This month, we continue to dedicate this space to sharing news about our online programme, MattFlix, as well as online projects from our artists that can be screened, viewed and interacted with digitally.
Alister Warman (1946-2020)
It’s hard to remember when I first met Alister Warman as he has been a constant presence in my life for such a long time.
It was before he started work at the Serpentine, where he invited Matt’s Gallery to show in 1984 alongside Simon Cutts, Coracle Press, and Graeme Murray Gallery, Edinburgh. His vision was ahead of its time and he gave us total freedom. It was through him that I met his partner Alison Turnbull, a wonderful painter with whom I went on to make several shows.
Alister enjoyed a good glass of good red wine and would join us annually at David and Yuko Juda’s legendary new year party to eat, talk and share a glass or two or more with myself and many other artists, curators, writers, friends & their children.
He was involved with art and artists throughout his life and will be missed by us all.
Matt’s Gallery is pleased to present Episodes 1, 2, 4 & 3 of Ourhouse, a five-part film series written and directed by Nathaniel Mellors, featuring a new introduction created by Mellors for this online screening.
The series’ narrative follows the Maddox-Wilson family, an unconventional household whose roles begin to shift when they are unexpectedly confronted by the manifestation of ‘The Object’ in their country home. ‘The Object’ begins to ingest and excrete books from the family’s shelves, taking control of language within the house, which appears to have a profound effect on the conduct of each family member.
Jordan Baseman, gendersick, 6pm 26 June-5.59pm 3 July
Jordan Baseman’s gendersick was commissioned by Fort Worth Contemporary Arts and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at Texas Christian University. Recorded over the course of a week, one second long, double-exposure, in-camera stop-frame animation shots taken on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth Texas form the foundations of the visual material. The narrator’s staccato speech patterns and their underlying burning anger are expressed dynamically through voice and imagery.
Jordan Baseman’s ambitious digital commission, Radio Influenza, which marked the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic known as ‘Spanish Flu’, could hardly seem more prescient. Radio Influenza was delivered in the form of a daily broadcast over the full course of a year, beginning on 1 November 2018, and endeavoured to capture the everyday experience of how news, rumour and health information and disinformation was shared and experienced through newspaper accounts at the time.
The 1918 influenza pandemic was one of the most significant and wide-reaching international health crises of the twentieth century, which killed at least 50 million people worldwide. Radio Influenza was commissioned by Wellcome, who marked the centenary by funding a wealth of projects exploring local, national and international responses to the reality and devastation of the Spanish Flu. You can access the full archive of broadcasts here.
Nicola Bealing’s 2013 work, Swimming Lesson, is shown online alongside a reading from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 18th-century poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The Ancient Mariner Big Read is an inclusive, immersive work of audio and visual art from the 21st century that reflects the abiding influence of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem.
A full list of readings and artist can be found here.
Fiona Crisp, Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday, The Courtauld Institute of Art, online, 18 June – 18 July 2020. Launch event 18 June, 6-7pm
The Courtauld Institute of Art’s MA Curating the Art Museum students are proud to announce their annual exhibition. Organised by nine emerging curators, Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday represents both an extraordinary group of artworks and an effort to ensure that art can continue to be accessible in unprecedented circumstances.
Fiona Crisp’s photographic works, TD8 and TD35 from her ‘Berwick Series’, held by the Arts Council Collection, will be shown as part of Unquiet Moments, alongside works by Paul Cézanne, Susan Hiller, Kathy Prendergast, Barbara Walker and many more.
The launch event will take place on Thursday 18 June, 6-7pm at youtube.com/somersethouselondon
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Every. Other. Day
Text and image Jason Coburn 2020
Artists Lucy Gunning & Hayley Newman have contributed creative exercises to do at home to the third edition of Firstsite’s brilliant activity pack series Art is where the home is.
The activity packs are suitable for all ages and you won’t require any specialist materials to get involved. You can download Art is where the home is 3 for free here.
Deeper in the Pyramid was an expansive body of work comprising of animation, sculpture, a filmed performance and a publication written in collaboration with Esther Leslie.
We are taken on a journey of lactic abstractions, through the webs of bio-invasion and collective fantasy that interconnect various life forms through milk, its technologies and representations. The ontologies of species and gender have always been shaped by our relations with this primal liquid and ensuring a ready supply has driven research in genetics, fertility and robotics. It is now open for radical transformation as new bio-organisms emerge, and real science merges with the fantastic.
The book is now available to read online here and will be viewable online on the new Primary and Grand Union websites from June 2020. Physical copies of Deeper in the Pyramid are available through Grand Union’s online shop.
Copyright Melanie Jackson and Esther Leslie, 2018, 2020. Designed by Modern Activity. Deeper in the Pyramid is a project developed with Grand Union, Birmingham, Primary, Nottingham and Banner Repeater, London.
Deeper in the Pyramid was shortlisted for the Bob Calle Book Art Prize, 2019.
Rebecca Lennon catches up with John Harris in the second episode of Southwark Park Galleries’ new podcast Lockdown Elevenses, where they talk about productive avoidance, when text becomes voice, and gardening. To listen and for links to Rebecca’s recommendations, click here.
David Osbaldeston, Double Act, CAMPLE LINE, 2019. Florian Kaplick performing Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate (1923-33)
Extracts of Florian Kaplick performing Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate (sonata in primordial sounds/syllables), 1923-33
The movements of the poem in German:
einleitung und erster teil: rondo
zweiter teil: largo
dritter Teil: scherzo
vierter teil: presto -ablösung
Kurt Schwitters on his Ursonate:
The Sonata consists of four movements, of an overture and a finale. You yourself will certainly feel the rhythm, slack or strong, high or low, taut or loose. To explain in detail the variations and compositions of the themes would be tiresome in the end and detrimental to the pleasure of reading and listening, and after all I’m not a professor.
The fourth movement, long-running and quick, comes as a good exercise for the reader’s lungs, in particular because the endless repeats, if they are not to seem too uniform, require the voice to be seriously raised most of the time. In the finale I draw your attention to the deliberate return of the alphabet up to a. You feel it coming and expect the a impatiently. But twice over it stops painfully on the “b”.
The letters applied are to be pronounced as in German. A single vowel sound is short Letters, of course, give only a rather incomplete score of the spoken sonata. As with any printed music, many interpretations are possible. As with any other reading, correct reading requires the use of imagination.
Listening to the sonata is better than reading it. This is why I like to perform my sonata in public.
The full score/poem can be accessed via the following link: writing.upenn.edu/library/Schwitters-Kurt_URSONATE.html
Marianna Simnett was the first contributor to Home Cooking, a community digest of new artworks, scores, recipes, and events initiated by Simnett and Asad Razar in March 2020. Simnett’s project consisted of a wing-making workshop. Anybody who wants to contribute is very welcome. You can follow Home Cooking on Instagram for regular updates.