edited and introduced by Sharon Kivland and Jaspar Joseph-Lester
|You may like to think of us as your hosts to the theory section of Art and Text. Imagine that as good hosts, we have invited you as much as we invited our contributors, and that now we put a large gin and tonic in your hand, some delicious canapes are within easy reach, and as a good guest, you can begin your circulation of our party. Let us introduce you properly - it is a theme party - 'art and text', said the invitation, and we have had to hope that all those we invited would dress correctly and in the spirit of the occasion. It was an invitation to us first, from Nina; one that was rather fortuitous, as we had just organized a series of lectures and a symposium collectively titled 'Inscription'. These were part of a yearly programme: Speaking and Listening, now in its fourth year, which culminates in a publication (you can find copies in good art bookshops, those with a theory section anyway, or order it through our distributor, Cornerhouse). What we said about 'Inscription' was this|
We thought all our guests would have their get-up already prepared, so we asked if they would like to come to Art and Text as well, under the guise of 'Inscription'. Most could (except for Victor Burgin, who had another engagement) and in an excess of party mood, we invited a few other people also, just to keep Art and Text swinging. Some people are going to be late, of course, but they'll be coming along later. We thought we'd like to mess around with theory or 'theory', just as we like to mess around with 'art and text', or 'art' and 'text'. We hope you don't mind. Actually, we think that any party needs a mix of people, so there will be some quite serious conversations, some good fun and lively exchange, a little flirtation, and perhaps even a dull interlude if you get stuck with someone who bores you (sorry, I think my contribution may be one of these. SK) or something for which you are not yet in the right mood. You may be attracted by a name you recognize or even by a pretty face.
to come back later, we'll be here all night, for weeks, even. Some of
our guests have contributed theoretical texts taking up ideas of 'art
and text'; some have contributed texts that may be text as art, and
others, art as text. As hosts, we haven't tidied up any contributions,
as we felt this would be rather impolite (though we did tell one guest
that his references weren't showing). Later, when we are doing the washing-up,
so to speak, we'll probably have plenty to discuss, and so, we hope,
will you - perhaps we can get together then? Are you always one of the
last to leave? Now let's get going with the line-up, so you know who
you will be meeting:
Sean Ashton, a London-based artist/writer who works with objects, photography and text, studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art from 1995-97, and has since exhibited widely. Ashton's ongoing series of posters, 'Recent Posters', presents photographs of quotidian phenomena (e.g., bollards, holes, sunsets, dogshits) in typological arrangements. Some of these were shown recently in 'Death of Romance' (Ganton St., London, 2004) and 'Family Business' (Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, 2003). Having just completed a Ph.D. at Goldsmiths on the changing status of the readymade in visual art, he is now writing a book on something more interesting. 'Silas Whitby: Collected Writings' is a collection of reviews of various art works, exhibitions and cultural events, some of which are real, some of which are imagined.
Beech is an artist based in Manchester, England where he is also
co-Director of artist-run gallery Vampire Station. He is Course Leader
in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam Univesity. Recent exhibitions include
Pledge at Sparwasser HQ, Berlin and Futurology at the New Art Gallery,
Vera Dieterich and Caroline Rooney came together as a practitioner and as a theorist to explore shared interests in writing, in the notion of the text as a weave; and in philosophical and aesthetic questions pertaining to materiality and immateriality, the visible and the invisible. They recently collaborated on Book Unbinding: The Ontological Stain, a new publication the series Transmission: The Rules of Engagement, in which they examined notions and operations of folding, cutting and binding as found in writing and art. Vera Dieterich lives and works in London, and lectures in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany and she regularly exhibits in Europe. Caroline Rooney teaches at the University of Kent. She works in the areas of postcolonial literature and literary theory and she is author of African Literature, Animism and Politics (2000).
Swindells and Dutton were commissioned to produce a monumental vinyl wall text by Art Sheffield 03. The text Brownfields was a meditation on the nature of a brownfield site. This consisted of a rhetorically overblown yet apparently well intentioned diatribe which consistently found itself being undone by other overtly flamboyant rhetorical tactics, becoming a muddy rhetorical and ideological field. In Plaza text, the artists worked with the citys major newspaper; initially by creating a full page text work along similar lines as the brownfield piece by attempting to open up a plaza-like gap in the informative fabric of the paper. This work was then transformed into Plaza Song, an operatic aria sung to the melody of 'Well keep the Red Flag flying'. This was then sung live by Laura Lemmon (as part of S1 Alternative Action Plan) in Sheffield on November 20th and released as a limited edition CD.
Harrison uses collections of texts or information that have been
forgotten or ignored. Since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1999,
she has lived in East London, where she rents a librarian's office as
a studio. Recent projects include Fantastic Cities (2004), a book for
which twenty-five invited artists wrote about cities they had never
visited. Recent exhibitions include 'After the Fact', Tullie House Museum
& Art Gallery, Carlisle, Carpet Slippers No Protection, George Rodger
Gallery, Maidstone, and 'Budget Bureau for language and applications',
Centre d'art contemporain, Geneva. She is a lecturer at the Kent Institute
of Art and Design, Canterbury.
Joseph-Lester is an artist based in London. He is Head of Theoretical
Studies in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and is co-author
of Disorientation and Spectacle in Retail Architecture (London: Artwords
Press, 2004) and co-editor of Transmission: Speaking and Listening,
volume four, 2005. Since completing his MA at the Slade School of Fine
Art in 1998, he has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Joseph-Lester's
video work is currently included in All for Show: an international touring
exhibition of UK Video and 13+ at Domo Baal Contemporary Art. Forthcoming
shows include Episode, which will be showing at Temporary Contemporary
in December. 'De-transubstantiation' is an extract from Joseph-Lester's
book in progress.
Sally O'Reilly is a critic and writer. She contributes regularly to Art Monthly, Modern Painters, Frieze, Contemporary and Time Out magazines, has written numerous catalogue essays and is co-editor of Implicasphere.
Elizabeth Price's practice incorporates diverse media and strategies, including collaboration. A consistent characteristic of her methods is that work is produced over many years, shaped incrementally by ongoing activity and tasks. This suggestion of retrospective and prospective narrative is evidenced in projects in which the artist's actions are intended to continue indefinitely. These include 'Boulder', a large sphere of brown packing tape; 'Hearse attending ' an ongoing series of photographs in which hearses wait outside contemporary art venues; and 'Trophy' a silver competition trophy that is engraved with the details of each show it features in. Her work has been shown widely including a major solo exhibition at the Jerwood Space, London in 2004. Price teaches at Goldsmith's College and is currently Research Fellow at the London Metropolitan University.
Dr Jane Rendell is Reader in Architecture and Art and Director of Architectural Research at the Bartlett, UCL. An architectural designer and historian, art critic and writer, she is author of The Pursuit of Pleasure, (Athlone Press, 2001), editor of 'A Place Between', Public Art Journal, (October 1999) and co-editor of Strangely Familiar, (Routledge, 1995), Gender Space Architecture, (Routledge, 1999), Intersections, (Routledge, 2000) and The Unknown City, (MIT Press, 2000). She is currently completing a new book From Art to Architecture and working on a project of site-specific writings.
Mark Titchner's practice involves graphic texts, sculptures and films that scrutinise the way belief systems function. These works touch on a myriad of scientific, religious and philosophical references that have held particular influence over the last hundred years. Mark Titchner is represented by Vilma Gold, his work has been widely exhibited at international venues which include, Tate Britain, The Groninger Museum, Museum Morsbroich, Lehnbachhaus Munich, State Russian Museum and Museo Tamayo. A chapter from his book WHY AND WHY NOT (London: Book Works 2004, commissioned as part of Infra Thin Projects) is published here, with kind permission of Book Works.
S.K and J.J-L