Thursday, 21 October 2010
Sisyphus now open at Core Gallery
SISYPHUS: THE ABSURD HERO
Curated by Rachel Price, read her Core Gallery Interview here
Core Gallery Deptford, London, SE8 3DX
22 OCTOBER - 30 OCTOBER 2010
Deptford Last Friday Late Opening: 29 OCTOBER 2010; we remain open until 8.30pm
(Part I): Nick Bailey │Alexander Bates │ Jim Bond │Rodney Dee │
JooHee Hwang│ Matthew James Kay│ Rachel Price
New sculpture and video by 7 artists across in response to the Greek myth of Sisyphus. The exhibiting artists all explore notions of the absurd, futility and circularity in their practice whilst simultaneously displaying an immersion in the process, be it material or conceptual.
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king who for his crimes was subjected to the ceaseless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain only to watch it fall down the other side, and to repeat this for all eternity. However it is Sisyphus’ approach to his hopeless fate that rouses interest and why the myth is so frequently revisited in literary interpretations. The French Absurdist, Albert Camus, refers to Sisyphus as ‘The Absurd Hero’ concluding that:
“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”.
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942).
Part 1. Core Gallery
21 OCTOBER - 30 OCTOBER 2010
Nick Bailey’s work inhabits a realm of mild disappointment and temptation: the apparatus that compose the work entice through traditionally tactile objects such as buttons, switches, handles and hammers. These often readily recognisable and archetypal objects provide a launch pad to understanding notions and concepts behind the work, using both a simple, charming language of familiarity and the more intricate language of whimsical desire and self-restraint.
The work draws the audience into questioning their conventional role; a viewer is compelled to gauge whether it is acceptable to physically engage with the work, whilst coming to an understanding of what the physical form of the artwork offers. One is reminded that, at best, this still only amounts to physical contact with an object or objects, and while the ‘toucher’ may be momentarily rewarded with some form of reaction or consequence this is only a superficial disguise for base positive reinforcement.
Bailey graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2009 receiving the Landmark Award in the same year. Bailey was also named as one of Catriona Warren’s top graduates of 2009. Exhibitions include ‘Hand or Eye’ Adjacent Gallery (2008) and ‘New Artwork’ Et Cetera Gallery (2007). Bailey lives and works in London.
Alexander Bates is inspired by the human desire to create order out of disorder. His practice can be seen as both a reflection of this need and also through the use of scale, materials and context in individual pieces, a way of undermining and rebelling against this compulsion.
In recent investigations, Alexander has simplified his methods, combining the repetitive and accumulative approach used in old artworks with more direct and quicker pieces. This is an attempt to not only enrich and vary his artistic output but also forms a personal enquiry into what defines something as a “work” of art and questions whether an object’s worth is reflective of its duration.
Bates has studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and The Slade, graduating with an MFA in 2008. Bates has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, recent exhibitions including: ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ Arsenal Gallery, Poznan (2010), ‘The Neutrality of this Section is Disputed’ Giatrakou 28, Athens (2009), ‘After the Curtain Falls’ Wolstenholme Projects, Liverpool. In addition to his studio practice, Alexander is also co-founder, editor and contributor for quarterly Art zine “Impulsive Random Platform”. In 2008 Bates was nominated for the Adrain Carruthers Studio Award. Bates currently lives and works in London and is a visiting lecturer at The Slade.
Jim Bond is best known for his large scale kinetic sculptures and installations. Bond uses the human condition as a springboard for his mechanical works. Often reductive and subtly humorous these works highlight the circular nature of the everyday. Often the cold mechanical aesthetic of these works is at odds with the very human content evoked.
Bond has been exhibiting both nationally and internationally for over 10 years. More recent projects include: ‘Assembling Bodies – Art, Science & Imagination’ Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge University (2010), ‘Creatures Great and Small’A22 Gallery, Kinetica, Budapest (2009), ‘Domestic Appliance’ Flowers East, London (2008). Bond trained at Middlesex University and Bezalel College of Art, Jerusalem, Awards include The JD Fergusson Award and The Juliet Gomperts Trust Award. Bond lives and works in Yorkshire and is also a visiting lecturer at Nottingham University.
Through his work Rodney Dee explores notions of ritualism and the connections held between physical action and transcendence. Whilst working predominately in video and basing works around the body, Dee looks to explore one’s ability to exceed boundaries, and move between different spaces.
In the context of Sisyphus Dee has been particularly drawn to notions of gravity both as an elemental force acting upon the rock and it’s trajectory, as well as the broader readings of this myth in which the rock denotes the sun rising and falling in the sky in accordance with daily solar activity.
Dee also notes an interest in the perpetual nature of this act in relation to some higher purpose: “For wherein most rituals offer the allusion of transcendence; Sisyphus’ own efforts at pushing the rock are a testament to his absurdity – continually reinforced with every failed attempt. As a result his description as an ‘absurd hero’ is well deserved, for whilst he never reaches the apex of the hill, he is never fully released from the cycle either and therein lays an opportunity to try again”.
Dee gained his MA from Wimbledon College of Art in 2008 and has exhibited throughout the UK, recent projects include: ‘(N)everland’ The Nunnery, London (2009), ‘Drawing Room II’ Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (2009), ‘Signs of Life: Part II’ Colliers Wood, London (2008). Dee currently lives and works in Bracknell, Berkshire.
JooHee Hwang’s personal experience of finding herself in unfamiliar surrounds has lead her to questioning notions of space and territory. What she now describes as ‘subjectivity of space’ is explored in her vast sculptural installations.
“After leaving my warm nest what I discovered was the subjectivity of space. It appeared as though we are belonging in the same frame of space and time, in fact, we are living in completely different worlds depending on who we are and how we perceive the space. That is to say, the definition of the space can be varied by one’s own perception”.
Hwang’s interest in Sisyphus lies in the notion of a world within a world. For Sisyphus, the mountain became a world within itself, a new reality.
Hwang trained at Hong-ik University, Seoul and recently gained her MFA from The Slade, London. Hwang has exhibited in both London and Korea, more recent projects include:
‘Surface/Time/Space’ Crypt Gallery, London(2009), ‘Foyer Project’ Fusion Art, Kingston (2009) and ‘Space within a Space’ Woburn Research Centre, London (2008). Hwang currently lives and works in London.
Process and repetition play a major role in the development of Matthew James Kay’s work. Through this largely sculptural practice and research Kay explores themes of the transcendent everyday - a (potentially hapless) quest for fullness of life in the face of the mundane.
This is manifest in works which balance repetition and nothingness with purposeful action and creation, and which walk a line between brokenness and wholeness, between dissatisfaction and hope, doubt and faith. Kay also expresses an interest in the idea of the making process as ritual or a meditative engagement with experience. From this perspective visual poems are created that join together to map exploration of the uncomfortable process of living, a beautiful, frustrating, joyous, holy, painful, funny process of transformation and becoming. These works have most recently taken the form of recyclable temporary sculptures and installations in cardboard, and animated videos.
Kay attended Loughborough University and recently graduated with an MA in Sculpture from The University of The Arts London. Kay has exhibited throughout the UK, recent projects include: ‘Not Holding the String’ A&E Gallery, Brighton (2010), ‘Dead Time and Negative Space’ William Goodenough House, London (2009), ‘Intersections’ The Nunnery, London (2009). Kay lives and works in London.
Adopting an experimental and material led approach to her practice Rachel Price's work is concerned with investigating the dynamic between our material and our conceptual worlds often through the pairing of image and form. Price works on the assumption that our physical experience of the world helps inform our conceptual formation of it, i.e that they should not be viewed as mutually exclusive.
Alongside her studio practice Price works as an independent curator providing opportunities for emerging and established artists to produce new works in response to challenging curatorial themes, providing opportunity for artists to question the context of their practice. In 2009 Price co-curated ‘Skinflint’ at the Arthouse, Lewisham deliberately restricting the materials the selected artists worked with to encourage inventiveness in the midst of the economic downturn.
Price graduated from the University of Reading in 2006 and has exhibited throughout the UK. Recent projects include: ‘Planning Permission’ Squid & Tabernacle, Dalston, London (2010), ‘Skinflint’ Lewisham Arthouse, London (2009), ‘The End is the Beginning is the End’ Central Gallery, University of Reading (2009) as well as collaborative projects including ‘Live Sculpture’ with Release the Hounds Production Company (2009).
Price currently lives and works in New Cross, London.
Notes to editor:
Core Gallery is run by a committee of artists from the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of Arts, amongst others. Focusing on outstanding contemporary art and curated shows, Core Gallery is a key place to visit in Deptford and has seen over 1,000 visitors since its opening in April 2010. Core Gallery is situated in one of Deptford's thriving artist-run studio complexes. Educational talks with artists, guest speakers, curators and artists discussions accompany the exhibition programme. Core Gallery is part of the Cor Blimey Arts charitable cooperative.
For further information on the show/artists contact: Rachel Price email@example.com
Deptford last Fridays is supported by Deptford Art Map: http://www.deptfordartmap.com
Cor Blimey Arts ,C101 Faircharm Trading Estate, 8-12 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 3DX
Opening times Monday -weds by appointment
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org