Thursday, 2 April 2020

V. Rivers responds to workshop Rehearsals for the Revolution

Response to Rehearsals for the Revolution
V. Rivers


Slick
confident
repeating
insistent
lies are swallowed down welcoming throats.
It shocks me, so
easy. Now how to respond?

Tempting
to spit my belly’s fire
scorching earth below this high turret
‘It’s them, you see. Not me, not me.’
Purest tones ring
over fruitless dusty soil
as we all sing along
behind our concrete walls
of fear and hurt

Truth is,
my belly hungers for fruit
more than fire. Now how to respond?

I look inside my burning belly
soothe its heat with the balm
of this moment. Challenge
assumptions
prejudices
judgements
I break the rocks of my own defences
one by one, spit
dust from my mouth to sing
new songs.
Listen, make
space
to understand the reasons behind all our defences
Question who profits

Now each time my pain seeks fire
I’ll remember; fruit-filled revolution
requires the fertile soil of
openness

_______
Rehearsals for the Revolution workshops took place as part of Jasmina Cibic's exhibition The Pleasure of Expense, 2019. More info on the workshops and exhibition on Cooper Gallery's website.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Ana Hine responds to the publication Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?

Reason Escaped Me

Dancing to
Rosas Danst Rosas
By Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

Under chairs in the psychiatric hospital
Trying to explain feminist art theory
To nurses who were trying to help me
It was all a failure

I missed the actual event
As part of Of Other Places
Where Does Gesture Become Event?
And a presentation I was supposed to give
At the Talking Bodies Conference
On Visual Representations of the Matrixial Zone
I was off, looking for my missing fiancé

Or the exhibition
Body of Work
At Centrespace, Visual Research Centre
Organised with the Student Curatorial Team
With my friend, back then, Fiona Verran
I haven’t seen her since

It’s all a blur
Those months of madness
Trying to explain feminist art theory
To nurses
In psychiatric hospitals
While they were trying to help me
As I searched for my missing fiancé

Reason escaped me




Poems in Response

Page. 167

You told me I couldn't sing
And I couldn't
But I did, in harmony with others around me
A litany
For women artists

---
Page. 83

It never occurs to me
To ask if there's a creche

---
Page. 131

I don't own a kitchen table
And if I did I wouldn't sit at it peeling potatoes

---
Page. 210

Exhibitions like this keep persuading me to stay in the city
---

Page. 156

Opening up the exhibition
There isn't a guide to switching on
The digital works
I sit and wait for someone
More competent
To show up



______________
Members of Cooper Gallery's Student Curatorial Team were invited to respond to the newly published book (Sternberg Press, 2019).

Ana Hine was a member of the Student Curatorial Team and is a recent graduate from DJCAD with a Masters in Arts & Humanities in August 2019. She is editor of the feminist zine Artificial Womb: https://www.facebook.com/artificialwomb

Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? is an annotation and reflection on the two-chapter eponymous exhibition and event project that took place at Cooper Gallery in 2016–17. The core of the publication is constituted by material presented and performed by over thirty thinkers, art historians, artists, writers and poets at the project’s culminating symposium, 12-Hour Action Group alongside important historical texts by Susan Hiller, Mary Kelly, Monica Ross, Annabel Nicolson and others.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Beauty Things | A workshop by JL Williams in response to the work of Anne-Marie Copestake

Writer and poet JL Williams led a writing workshop in response to Anne-Marie Copestake's exhibition Looking in either direction the whole street was filled with people, some singing, moving towards x... at Cooper Gallery 15 March – 13 April 2019. Below are some of the responses.






a set of five poems addressing the speaker on the back wall, left hand side
Jamie Donald


speaker

something about all the shades of white nearby
upset the perspective
the wire that connects you
to the rest of the room
appeared momentarily suspended in open space

I see now that the perpendicular line is held
not by gravity, but
by wall and pins
and somebody else’s
eye for detail

speaker

you are mostly quiet
and wait your turn
the others seem more
involved, project more

maybe if I sat closer to you
I would hear something else

speaker

you are part of a wider discourse
that spans at least the room
it goes on next door
and also downstairs
and hopefully outside

speaker

you don’t speak at all really
you hum and you click
or pop
some kind of mouth sound
similar to a pen sound
like the pop of the lid
when you are meant to be writing
but don’t know what comes next

speaker

you are a white cube
a grey circle

and otherwise nondescript
_____


Exquisite Corpse





I have a sudden impulse to calculate the number of floor tiles
Everyone was so good looking and fresh in the 90’s
Turning on the spot like a merry go round
Church music starts again
Blue, purple, peach and white paper lies in front of me.
He asked the room awaited an answer to the unspeakable question
An octopus or a railing, a bag of nails…
How can one leg stretch so far?
Nine, five layers, 10 poets? 9 players.


Sat in a circle, paper in the middle, 9 people crumple while I’m thinking about the fiddle,
It would take a lot longer to find, and count, all of the shades of brown
I heard Mark Leckey called the Tate a shit factory whilst sitting on the toilet – it was cut
His service lasted 31 years and for that we’re very grateful
Singing fills the room.
The artwork is shining, blinding my eyes
Nothing lasted as long as it used to, she found peace with that
The way it began, the way it always ends


They are clicking, they are…
I forget what I just told you but know that I meant it
Some of the tiles must be siblings or cousins or themselves
Billy Childish is everything.
Falling… falling… falling in… falling in…
Can’t stop looking at the chipped mug with roses [/noses]
Strong and sweet liquorice is what I crave.
There was nothing left to do, everything had yet to begin.
A hopeful brightness… sensation…


In my mind the birds can’t stop flapping their wings….
Arr! That light is brightly burning in my eye!
Production lines are never straight lines, but they never seemed like circles.
Like the sausage rolls I imagined I was as a child
I loved the video with the ceiling and the soft flowers
When I hear things like those my heart swells and throat aches
Suspense sounds.
I want to go home now.
A little unsure always.


Something that has yet to be spoken of, an elephant in want of a room.
Holy and shining, the water never stopped falling…
Hm, hmhm, hm, hum hum hum… [note symbol]
Lost in numbers, trying to share a letter, scribbles keep on while the sound gets better.
I am glad to have tempered my empathy
New erotics and corn fed egotism
And I’m never going back to that place
[indecipherable] Too many thoughts
The end.


This room is making me thirsty.
A breath hitched in their throat as the door revealed more than a cool breeze, he had arrived.
A sequence of pink bubbles and iridescent pillars…
One cool chair, the other is just a chair
The sound left but we’re all still here.
To the point that looking at the floor doesn’t fill me with tragedy
The air in here smells sweet
So don’t worry, because it happens to the best of us
The paper will be unfolded now.


The music sounds like we are in a church.
I keep seeing red today. It’s warning.
Sunflowers seemed to shrink that day, never had summer seemed so sombre
Only the millionaires will remember the time of the llamas…
I only know 2, now I know 1, soon I will leave.
Will there be enough for this.
And imagining their perspective can be a distanced task.
Hand delivered letters
And to all a good night!


Hard floors make your body against them flat
The room is filled with sound of letters being passed through
We are starting to write faster and faster.
Looking out the window, a calm epiphany came to her
In situ or out, we couldn’t bear to recede…
Is he gonna steal the art?
We’re just about a round, sat circular, shepherded by sound.
Though I sit very close, knees and elbows pressed into them
Nine people writing spherically


Humming and clicking – I will miss the sounds later when I can’t remember the rhythm
Like the feeling of wetness after rain’s fallen
A man with a bag just walked through the door
This ink smells against the rules but nice.
The sky was grey with worry.
Not because she could not love, but because the light was so perforating…
That wall is too white.
‘Exit’ says something to me…
I feel very little, but an impulse to count.
_____


Looking for you I walked through the gallery with a pen in my x…
JL Williams

I’m not
I don’t wanna
What’s not write
To swallow

                  The perforated shadow on the wall
                  The outline of her headphone-clasped head

Reflective
Absorb contemporary drift

                  Three women writing with authority
                  On the gallery floor, rocking

Egomaniacal lap-dancing
Rebel
                  Laid down
                  Sat on a wooden bench
                  In a triangular shadow

Fashion
And shit

                  Light split by a concrete
                  Brick-like wall

Ideal
Ideal
Art galleries
Car park

                  Beyond the headphones his voice beyond his voice her voice beyond her voice her voice beyond her voice…
 _____

Beauty Things | A workshop by JL Williams
22 March 2019

Beauty Things was organised by artist and DJCAD Professor Tracy Mackenna and took place within and in response to Anne-Marie Copestake's exhibition 
Looking in either direction the whole street was filled with people, some singing, moving towards x... at Cooper Gallery 15 March – 13 April 2019.