Guido van de Werve
A multidisciplinary season of cutting-edge visual culture: a new eclectic three month season of exhibitions and events. The project introduces international artists, surveys emerging trends and provides a new platform for experimentation, discussion and debate within the contemporary visual arts.The first show is the multi-media exhibition Molten States. Exploring the links between art and performance, it features work from four international artists known for their focus on film, theatre and narrative - Olaf Nicolai, Rene' Pollesch, Julian Rosefeldt and Catherine Sullivan. The second part of the season, Collision Course, reflects the winter timings of the programming with a bleak and austere aesthetic underlying the three main exhibitions; Burroughs Live, Sudden White and Dark Materials, as well as the accompanying programme of talks and cinema screenings.
This autumn The Royal Academy of Arts launches GSK Contemporary, a new eclectic three month season
of exhibitions and events. GSK Contemporary introduces international artists, surveys emerging trends
and provides a new platform for experimentation, discussion and debate within the contemporary visual
On entering the building, visitors will be greeted by Swiss artist Rémy Markowitsch’s suspended lightsculpture,
Onion Options. The Berlin-based painter Maya Roos uses the computer software Norton to
break down and colour code the work of an individual and create a ‘portrait’ through the hard disk of the
subject’s personal computer. The large painting, Portrait by Speed Disk: Malcolm will be unveiled in the
ground floor entrance gallery.
The exhibition programme is split into two main parts:
Part I: Molten States 31 October– 4 December 2008
Part II: Collision Course, 16 December – 19 January 2009.
During the change over between the two parts, the exhibition remains open with the majority of galleries remaining accessible to visitors. Opening the season in the first floor galleries is the multi-media exhibition Molten States. Exploring the links between art and performance, it features work from four international artists known for their focus on film, theatre and narrative - Olaf Nicolai, René Pollesch, Julian Rosefeldt and Catherine Sullivan. Olaf Nicolai presents a newly commissioned installation Samani. Some Proposals to Answer Important Questions 2008 and René Pollesch (in collaboration with Bert Neumann and Ute Schall) will stage a performance of: Tod Eines Praktikanten (Death of a Trainee). Julian Rosefeldt will show the trilogy, featuring Stunned Man, The Perfectionist and The Soundmaker . US film and video artist Catherine Sullivan’s recently commissioned work Triangle of Need, a multi-faceted combination of 16 mm film, video projection and monitors will be shown in London for the first time.
The second part of the season, Collision Course, reflects the winter timings of the programming with a bleak and austere aesthetic underlying the three main exhibitions; Burroughs Live, Sudden White and Dark Materials, as well as the accompanying programme of talks and cinema screenings. On entering the main upstairs galleries, visitors will be greeted by a vast snowscape painting of a post– apocalyptic London, which covers the entrance to the exhibition of artists’ film and video, Sudden White, curated by Mark Beasley. Film and video works from artists including Bruce Conner, Cyprien Gaillard, Ryan Gander, Jonathan Horowitz, Tracey Moffat, John Russell, Robert Smithson, Javier Tellez, Guido van de Werve and Linda Weiss will be presented on a series of screens, lightboxes and monitors.
Upstairs, Burroughs Live, co-curated by Burroughs expert José Férez and David Thorp, aims to establish the presence of American novelist, film maker, social critic, painter and spoken word performer, William Burroughs. The show presents footage of Burroughs’ own performances and films including Thanksgiving Prayer and Towers Open Fire and previously unseen footage. A series of photographic self-portraits will be exhibited alongside works produced in collaboration with other artists such as George Condo and Keith Haring, as well as portraits by Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibowtiz, David Hockney and Damien Hirst. A new film work from artist Malcolm McLaren, Shallow; will be shown alongside Burroughs Live. The 21 ‘film portraits’ that make up the work were inspired by Burroughs’ Cut Up technique.
Dark Materials, draws together recently acquired works from the Frank Cohen Collection which evoke the sense of the aftermath of destruction, from Banks Violette’s burnt out framework of a church, to Indian artist T.V Santhosh’s installation Counting Down, in which digital timers count down the final moments to catastrophic disaster. The exhibition culminates with a room of ‘skeletal’ sculptures from Asian artists Hyunkoo Lee, Sudarshan Shetty and Jitish Kallat.
Charles Saumarez Smith, CEO and Secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts:
“GSK Contemporary is a bold and exciting extension of the RA’s historic role in contemporary art. It complements the core work of the institution with an experimental and dynamic programme, a welcome forum for debate and discourse as well as an alternative evening destination in the West End. The season is a platform for established and emerging artists, up-and-coming curators and experimental film makers.”
Running alongside the main GSK Contemporary exhibition programme, South London artist-curators, temporarycontemporary, will present Event Horizon, a performance and social space with new work and site-specific installations from London based artists. With a late night café/ bar at its centre, the rooms provide a gallery space for a constantly changing programme and series of artist run events. Highlights include performances by Georgina Starr, Bob and Roberta Smith, Plastique Fantastique, Brian Griffiths and Spartacus Chetwynd.
The East End restaurant Bistrotheque will be operating FLASH, a temporary restaurant designed especially for the season.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the Royal Academy’s first title sponsor. GSK is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. In 2007, GlaxoSmithKline’s community investments were valued at £282 million and targeted health and education programmes in over 100 countries. GlaxoSmithKline has a long history of supporting art initiatives that encourage creative thinking. Justine Frain, Vice President Global Community Partnerships for GlaxoSmithKline: “We have a long standing commitment to the arts, and indeed have supported the Royal Academy of Arts in different capacities for more than 20 years. We are a business that depends on creativity and innovation to bring improvements in health and wellbeing, so we value creative thinking and discussion. We are proud to be the title sponsor of this new and exciting endeavour by the Royal Academy of Arts.”
Artist-curators Anthony Gross and Jen Wu - aka temporarycontemporary, have been invited to occupy three neoclassical rooms in 6 Burlington Gardens as part of this year's GSK Contemporary Programme. They have invited nearly a dozen major London-based artists, to make new, sitespecific installations.
Image: Malcolm McLaren, Still 5 from video ‘Shallow’. Courtesy of artist
Opens 31st October 2008
Royal Academy's 6 Burlington Gardens
Burlington House Piccadilly - London
Opening times: Sunday & Monday 12pm – 10pm, Tuesday & Wednesday 12pm – 6pm, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 12pm – midnight
Admission: £6 for single visit ticket; £25 for Multiple Visit Carnet (8 tickets). Concessions available from the ticket desk only: £5 NUS/ISIC cardholders; registered disabled, Income Support and 60 + years