Wed, 5 Dec, 7 – 9pm
Thurs, 13 Dec, 6pm
Performance by Louise Ashcroft . Her performance takes the audience on a journey, inspired by details of the street and other nuggets collected around the gallery to uncover hidden stories in the exhibition through an exercise of close looking.
free, no booking required
Wed, 19 Dec, 6pm
Performance by five vocalists from the choral collective Musarc: Megan Jenkins, Natalia Kieniewicz, Andrew Price, Alice Watson and Caleb Watson. Musarc responds to the exhibition with improvisational sounds and voices, reading the opaque sculptures as scores for their musical performance.
free, no booking required
‘The body implies mortality, vulnerability, agency: the skin and the flesh expose us to the gaze of others, but also to the touch, and the violence, and bodies put us at risk of becoming the agency and instrument of all these as well.’ (1)
Stones cannot be penetrated, instead, they splinter and break into smaller and smaller pieces without the water ever reaching their interior. They appear to be the same material through and through, surface being the same as the inside (2). As humans, we can try to turn our hearts into stone or to become hard as a rock, but our bodies and skin remain fragile and susceptible to exposure.
The skin, as the largest and fastest-growing organ, protects us, shapes our bodies and identities. In the Greek myth of Marsyas, the satyr is stripped from his skin as a punishment for defying Apollo. During this murderous act, Marsyas shrieks “Why, art thou tearing me from myself” (3), implying that his embodiment is compromised, making him vulnerable to be wounded. Besides forming our physique, this epidermal surface acts as a memory palace for our physical sensations – from touch to irritation – building layer upon layer. Unlike Marsyas’ physical skin, these memories cannot be stripped away.
In this exhibition, Chozas’ sculptural installations allude to opaque bodies, which have lost their outline and rigidity, dissolving into unstable, blurred, hybrid forms. There are traces left of hidden memories, untold stories or invisible secrets, which are slowly unfolded in the narrative and sound performances.
Let us sink into surfaces, let’s move, let’s listen. It is time we uncovered the layers.
1) Judith Butler, Precarious Life, Verso, London, 2004.
2) Emmanuel Alloa, Band(ag)ing The Body, in: Berlinde De Bruyckere, Edited by Angela Mengoni, 2014.
3) Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book VI, Translated by Henry T. Riley, 1851.
Javier Chozas lives and works in London. His recent work is related to the concept of the abject, its social role and the anxiety of human existence in contemporary culture. His sculptures reflect on our complex and intimate relationships with the dark beasts that surround our daily lives, from the more intimate encounters with ourselves and our flesh to the more structural state violence that regulates our lives. Chozas holds an MFA in Fine Art from UCM Madrid in 2013. He also recently graduated from the MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in 2018.
Recent solo and group exhibitions include Any-Space-Whatever, Degree show Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art, London, (2018); A Handful of Uncertainty and Joy, Chalton Gallery, London, (2017); The K.I.S.S. Principle, KASKL, Berlin, DE, (2017); The Collector of Secrets, Twin Gallery, Madrid, SP, (2017); Keep Calm and Carry On, Tabacalera, Madrid, SP, (2016); Solatge, Bòlit Centre d’Art Contemporani de Girona, Girona, SP, (2015); Rock Me, Baby Maputo, Twin Gallery, Madrid, SP, (2015); El Ranchito, Matadero, Madrid, SP, (2014); Intransit, C arte C Museum, Madrid, SP, (2014); Estudio 120m, Museo Wurth La Rioja, Logroño, SP, (2013); Entre el reflejo, Galería Espacio Mínimo, Madrid, SP, (2013); Destino / Zielort, Kunsthaus Bethanien, Berlin, DE, (2011). He has als been part of artist residencies at La Panacée, Centre d’Art Contemporaine, Montpellier, FR and Bòlit Centre Centre d’Art Contemporani, Girona, SP in 2015.
Louise Ashcroft disrupts systems in urban space to spark off hidden narratives which she retells through performance, film and objects. For the artist, humour is philosophy at its most precise and nonsense protects us from passivity by provoking interpretation. Based in London, she graduated from the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University) in 2004 and Birkbeck (University of London) in 2008. She also studied Sculpture at The Royal College of Art in 2013. Louise runs the comical performance night Unperforming, is co-founder of free art school AltMFA, and teaches at Goldsmiths College.
Recent solo and group projects include, Deptford X Residency, London, (2018); Unperforming 10: Louise Ashcroft and friends, Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, London, (2018); BBC Boring Talk: The Argos Catalogue, BBC iPlayer, (2018); I’d Rather Be Shopping, Arebyte, London, (2017); Unlucky Dip & Monsters of the Deep, Costal Currents Festival, Hastings, UK, (2017); Argos & Counterculture, Boring Conference, London, (2017); It is always the others who die, The Koppel Project, London, (2016); Martian Shipping, The Government Art Collection, London, (2016); Shopping and Subversion, TEDx Hackney, London, (2015); Your Culture is Ailing Your Art is Dead, Latitude Festival, Suffolk, UK, (2014); Words to be Spoken Aloud, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, (2013). She has also been part of publicly engaged artist in residence programs at Tate Schools Programme, 2015-16 and Camden Arts Centre, 2016-17.
Musarc is one of the UK’s most progressive choral collectives. Based at The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, Musarc explores making music, listening, performance and composition in relation to the creative process, and music as a social form in the context of architecture and the city. The ensemble, which is sought after for its experimental and open-minded working approach, regularly collaborates with artists and composers to commission new work that challenges traditional ways of making music, and that brings together art, performance and education.
Recent collaborative performances include Mains Hum, Lisson Gallery, London, (2017); Do D!sturb, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR, (2017); To Mill Two Queens, MK CityFest and the International New Towns Institute (INTI) Conference/Academy of Urbanism (AoU) Symposium, Milton Keynes, UK, (2017); Dichterliebe – Divine Bitches Part 2, Serpentine Gallery, London, (2016); In C, Camden Art Centre, London, (2016); Notes on Protesting, Whitechapel Gallery, London, (2015); Corpus Sonus, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2015; Synonyms: Five or six noise-making rifts, Park night at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 2014.