Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens
September 10-30 2015 Pi Artworks London 55 Eastcastle Street (Oxford Circus)
The title of this show acts not as an introduction but a statement repeating the sentiments of its contemporaries such as All the World’s Futures. These short manifestos suggest an indisputable course, an acceptance of fate and a belief in our power to predict it. They imply not possibility but inevitability, begging the question, at what point did all the world’s future’s become foreseeable?
Today media, and it would seem art, offer the present as certain evidence of future environmental and social circumstances. While the acceleration of market ‘crashes’ into ‘flashes’ dipping and recovering within a tenth of a second has meant the unravelling of any system that suggests the present may indicate the future. Yet the consistent inconsistencies within our daily lives have generated new expectations both positive and negative. Not only a few of us now drift away from the post-modern nostalgia that looked backward for solutions, taste and culture. While Modernism’s potential seems misguided with its consequences so analyzed. Thus a ‘present-future’ arises, one focused on current limitations.
Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens is a collection of ‘present-futures’ manifested in different forms through different subjects. Each of the artist’s are tentatively looking ahead, giving form to narratives that point at seemingly continuous stasis. As any environment that causes one to believe they are unable to make change will lead to either mental or physical stasis, are we all now quietly becoming Apeirophobic? The affected do not necessarily become immobile, however their actions become centered on awaiting what they believe to be coming; where the only uncertainty is the end. In such a state the fantasy of always knowing what’s ahead meets the nightmare of running in circles, inevitably one finds comfort in the consistencies of their cage. The works brought together here exhibit instances in which action or inaction show traces of such contradictions, conditions and predictions. The artist’s deal with the ‘present-future’, such as a London without artists, a life in confinement or a culture in continuous Meme, by developing subjective narratives through which they take control of a seemingly inevitable continuation.
Kihlberg & Henry are artist based in London
1. The Apeirophobic Framework (2014) HDVideo 1080p 10min
https://vimeo.com/114291828 (short clip)
Limited edition book of shots with making-of video
The Apeirophobic Framework was nominated in 2015 for the LOOP Discovery Award. The film dissects the afore-named condition in which one fears a future where no change or evolution is possible beyond present circumstances. The Apeirophobic attaches themselves to consistencies, such as the running time of a film or the algorithms deriving content. They search for crude visual and metaphorical connections. By concentrating on these structures they grow to fear only that which they cannot predict - the end.
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori is an artist based in London
2. They Abyss (2013) 160cm x varying dimensions, resin, paint, microcontroller, steel, OLED display, acrylic
Antinori’s practice involves working with various systems for predicting. The Abyss is a database containing descriptions of the cheapest goods on sale on amazon.co.uk and ebay.co.uk, and an equal number of ameliorative synonyms with a selection of the most used adjectives in the last twenty years of advertising. It acts as a modern philosopher's stone, transforming cheap ingredients into personalities for brands that don’t yet exist. The Abyss uses the systems currently employed by marketing agencies to create relationships between language and objects, to predict future trends and market offers. This work points to a predetermined path. One on which it seems no real evolution is possible, only a calculated reformation of the same, over and over.
David Vélez is a composer and sound artist based in Brazil
3. Quietud y movimiento (2014) 20:33 min, http://www.impulsivehabitat.com/releases/ihab097.htm
With this piece Vélez references Timothy Morton’s definition of nothingness: 'If there are only objects, if time and space and causality, as I shall argue, emergent properties of objects —if all these things float “in front of” objects in what is called the aesthetic dimension, in a non-temporal, non-local space that is not in some beyond but right here, in your face— then nothing is going to tell us categorically what counts as real and what counts as unreal. Without space, without environment, without world, objects and their sensual effects crowd together like leering figures in a masquerade.’
Simon Le Boggit is a composer and sound artist based in the UK
3. Vista, Quantum Soup Orchestra (2014) 25:43 min
Vista, which plays in continuous loop with Quietud y movimiento by Vélez on the stool at the back of the exhibition, uses an algorithm developed by le Boggit to search for sounds with emotive effects. At random it compiles a music without melody, yet climax’s appear causing a roller coaster of mental images. The sounds cause a spectrum of responses within the listener such as euphoria and lose. However, there is no composer or story behind this string of sounds, the listener derives personal narratives in order to connect or make sense of what is in fact endless, technically produced chaos. Please have a seat and reflect upon the works through sound.
Sarah Derat (b.1984) is a French sculptor based in London.
4. Cameron, (2014) 70cm x 93cm, Screen Print
Years of research into the conditions of death row inmates in the Unites States has led Derat to realize the space in which they live 23 hours per day. The first part of this series saw the reconstruction of three unique cell blocks in enclosed steel (up to hip height), belonging to individuals believed to be wrongly sentenced to death. The second series are embossed screen prints such as the one exhibited here. By reducing the dimensions of the cell to a flat plane Derat references the reduction of those who inhabit it to the sum of their space, an embodiment of institutional control. Inmates attempt to retain the belief that their fate is not set, while clinging to daily routines for some certainty about their existence. Recently Derat began a correspondence with Rob Will a Texas death row inmate believed to be innocent. Rob knew Cameron before his death. In his letters to Sarah he eloquently describes the strategies one uses to retain sanity, a sense of stability and evolution within a place of stagnation. Rob remains on death row.
William Mackrell is a performance and multimedia artist based in London
5. Breaking A Line (2013) 51 feet long, rescued halogen lights and fixtures from closed artist studios
The rising cost of rent in London has led to the closure of a growing number of artist studio spaces. If subsidized production spaces cease to be available, art may cease to be produced within London - a former utopia of contemporary artist’s. Using lights salvaged from these disappearing spaces, Mackrell creates a line across the gallery floor, allowing them to slowly flicker out throughout the period of the exhibition.
Maude Maris a French painter based in Paris
6. Edge of the Woods (2014) 193 x 230cm, oil on canvas
Maris informally describes her work as an ‘architecture of emotion’. She works with fragments to reflect on the relationship between things, exploring stability and precariousness in an attempt to understand the seemingly random or chaotic. Casting small objects she finds, she groups her re-productions into families. Placing a group over grid paper she creates a mise en scène that she then photographs. From the photo she paints the scene increasing the scale of the objects over 10 times, manipulating shadows, colours and depth within this final reflection.
Rachel McRae is an artist and writer based in Toronto
7. scene_hepworth, (2015) varying dimensions, foam, resin and hand died synthetic hair
8. HepLike_01, (2015) 30 x 53 varying dimensions with wider base and multiple heads, foam & resin
In the media Meme’ing is a method for quick social participation in current events. McRae’s work focuses on the semiotic and social symptoms of symbolic repetition: what happens to meaning and behaviour when the longevity of images and words are dependant upon endless repetition accelerating in reproduction and distribution as time and technology move forward. Here McRae specifically looks at the concept of Meme through the work of Barbara Hepworth, an artist whose forms have been adopted as iconic of modernist sculpture.
Claire Trotignon is an artist based in Paris
9. les matrices perpétuelles, (2015) dyptych 145cm x 100 cm H drawing collage of old engravings, copper cut
10. Leurs Surfaces Reposantes, (2015) 66cm x 52cm, watercolour enhanced silkscreen print on Arches paper
Trotignon’s practice focuses on notions of space and the formal conception of past and future through the positioning of volumes vs vacancy. Nature and structure become binary in images that appear more like distilled thoughts than landscapes. Leurs Surfaces Reposantes exaggerates the absence of players. There are no pieces or rules. We are neither invited nor capable of playing, permanently relegated to spectator.