasgow Museums’ collection revealing how artists create alternative, and sometimes fictitious, discourses to question dominant narratives in identity, politics and history. The works in the exhibition look at the testimonial research and object evidence which has informed our historical identity and re-present this to review our relationships to the slave trade, colonialism, feminism and sectarianism.
Willie Doherty’s new film work titled No Return is featured in the group exhibition so it is at Pittsburgh’s The Mattress Museum. The exhibition includes artists from Northern Ireland and is curated by accomplished performance artist, educator and researcher John Carson. “I selected these artists because I have admired for a long time, the strength, depth and integrity of their work,” John Carson said. “They have all found ways of making powerful and uncompromising artistic statements in challenging circumstances.” Other artists are Ursula Burke, Rita Duffy, John Kindness, Locky Morris, Philip Napier, and Paul Seawright.
Melanie Jackson, Flurry, online essay commission, Museum of English Rural Life, 28 March 2017 – ongoing
Melanie Jackson has produced an online essay titled Flurry, commissioned and hosted by the Museum of English Rural Life.