Time - and with it memory - is in fact the exhibition’s subject, though not time alone, but with it space as well. Space, according to initial observations, can be perceived not only as continuously uniform but also in segments.
Not only space as a whole, which as such is never immediately real to us in any case, but rather it is pieced together, after the fact, from experience and idea - then perceived as uniform and continuous on the basis of this general piecing together. The space in front of us does not manifest as uniform either. We can discern various zones, areas that precipitate, attest to and enable various possibilities.
Space Release takes the attributes of site which contrast to the gallery to create discourse around the value and function of this alternative within exhibition-making - looking at the role of site within production and display.
Principally based within the Stephenson Works building in Newcastle upon Tyne ‘Space Release’ will utilise this site (the first purpose-built locomotive factory in the world, positioned within a regeneration site) as a departure point to explore space as a formative moment. The programme will explore the notion that art occupies, creates and defines space and is simultaneously defined by it.
Exploring the possibilities and parameters of the exhibition space, through a 15-month thematic project, ‘Space Release’ looks to the relationships between site, moving image and time based artworks. This programme is framed around 3 new solo installations, each lasting for 2 months. During and in-between these fixed points a calendar of parallel events, installations and screenings takes place.
Space Release #1: TO DO - Emma Hart, runs until 1 December. It is the first in the programme and concurrent projects have taken place weekly within it’s term, each numbered and leading up to Space Release #11: If You Can’t See My Mirrors, I Can’t See You - Kim Coleman & Jenny Hogarth.
Working with sculpture, Emma Hart interferes with the viewing of video, making work that is detailed, complicated and chaotic; rendering it impossible to entirely take in. Hart can never be sure what the viewer has seen and relinquishing control charges up the sculptural installation into a live situation. Hart draws on the potential for a camera to precipitate an event, and not simply record it.
Projects presented paralel to Space Release #1 look from multifarious viewpoints at these issues: the document, expanded cinema - it’s relation to both the space of presentation and the space where footage is extracted. On the 18th October Space Release #3: Layerscape (expanded) tread the boundaries of documentary and experience - exploring the capacity of celluloid and audio field recording to evoke a sense of identity for a remarkable living, organic site. Works by Laura Harrington, Luke Fowler and Lee Patterson led an expanded journey into the world of peatland landscapes from the Flow Country to the North Pennines, looking to this seemingly baron but evolving landscape as an alternative place: void of society but impacted by it. A fragile, living environment comparable to the persecuted ‘Other’ and identifiable to some, for this reason.
Some works have looked to speech via Hart’s harnessing of the verb - a word bringing about action - they have challenged spoken narrative, multiple overlaid narratives, viewpoints within storytelling - the relationship of narrative to space itself, creating readings or mis-readings of it.
Space Release #4: Avalanche by Keren Cytter (25-27 October) broken into four chapters, reiterates scenarios using a small cast of characters, with shifts in style and plot between narrative layers. The disorientating affect orchestrates encounters between vaguely discernible registers of experience.
Heather Phillipson’s installation Bleurgh, accompanied on the 13 November by performance PRESSURIZATION (Space Release #7 and #8) presented a quartet of videos and viewing constructions mapping out the brain-gut interchange… The flow constant - pictures, facts, graphics, voices, glances, black-outs, suggestions, promotional wave-particles. Incisions and distortions. They are either arguments against themselves or just the noise the brain makes.
Other works trick and allude accurate reading, undermining technology, negating it’s authority, disorienting through exploding it, accentuating slippage. Space Release #11: If You Can’t See My Mirrors, I Can’t See You - Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth (29 November - 1 December) offers an online video chat generates two live portraits with changeable backdrops. It is a digital two-way mirror, a self-reflexive feedback loop wherein we witness ourselves talking back.
Since opening with TO DO in October, ‘Space Release’ has presented works by Jesse Jones, Keren Cytter, Luke Fowler, Laura Harrington & Lee Patterson, Chooc Ly Tan, Dean Kenning and Heather Phillipson.
On the 1 December TO DO will close. Paul Becker will present a new written work for the programme in January, an interlude which will lead from TO DO to the next Space Release exhibition in Spring 2013 by Rubèn Grilo, eventually followed in October 2013 by a new project with Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan.
Future projects with Grilo and Tatham & O’Sullivan will both be punctuated, parenthesised and embellished further by asides, overhaulings and precise moments added within their programme, in consultation with the artists.
This multi-event programme ‘Space Release’ partly draws from the aim of art biennials/festivals to create a curatorial perspective and encapsulate contemporary practice in time through multi-site and event exhibitions.
‘Space Release’ looks at the potential of these programmes to generate enriched discussion and focus while applying these methods in one site and using one artists’ exhibition as a central starting point. This aims to side-step the role of curator as author and to instead draw attention to current artistic positions. Instead of exploring a curatorial theme, CIRCA Projects will use this approach to focus on positions in contemporary practice.
This 15 month programme will take the form of a coherent thought trail - moving from one position in art to the next, abridged by interconnected ideas. For full programme details please see http://www.circaprojects.org/