An idea about a house with works by 7 artists. The gallery inhabits a Georgian terraced house which embodies a calm rationality and proportion in its architecture. The artworks created for this house all move away from the values asserted by this architecture, asserting different aspects of the domestic.
Abigail Reynolds, Andy Harper, Bernd Behr, Gail Pickering, Caroline Achaintre, Neil Hamon, Sophie Newell
This exhibition is an idea about a house. The gallery inhabits a Georgian terraced house which embodies a calm rationality and proportion in its architecture. The artworks created for this house all move away from the values asserted by this architecture, asserting different aspects of the domestic. In current language, a global corporation with vast reach and power will be described as 'a behemoth'. This sense of a forceful intrusion into the domestic and personal is carried forward by the various works in this exhibition.
Abigail Reynolds' works are structured by information sequences and systems. The Grand Mutator puts a number-based crochet pattern through a series of mathematical sequences, each producing a variant form. The work engages current scientific exploration; genome sequencing methods and toxicity tests carried out on spiders. Abigail Reynolds' shows include Day to Day Data, Angel Row, touring exhibition 2005; After the Fact, Tullie House, Carlisle 2005; Offside, The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin 2005; and New Contemporaries 2003.
Andy Harper's paintings focus on the evolution of a painted mark and explicitly connects this to the evolution of plants. For Behemoth he paints directly onto the walls, referencing The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) in which the heroine's increasing obsession with the pattern on the walls of her room ends in madness. Andy Harper's shows include John Moores 24, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 2006; Core, Union Works, London 2006; and Cloud & Vision, Museum of Garden History, London 2005.
Bernd Behr investigates a notion of architectural performativity across a range of video-based work to engage with questions of spatial representation. For Behemoth he takes one of the gallery spaces as a starting point to explore the narrative and performative implications of spatial mimicry and its choreographed transgression. Bernd Behr's shows include House without a Door (solo), Chisenhale Gallery, London 2006; London Movies, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels 2005; and Beck's Futures, ICA, London 2003.
Gail Pickering explores the conventions and histories of performance encompassing a wide range of socio-political and cultural references through live tableaux and performance for film. Engaging with the theatrical history of the gallery as an actors’ boarding house, she stages a somnambulant assembly disrupted by a brutal interlude. Gail Pickering's shows include Nothing Moments, Angstrom Gallery, Los Angeles 2007; Hungary!, Friche Belle De Mai, Marseille 2006; PraDAL (solo), Matt's Gallery, London 2004.
Caroline Achaintre works with the twisted and glamourised imagery from horror films and heavy metal graphics to produce large-scale, hand-tufted rugs. Caroline Achaintre's shows include DEEDIE, The Showroom, 2005; solo exhibition, Mirko Mayer Galerie, Cologne 2004; Until it makes sense, Gallery Seventeen, London and Thaddeus Ropac, Paris; Unhomely, Kettles Yard, Cambridge 2003.
Neil Hamon uses processes that claim to function as accurate re-presentations such as taxidermy, photography and film to investigate our relationship with loss and how we are lured into fictions or narratives in an attempt to overcome it. In Mr Arthrobalanus he has re-created Darwin's burrowing barnacle to monstrous proportion. Neil Hamon's shows include Six Feet Under, the Fine Arts Museum, Berne, Switzerland 2006; Neil Hamon, Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo 2006; Larry's Cocktails, Gagosian Gallery, London 2005; and After Life, Bowes Museum, County Durham 2004. Neil Hamon is represented by Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo.
Sophie Newell juxtaposes the classical language of ornament with crude industrial materials. Spoils is an eclectic collection of found and made objects united under the symbolic language of the trophy. Originally from the Greek "to flee" trophies were spoils of war nailed to trees, the aesthetics of these were later borrowed to represent trades. This theatrical sculptural construction presents a simultaneous attempt at romantic escapism and brutal material reality. Sophie Newell's shows include Metropolis Rise, Shanghai and Beijing, China 2006; Hard Labour, Cell Projects, London 2005; Space and Alterity, Lawrence O'hana Gallery, London 2004.
Behemoth is curated by Abigail Reynolds and is supported by Arts Council England, London.
Image: Sophie Newell, Spoils, 2006, mixed media
Next: Annie Whiles - New Work
9 March - 15 April 2007
Danielle Arnaud contemporary art
123 Kennington Road - London