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Change to performance and exhibition line-ups

June 9, 2010

I have added John O’Shea to the bill for 18th June, to replace Ross Sutherland who can’t make it.

I have worked closely with John O’Shea on this residency – especially quite early on, when John and I investigated some of the implications of the phrase ‘Poetic Justice’. In particular we looked at the relative structures of the metaphor and the legal contract. It was interesting, and as I remember wildly funny – although I can’t remember for the life of me why we were laughing so much. Someone’s drawing looked like some boobs or something probably.

Anyway, John is one of the most interesting artists I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He practice is based firmly on the need for interrogation of accepted norms, and a curiosity in sociological issues.  He is currently working on an AHRC Research Project at Newcastle University’s Culture Lab proposing and prototyping new kinds of technological ‘interface’ between citizen and law.

The performance is called PENUMBRA, and I guess it will feature some kind of technological articfact from John’s studies. I’m sure his presence will help us explore and consider the possibilities of the word in performance – not only through the form of his presentation, but in what his artworks imply.


I am also delighted to include work from a project with Appau Junior Boake-Yiadom in the accompanying exhibition. I met Junior when he exhibited in the group show to accompany Sonia Boyce’s Like Love exhibition. He is a very entertaining artist, creating works that make us question the visual vocabulary of familar objects. He has his own solo show on in London at the moment too.

Over several sessions, Junior and I developed a way of working that met in the center of our practices. We had blindfold participants hold objects, gave them some time and fuel for imaginative interpretation of this object, and then asked them a series of personal interrogative questions with the object as a focal point. I then used the responses to this questions to produce cut-up poems. The result hopefully presents a new way of looking at the object, and gives a kind of shared mapping of very personal interpretations. We will be displaying these works alongside pictures of the objects.  Here is an example, ‘by’ Ullysses from the Bluecoat information desk:

Self Portrait as a Small Red Briefcase

Try to imagine the sky, if you have seen

the sky before. It is 3D, it doesn’t smell of much

except those sandals that squeak when you walk.

Before now, it was molecules that were swirling

and decided to form something quite small

but with something big inside.

An industrial taste, maybe a mix between candy

and an amusement park that tastes of candy.

I will remember its texture.

Like a boy arriving at school with his new sandwich box.

Both good and bad at the same time. A force of nature.

At once at peace and excited.

We share these molecules and these philosophies.

It is very quiet. Like when you are sleeping,

are you there for something, then?

You are not acting, but you are playing a part, right?

You can feel the air,

more than hear anything inside it,

maybe your own blood pressure going through the brain.

Then suddenly the sound of the joy of being opened: ‘Ah!’

and you respond, ‘Ah!’

And then you wake.

You open like the sky full of playing cards,

your eyes two cells with velvet inside.

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