Thursday, 19 February 2015

Reading Lists/// 'Men Gather, in Speech...' artists Emma Charles, Rose English & Abri de Swardt

To coincide with Men Gather, in Speech… at Cooper Gallery, January - February 2015, we asked exhibiting artists Emma Charles, Rose English and Abri de Swardt to share with us ‘suggested reading’ of essays or publications that expand upon ideas related to their practice.

Publication about Rose English in Cooper Gallery Information Area. Photo: Kathryn Rattray.

Below are the artists' suggested reading lists...

Emma Charles

'Slave to the Algorithm', Mute Volume 3 #4:, Spring 2013, Editor: Josephine Berry Slater

'Sci-Fi', Clog, 2013, Editor-in-chief: Julia van den Hout

Time Passing: Modernity and Nostalgia, Sylviane Agacinski, 2000

About the artist:

Emma Charles is a London based artist. She studied MA Photography at the Royal College of Art (2011-2013) and BA (Hons) in Editorial Photography from the University of Brighton (2006-2009).

Working with both photography and moving image, her work explores metropolitan spaces of productivity that are hidden from the public eye, primarily focusing on the more ethereal and abstract elements of industry and corporate environments.

Charles was recently commissioned for her solo show Surfaces of Exchange, Jerwood Visual Arts Project Space, London (2014). Recent Group exhibitions and screenings include Kassel Dokfest, Kassel; Marl Media Art Award, Marl Museum of Sculpture, Marl; Celeste Prize, ASSAB-ONE, Milan; Neither Here Nor There, FotoFocus Biennial, Cincinnati; Centralia, South Kiosk, London (2014); Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York;Night Contact, Contact Editions, London (2013); CAPITAL, George and Jorgen Gallery, London and London Calling: Tehran, 7Samar Gallery, Tehran (2012).

Her work has been discussed as part of the 2012 Brighton Photo Biennale symposium Visible Economies: Photography, Economic Conditions and Urban Experiences and published in collaboration with Photoworks and University of Brighton.

Charles was recently awarded a Jerwood Visual Arts Project Space commission, RCA Travel Bursary, Villiers David Bursary Award and Christopherson Foundation Grant.

Men Gather, in Speech... Cooper Gallery, 2015. Photo: Kathryn Rattray.

Rose English

Gates of Fear - great exploits in the world's bullrings, by Barnaby Conrad, Published by Michael Joseph, 1958

An International Vocabulary of Technical Theatre Terms in Eight Languages
Kenneth Rae and Richard Southern (eds), International Theatre Institute, Published by Editions Meddens, 1964

English Furniture Styles 1500 -1830, by Ralph Fastnedge, Published by Pelican, 1955

About the artist:
A uniquely interdisciplinary artist, Rose English emerged from the conceptual art, dance and feminist scenes of 1970s to become one of the most influential performance artists working today. She has been writing, directing and performing her own work for forty years, combining elements of theatre, circus, opera and poetry to explore themes of gender politics, the identity of the performer and the metaphysics of presence.

English has mounted performances in ice rinks; at the Royal Court Theatre and Tate Britain, London and Franklin Furnace, New York; and has collaborated with horses, magicians, musicians, dancers and acrobats. Her shows range from her site-specific performances and collaborations of the 1970s including Berlin, her acclaimed solos of the 1980s including Plato’s Chair to her large-scale spectaculars of the 1990s includingThe Double Wedding. Her internationally celebrated solo with a horse My Mathematics, 1992 was followed by a series of vignettes with horses presented by Banff Centre, Canada and Serpentine Gallery, London.

English’s performance works of the 1970’s featured in the exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolutionat the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 2007. Her installation STORYBOARD, featured in Interloqui – a group exhibition at Caterina Tognon Arte Contemporanea to coincide with the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011. She exhibited an installation composed of elements and documents relating to her 1975 performance,Quadrille at Richard Saltoun and Karsten Schubert (both galleries), London 2013. Quadrille was shown at Freize Masters 'Spotlight', London 2013 with Karsten Schubert.

The Eros of Understanding, a solo exhibition of her performance works with horses curated by Stine Hebert was presented at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen in 2014.

English co-wrote and designed the feature film The Gold Diggers, 1983, directed by Sally Potter; digitally re-mastered and released on BFI DVD in 2009.

Her awards include the Time Out Performance Award, the Wingate Scholarship and the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists. Abstract Vaudeville: the work of Rose English - a comprehensive monograph documenting her 40-year career to date was published by Ridinghouse in 2014.

Men Gather, in Speech... Cooper Gallery, 2015. Photo: Kathryn Ratrray.

Abri de Swardt

Still After, in After Sex? On Writing since Queer Theory, Elizabeth Freeman, edited by Halley, J. & Parker, A.  Published by Durham & London: Duke UP, 2011

Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology. Published by Princeton: Princeton UP, 1957

Virgilio Piñera, The Fall, 1944, published in Cold Tales, New York,  Published by Rizzoli International Publications, 1988

Jalal Toufic, (Vampires) An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film. Published by New York: Station Hill, 1993

About the artist:
Abri de Swardt (born Johannesburg) is an artist based in London. He received a BA in Visual Arts (Fine Art) and a BA Hons in Visual Studies both cum laude at Stellenbosch University, where he taught part-time in Visual Studies between 2011-2012, and in 2014 an MFA in Fine Art with distinction at Goldsmiths, University of London, as a Skye Foundation Scholar.

Through various modes of collage, his work explores fantasies of digitization and forms of amnesia in relation to the figure of the ghost, the tumblrification of knowledge and erotohistiography in ways at once occult and baroque. Acts of citation and camouflage occur within a logic of the swarm, as an aesthetics of drowning.

In 2011 De Swardt held his debut solo exhibition To Walk on Water at blank projects in Cape Town, and in 2013 had a solo exhibition Catapult Screensaver at MOTInternational Projects, London. Group exhibitions include Man Magnet Melancholy at Ffrigidaire, London; Field Work, IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow (both 2014); Unseen Photo Fair with Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam; and An Experiment to Test the Destiny of the World, Ithuba Arts Centre, Johannesburg (both 2013). He has published reviews in Art South Africa and curated a performance evening Pick-me-ups & Pick-ups at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. During January 2015 he will be artist-in-residence at the Sober and Lonely Institute of Contemporary Art.

Reading Event, 19 February, 6.30-7.30pm Cooper Gallery

Amplifying this dialogue is a live Reading Event to mark the final week of the exhibition Men Gather, in Speech… on 19 February, 2015 in Cooper Gallery.

Prompted by Men Gather, in Speech…, seven Scotland-based art writers come together to present public readings responding to, reflecting on and annotating the ideas and concerns discussed in the works featured in the exhibition. This will extend the dialogue set in motion by the exhibition that explores the mode of address that underpins Western philosophy and importantly politics.

The exhibition draws upon Hannah Arendt’s often quoted phrase “men gather in speech...” which lucidly defines the human necessity of dialogue and its role as the quintessential medium of the political to re-enact and doubt the troubled relationships between “power and the space of appearance” in our present age. Touching upon the theatrical, the fictional and the digital, the exhibition offers a complex mediation upon speech, dialogue and the slow silencing of the political space that had once appeared between us.​​

The art writers presenting readings at the event are Frances Davis, Alex Hetherington, Helen Kellock, Valerie Norris, Penelope Matheson, Silas Parry and Gareth Vile.

For more information about the event please see:

The art writers contributing to this event are part of Group Critical Writing, which is a new initiative in the Cooper Gallery's programme advocating for art and critical writing in Scotland.

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