Curated by Dr. Azadeh Fatehrad.
(Private View) 17 November 2017 5-8pm
Performance by Robert Luzar 5.30pm
Performance by Anastasios Logothetis 6.30pm
(Public) 18 November - 15 December 2017
Location: Herbert Read Gallery
Gesture, Trace and Performance stages a constellation of some of the most thought provoking contemporary works developed through artistic research, inquiring into collective notions of memory, time and space. The exhibition is organised around three thematics: disappearance, masks, and becoming. ‘Disappeareance’ focuses on the ephemerality of recorded memory via sound or image; ‘masks' expresses a presence that is invisible yet substantive, thinkable through touch; and ‘becoming' concerns the mediation between bodily drawings and the cohabitation in holding a certain space through limited time.
‘Gesture, Trace and Performance’ presents multidisciplinary art works by Leah Fusco, Robert Luzar, Wiebke Leister, Anastasios Logothetis and Nikolaus Gansterer in different formats from performances to artist books and multimedia installations. More particularly, the selection includes ‘Perambulations’ by Leah Fusco; ‘A-lighting Steps, Balls and Chords’ by Robert Luzar; ‘Echoes and Transformations’ by Wiebke Leister; ‘Psycho-Geographic Lines’ and ‘Animism or What? At the Ein-Gedi Kibbutz Garden’ by Anastasios Logothetis, ‘Denkfiguren/Figures of Thought’ by Nikolaus Gansterer.
The work of these selected artists has previously been exhibited in international galleries and museums around the world, such as, Palazzo Loredan, Venice; Torrance Art Museum, USA; Drawinternational, France; Katzman Contemporary, Toronto; KCCC, Lithuania; Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany; Nunnery Gallery, London; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Manifesta 11, Zurich; Nanjing International Art Festival, China; Spike Magazine Gallery, Berlin; and Färgfabriken, Andquestionmark, Moderna Museet and Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Kunsthalle, Vienna; Tent, Rotterdam; M HKA, Antwerp; MSK Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent among others. The artists’ research has also been disseminated through a variety of books and journals, including the Theatre and Performance Design and Photography and Culture journals, Routledge.
Nikolaus Gansterer studied Transmedia art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and completed his post-academic studies at the Jan van Eyck Academy at Maastricht, in The Netherlands. He is cofounder of the Institute for Transacoustic Research and the sound-collective The Vegetable Orchestra. Currently he is lecturer at the Institute for Transmedia Art and guest professor at the Zentrum Fokus Forschung at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. 2014 - 2017 Nikolaus Gansterer is head of the inter-disciplinary artistic research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line funded by the PEEK-programme of the Austrian Science Fund. As an artist and performer, Nikolaus Gansterer is deeply interested in the links between drawing, thinking and action. His practice is grounded in a trans-medial and trans-disciplinary approach, underpinned by conceptual discourse in the context of performative visualization and cartographic representations. He focuses on mapping processes of transience by developing experimental modes of notation and translation. Through a consequent recombination of methods and settings from various fields, he arrives at unique lines of connection and division, questioning the imaginary threshold between nature and culture, art and philosophy unfolding their immanent structures of contingency. Gansterer is author of the book Drawing a Hypothesis - Figures of Thought, (Springer, 2011) on the ontology of shapes of visualizations and the development of the diagrammatic perspective and its use in contemporary art, science and theory and he is co-author of the book Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, (De Gruyter, 2017) on the complex character of performative and embodied configurations.
Leah Fusco based in London and East Sussex, Leah Fusco explores ideas in relation to landscape, people and time, through contemporary illustration practice. After studying BA Illustration at University for the Creative Arts, Maidstone, she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 with an MA in Communication Art and Design. Her current doctoral research, supported by the London Doctoral Design Centre and carried out at Kingston University, investigates the visualisation of lost stories in transient landscapes.
Drawing on geographic and historic subject matter, the research observes the shaping of past, present and future stories by physical environment, using the case study of a deserted medieval village in East Sussex. Once forming part of an archipelago on the southeast coast, the former island of Northeye now exists as agricultural marshland. This transient landscape has been subject to both long periods of deep slow-shifting change and short-term cataclysmic events. Natural and human forces have created an ephemeral environment where details are revealed and concealed through dynamic water levels. Alongside physical traces of disruption in the landscape, the historic documentation of Northeye is fragmented; lost excavation reports, inconclusive geoarchaeological data and conflicting archival records all challenge a chronological documentation of the site. Merging fieldwork and archival material, the work aims to capture multiple and concurrent timeframes and stories that shift, overlap and converge at Northeye, approaching documentary narrative as memory, speculation and experience.
Robert Luzar is an artist, writer and educator living in Bristol, UK. His works and research address conditions, actions and decisions engaging ‘events’ that are ongoing and take form in daily life; and uses a range of media, from live-art events, performance, painting, installation, projection, video, and Internet venues. He is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University (UK), and holds a PhD (through practice) from Central Saint Martins (UK). His works are exhibited internationally in venues such as: Palazzo Loredan Venice (IT), Torrance Art Museum (USA), DRAWinternational (FR), Katzmann Contemporary (CA), KCCC (LTU), Künstlerhaus Dortmund (DE), Nunnery Gallery (UK), and Talbot Rice Gallery (UK).
Untitled and A-lighting Steps, Balls and Chords use video, action, space, and unconventional forms of drawing to reflectively show where and how certain works as ‘events’ take place. Actions such as stepping and falling are presented as materially reduced, reflective, ongoing, and, paradoxically, ending. Notions of end, point, subjective locations (of standing, squatting, or lying down) are juxtaposed with elemental lines, dots, and architectures (room, gallery). The artist is physically given to audiences prosaically, of holding certain spaces and passing time.
In Untitled the drawing is first made by hand using willow charcoal; and, after having been drawn, the artist shows himself to audiences live by standing still – or as much as possible. Empty handed, the artist moves downward though ‘imperceptibly’, moving slow enough that his actions appear unmoving to audiences; at best the artist makes a few steps backwards and in as improvised a manner as his bodily weight dictates. In A-Lighting Steps, Balls, and Chords the idiom of “making steps” is presented in a scene of going forward and back, shifting side to side. The artist follows shadowy lines cast by an electrical chord. The lightbulb makes him appear in becoming virtually two, shadowy other and dwarfed subject. The very process, of trying to show and reveal the work entirely, from start to (endless) finish, is therefore given through complex distortions, as expressed through details of smudging and partly removing a pre-made wall-drawing, of playing with shadows that shift into darkness and, in plain light, become traceless.
Wiebke Leister is a German artist living in London. She studied photography at Essen University and the Royal College of Art, and has exhibited and published her work internationally at Galerie Mousonturm Frankfurt, Dryphoto arte contemporanea Prato, Školská 28 Prague, Photographic Centre Nykyaika Tampere, Society for Contemporary Photography Kansas City, Fremantle Arts Centre, Australian Centre of Photography Sydney, Goethe Institut London, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Radio Resonance 104.4FM, Centre for the Arts Hereford, Danielle Arnaud London, among others; also receiving several awards such as Kodak Nachwuchs Förderpreis, TrAIN, College Art Association, LeadAward, Herbert Schober Preis, European Award for Women Photographers, Plat(t)form 08, Nourypharma; among others. Her works challenge the limitations of photographic representation and individual likeness, often focusing on the human face as a canvas, a medium or an agent. She works with photography, collage, drawing, text and performance. She is Course Leader for MA Photography at London College of Communication, co-organizer of the Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary research hub, convener of the Theatre of Photography research network and a core member of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the University of the Arts London, and has also worked with different cultural institutions, organizing conferences, events and exhibitions.
‘Echoes and Transformations’ looks at the boundaries between embalming and enmasking: being in a skin and under a skin, in and under a mask, looking at a mask and seeing through a mask as something that equally changes one’s gait and one’s voice while playing with sensations of displacement and transformation. The work treats the human face less as a façade but as an object that – even though central to our understanding of what it means to be human – is only ever in the process of approximating a subject: being filled by a subject, worn on the face of a subject. A process of becoming invested with meaning that might occur during the encounter with an image-object, possibly inverting the relationship of the person who sees and that what can be seen.The work exists in different formations, including prints, collages, live performance and publications.
Anastasios Logothetis (Stockholm, Sweden, 1979) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. As an undergraduate, he studied pre-medicine at Brandeis University in Boston and then shifted to art. He graduated with an MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2008. Logothetis' work has been exhibited at Färgfabriken, Stockholm, Manifesta 11, Zurich, Nanjing International Art Festival, Nanjing, Spike Magazine Gallery, Berlin, Andquestionmark, Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and Tensta Konsthall. In 2015 he completed a residency in Atlanta Center for the Arts, Florida, and in 2013 a residency at Residency Unlimited, New York. More recently he has been a reoccurring participant of The Eternal Internet Brother/Sisterhood project, curated by Angelo Plessas, which was shown amongst others at Deste Foundation, Athens.
Logothetis’s work reflects on the unprecedented potential of today’s digital culture and its consequences for our embodied lives. His poetic audio-visual narratives explore states between real and virtual, nature and artificial. Drawing on digital and analogue tools he explores the capacity of humans to relate to nature, animals and each other. Often using his own body in performances his work becomes rare in that he, as a straight male objectifies himself to deal with sexuality and feminism. His aim is to pinpoint, with precision and nuance, what makes us human, along with the ways we seek to enhance yet simultaneously subvert and escape that designation.
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