An experimental group exhibition, curated by Dr. Angela Bartram
, exploring temporality, fixed-ness, transience and changeability.
Featuring works by:
Angela Bartram, Andrew Bracey, Brazier and Free, Luce Choules, Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton, Kate Corder, Steve Dutton, Tim Etchells, Rochelle Haley, Morrad + McArthur, Andrew Pepper, Louise K. Wilson
The documentation of ephemeral artwork, works made to be transient, changeable and un-fixed, is often problematic for the intent and premise of creation as it aligns itself with a particular moment, place and viewpoint in time. Lens-based methods are mostly relied upon to communicate actuality and happening and to fix the un-fixed memory of the artwork, and this is part of that problem. Effectively, this type of documentary device works in opposition to the concept of the artwork, cementing into a fragmentary history when all it wants is to be fleeting in its temporarality. The lens-made recording tends to generalise vision and, by extension, it does not fully communicate the experience of ‘being there’ and present. Experience is difficult to replicate through a lens. This is problematic for artwork whose very premise is to be transient and time-based, and for which direct experience is a priority.
‘Documents, Alternatives’ is an exhibition that includes time-based works that rely on performative process and created experience, which aims to resolve this issue by making the document and artwork reflexive. In doing this it acknowledges their need for change so that they remain continuous and in process through staging a practical and thought provoking visual discussion. Positioned to operate at the intersection of artistic and academic domains, the project is as creatively stimulating and progressively invigorating as theoretically interrogatory and analytical. This is an experimental, discursive curatorial strategy whereby the document becomes a new artwork and the artwork becomes a new document to keep the ephemeral evolving and in transition. ‘Documents, Alternatives’ is in response to, and as a continuation from the pilot exhibition that curated a selection of international artists’ work to demonstrate the ways in which ephemeral practice can be renewed through re-staging the document as new artwork. It is a re-drafting, re-configuration, re-grouping and re-working of this pilot, ‘The Alternative Document’ at Project Space Plus in Lincoln (13th February - 11th March 2016), and as such it continues the conversation and the lifespan of these works and their relation to others with the exhibition.
To be true to the nature of ephemera, the discursive environment that is ‘Documents Alternatives’ is curated to map a staging that is in ‘motion’ and responsive to artistic meaning and intention. Here, the artworks learn from their prior incarnations, and respond to a re-grouping with the others in the exhibition, of which they are now becoming familiar, and their own concepts to be kept very much in the present. Moving beyond traditional unsympathetic means used as sole mode of translation, it offers a more effective way of communicating the artwork by keeping it current and active, and by denying its relegation to the historic past. To do this it positions the artwork as document and new work simultaneously thereby creating a generating loop of reflexive and developing activity. The exhibition foregrounds fluidity and diversity of translation and includes multiple art voices and modes of output including video, light and holography, text, painting, print, web work, ethnographic environmental trace, jam making, and sound.
Angela Bartram’s practice includes live art, video, sculpture, print and published text, and concerns threshold and ‘in-between’ spaces of the human body, gallery or museum, definitions of the human and animal within companion species relationships and alternative strategies for documenting the ephemeral. Amongst others, her Live Art Development Agency funded project Be Your Dog was at KARST (Plymouth 2016), and she has published the co-edited volume Recto-Verso: Redefining the Sketchbook (Eds: Bartram, El Bizri, Gittens (Ashgate: 2014). Bartram was awarded a PhD by Middlesex University (2010) and is Reader in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln (UK).
Andrew Bracey (born 1978, Bristol) is an artist and curator, based in Waddington, Lincolnshire. His solo exhibitions include; Usher Gallery, 2014; Nottingham Castle, 2014; Manchester Art Gallery 2009; Transition Gallery, London, 2007; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2007; and firstsite, Colchester, 2006. He has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions in the UK, Europe, USA, China and Thailand. Curated exhibitions include ‘Midpointness’, Airspace Gallery, Stoke; ‘(detail)’, H Project Space, Bangkok and touring, 2014; ‘Misdirect Movies’, Royal Standard, Liverpool, and touring, 2013; and ‘Unspooling: Artists & Cinema’, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2010. Bracey is Programme Leader of MA Fine Art at The University of Lincoln.
David Brazier and Kelda Free
David Brazier and Kelda Free's itinerant practice sees them working site specifically, negotiating the complex relationships that constitute ‘site’. They examine relationships between a location’s social, economic, political and institutional dimensions and their personal histories, working methodologies and artistic autonomy. They seek tensions within these relationships and employ a variety of social forms and gestures in order to interrogate and re-imagine the systems and spaces they occupy. Their work has been supported by organisations that include Arts Council England, Arcus Japan, Khoj International Artists’ Association India, NAVA Australia and California College of the Arts.
Choules is a UK-based artist operating from field centres in France and Spain, and works internationally. Using still and moving image, performance and sculpture, she is interested in the movement and behaviour of animate and inanimate objects – her work observing fragility and the environmental shift in human nature. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; and presents academic papers on the subject/object of fieldwork in artistic practice in addition to a series of public performances and artist talks on a new environmental (re)turn. Choules is curator of an international esparto project, and coordinates the itinerant artist network TSOEG.org
Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton
The Italic I is an ongoing collaboration between Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton. Emma Cocker is a writer-artist and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Clare Thornton is an interdisciplinary artist and educator working from her studio at KARST Projects, Plymouth. Her practice is concerned with object/body/text relations, exploring the possibilities and limits of materials to support and encourage conceptual enquiry and the craft object as a physical meeting point and means of opening up dialogue/enquiry.
Dr Kate Corder is an independent artist and researcher. She was awarded a PhD in Art Practice at the University of Reading in 2014. Her thesis title is “The Allotment Plot: Place Tilled - An investigation into plant material, rural labour and cultivation within art practice”. Kate instigated and curates the Cultivation Field project. Her recent exhibitions include the group show The Alternative Document, Lincoln (2016) and Duke House, Institute of Fine Art, New York (2016). During 2014-2016 Kate performed a series of HOW - Heathrow Orchard Walks exploring contested land surrounding Heathrow Airport and the suggested “Third Runway”. Two of these Walks (April and September 2014) were part of Kathrin Böhm’s Haystacks event program. Kate’s published written work includes the essay for Rachael Champion’s Camden Arts Centre Residency File Note (2012) and the chapter “Plant growth as transient or durational material constructing sculpture through time” for “Skulptur und Zeit im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert”, published by Böhlau, Köln, (2017).
Steve Dutton is an artist, researcher and curator who works on both collaborative and individual projects. He is currently working on solo projects and with Andrew Bracey on a Curatorial project entitled 'Midpointness' which has had manifestations for the The Lock Up Gallery In Newcastle, Australia, Trans Art Triennial and Airspace in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. In the past he worked closely with Steve Swindells (Dutton and Swindells) . He is also currently developing a new body work under the working title of “industry” which is including drawings, sound works, animations, objects and texts, some of which is in Documents, Alternative.
Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment. Exhibiting and presenting work in significant institutions all over the world, he is currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University.
Rochelle Haley is an artist and researcher working with experimental drawing, painting, movement and performance practice. Haley lectures in expanded painting and experimental drawing at UNSW Art & Design Australia, where she completed a PhD in 2009. She is interested in the relationship between bodies and physical environments. Her current projects involve drawing, painting and dance to explore space structured around the sensation of the moving body. Haley’s research in the fields of contemporary drawing and painting explores the material surface of representation to discover methods that are sensory, kinaesthetic, affective and rhythmic with an interdisciplinary reach to creative robotics and performance.
Morrad + McArthur
Annie Morrad and Ian McArthur live at opposite ends of the planet. They compose and play collaborative sound work and live performances through the use of digital software Mixlr and Skype. Morrad (London) and McArthur (Sydney) began working together in 2014 exploring their interest in sound art, rhythm in the urban environment, improvisation, jazz, crowds and the city. During live events McArthur broadcasts electronic sounds, field recordings and live mixing. Morrad plays live improvised alto and tenor saxophone against these. For their recorded sound work the starting points vary from being concept driven to 'I've got this idea…'.
Andrew Pepper’s practice examines aspects of the unsupported line, marks in space and our visual / physical engagement with apparent three-dimensional volumes in which they are manifest. He works with holography, projected light and installation to combine and manipulate marks, releasing them from the surface they appear to rest on. Recent pieces attempt to question our expectations around the visual fidelity of holographic images and employ aspects of the ‘sideward glance’ the peripheral view and the vocabulary of ‘framing’ and ‘placement’.
Louise K. Wilson
Louise K Wilson is a visual artist who makes installation, audio and video works. She has exhibited widely in North America and Europe. Processes of research are central to her practice and she frequently involves the participation of individuals from industry, museums, medicine and the scientific community in the making of work. Previous associations have included the Montreal Neurological Institute, the Science Museum, the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training facility in Moscow, the RSPB and the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
She is a lecturer in Art and Design at the University of Leeds.