Saturday, 26 April 2014

Martin Creed: What's the point of it?

I was so pleased to hear that the Martin Creed exhibition at the Hayward had been extended until the 5th May, so on Friday I took the opportunity to head on over to the Southbank and see "What's the point of it"  was all about! And well there was so many points to it, I found it totally inspiring, a sensory overload and at times, difficult to digest in a matter of speaking! I haven't seen an exhibition that so honestly takes over the entire space, filling each second you are in there with an abundance of joy and at times pure laughter. It is truly extraordinary.

The moment you walk through the slightly different entrance to the usual, you are stuck, almost literally by the artwork. A huge neon spinning sign entitled "Mothers" spins around on its axis, alternating the speeds at will, I sat for quite a long trying to work out the rhythm but to no avail, it didn't matter after all. The sign is huge, it is just the perfect height from the floor and ceiling, that it passes your head with about a foot left to spare. What becomes apparent from the onset is that this exhibition is curated in a way that from the first entry you are thrust into Creed's world where you are forced to deal with the dark edges of comfort intermixed with the bright lights of joy. 

As you wonder through the exhibition, taking over all the floors, three balconies as well as the toilets and the lifts, you are thrown an impressive list of works, films and sound installations. Each room you walk through, a multitude of inspiration for the mind and senses. Being an Emetaophobic, the film in the second room, of which you cleverly have to go through to exit the exhibition, I found very difficult to watch. But I did manage to watch 1 of the vomit participants, whose face seemed strangely familiar.

After a rather, uncomfortable dark place for me, a much brighter one upstairs, the balloon room! Now this is a crazy, joyous, fun thing to do in a gallery space. I decided to take my shoes off, I am much happier without shoes anyway and I really wanted to feel the space. You enter, pre-warned of allergies, the usual health & safety and then on into the white balloon filled room. It is absolutely hysterical, people blindly wading through the balloons, trying to find a edge, the end, something! You are surrounded, every which way you turn with balloons, the static turning your hair more and more on end, it was so much fun, much laughter filled the room. An absolute joy!

You can't really do the exhibition justice with words, I can only say you MUST go and see this exhibition before it closes on May Bank Holiday, it will surely change how you view the world around us, Martin Creed thank you.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Updates & Another LC

Today saw a very exciting advancement in the journey that is Lunar Caustic, as we collected our films fresh off the developer! Having safely transported them back to the UK, through multiple customs, the last opportunity of destruction loomed, but we can very happily rest in that fact that all films are developed, fixed and stable - a certain fate within our series of uncontrollability.  Even a little portrait of the collaborative team too!

This is where the fun starts all over again, as we spend many hours working with hand printers testing to enlarge the negatives shot in Beijing for the editions. As process is so fundamental to the success of this collaboration, it is wonderful that we manage to involve others, to help realise this incredible story of salvation and the resurrection of the art of black magic within the archive.

As the weeks fly by, here is another image from the series, and as we conducted our first interview around the series today, there will be many more being released in due course, so keep watching to see more imagery from the project.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Introducing Lunar Caustic

To celebrate Good Friday, what better way than introducing one of the many fruits of our collaboration, a project two years in the making between Melinda Gibson and Thomas Sauvin, here is Lunar Caustic!

"This collaborative intervention speaks of the resurrection and destruction of photography. Negatives salvaged from a predetermined acid induced demise, archived under Silvermine are re-envisioned anew. Images ultimately destined for ruin are now taken to the threshold of disappearance, frozen between stages, part rescued and part destroyed by the very compounds used and created, that of Silver Nitrate. This binding of the two processes creates a new space for interpretation, elevating the simplicity of the process, the final product, but furthermore echoing the spontaneous, uncontrollable nature of the damaged negatives, where gradual matter grows over the imagery. The resulting series shows through taming the organic, you can offer up new ways to see the seen and understand the understood, blurring the boundaries of what the medium can be."
Exciting, exciting times lie ahead of us, with many more images from our collaboration to be released soon, have a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Black Magic In Beijing


So, I am back, and I can't quite describe exactly how incredible the last few weeks have been. How those wonderful 10 days in Beijing on my residency, finalising my collaborative project with the excellent Thomas Sauvin have seen so much happen, experience and create! But of course, I am going to do my very best and show you.

The beginning held much excitement, anticipation as I flew out to Beijing on my birthday. A friend once told me, the joys of flying on ones anniversary are much auspicious, so it started in the most perfect way, minus the hour on standby, lost luggage, but all was re-found and as soon as I left Beijing Terminal 3, all was set in perfect motion and work commenced.

I arrived at the studio, was greeted with familiar faces and settled in to my workhouse for the next 10 days, a stunning light room, filled with much positivity, a set of hand C-Types awaiting approval and the chemicals ready for reactions. It was at this point that after one year of Skype calls, thousands of emails, ideas exchanged that the real work started, and we couldn't wait!

Our schedule was tight, every minute of every day was spent working through our ideas, making, creating and editing our developments. Testing saw the first three days pass as we tried to tame the reactions, ultimately never having the control one is so used to these days. But through this uncontrollable nature of our project grows a deep respect, understanding of the medium and how ones modern living is problematic to looking. 

The reactions took hold, blackening not only the prints but my fingers, hands and arms darker by the day. It is if the work was literally tattooing my skin, reminding me of what was taking hold and how you can't control, but only learn to tame. The entire process was very cathartic, a lesson in patience, watching and waiting.

After an incredibly intense 7 days, a break, well earned indeed. A night out on the town, a visit back to my old favourite, The Slow Boat with fellow friends in Beijing, then onto a great Cocktail bar in the Gongti, Parlour not to be missed when in the city! After a few Ales intermixed with Makers Mark cocktails the early hours arrived and it was back to work for the last few days.

In between the sad day of leaving and having to return to London, a very special trip out to a flea market, the Panjiayuan Market where I was very honoured to be wondering around with both my collaborator and friend, both of which are fellow Photography collectors and artists in the know! There assistance was invaluable as I brought some beautiful hand prints and Chinese carte de visites to add to my own collection, a very happy day indeed.   

10 days went by so quickly and I returned with a suitcase full of new work to be released in the next few days, so keep watching, there are only hours left to wait...

More information to follow soon!!!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

24 Hours And Beijing Is Calling

So, only 24 hours until I leave and Beijing is certainly calling! All is packed, 100 Archival sleeves, 25 rolls of film, 3 packs of Polaroid, 2 Photographic trays and relating tongs, 2 pairs of safety googles, 1 Acid Resistant Apron, a pair of Acid Resistant gloves and lets not forget the Hunter wellies, and a small selection of clothes! 

As the time approaches, I currently sit in my studio easing my thoughts, preparing for what will be one of the best, most exciting and inspiring trips this year, listening to the extended classical sounds of Einaudi, Grieg, Scriabin and many others including my favourites, Adagio for String and the Moonlight Sonnet by Beethoven. I always find that before a trip, there is something very special about classical music that calms my spirit, my mind and prepares me for the travels ahead.

Much awaits my arrival and much will be made, created and decided, and on my return much will be shown and displayed, so, so long and see you on the other side.

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