Friday, August 06, 2010

Marcus Coates & Matt Stokes: "From Ritual to Theatre" Ancient & Modern, London, UK

From Ritual to Theatre

Screened Fridays 6, 13 & 20 August
1.30PM and 5.30PM
201 Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8QP

During the month of August, ANCIENT & MODERN presents From Ritual to Theatre curated by Ben Judd, a series of artists' films that explore the grey area between performance and ritual.

The artists in From Ritual to Theatre reuse the signs, codes and mannerisms of rituals, rites and ceremonies. Through their restaging, these events, both everyday and profound, are used as readymades, re-exploring their value and cultural status.

The work in From Ritual to Theatre explores the paradox of the parameters and freedom that self-imposed ritual provides. In relation to the cultural and historical baggage that these ritualistic acts suggest, the artists explore the role of the initiate, a position which has a strangely exempted status. For anthropologist Victor Turner, the initiate occupies an ambiguous territory where they remain "neither here nor there  ... betwixt and between the positions assigned by law, custom, convention". During the liminal or transitional phase of any ritual activity the characteristics and laws of the dominant social structure are momentarily collapsed, as "the ritual subjects pass through a period and area of ambiguity"  where "they are at once no longer classified and not yet classified".

The artists locate themselves at the fulcrum where one position begins to slip into another, the shimmering point where fixed positions begin to waver.

Running schedule commencing 1.30pm and 5.30pm:

Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint, Generator, 2006, 4:00 min, colour, sound
George Gurdjieff, Hidden Symmetry 2, date unknown, 4:31 min, black & white, sound
Jim Shaw, Initiation Ritual of the 360 Degrees, 2002, 10:54 min, colour, sound
Matt Stokes, Long After Tonight, 2005, 6:40 min, colour, sound
Marcus Coates, Out of Season, 2000, 7:16 min, colour, sound
Alex Sanders, Fire Spirit Ritual, c.1970, 3:27 min, colour, sound
Bruce Nauman, Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square,1967-68, 5:00 min extract, black & white, silent
Magali Reus, Background, 2009, 7:25 min, colour, sound
Catherine Sullivan, Triangle of Need (Olympian and Doves), 2007, 7:00 min, colour, sound
Michael Curran, All My Little Ducks, 1995, 7:00 min, black & white, sound
Kenneth Anger, Invocation of My Demon Brother, 1969, 10:30 min, colour, sound
Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, 1947-55, 8:00 min extract, black & white, sound
Sian Davies, Thebes, 2007, 7:52 min, colour, sound
Guy Sherwin, Man With Mirror, 1976/2006, 9:00 min, colour, sound
Breda Beban, Walk of Three Chairs, 2003, 10:00 min, colour, sound
Jim Shaw, The Whole: A Study in Oist Movement, 2009, 16:40 min, colour, sound

Text by Emma Cocker and Ben Judd
For more information and individual screening times please see

Matt Stokes
Long After Tonight (Still), 2005
Courtesy of the Artist and Workplace Gallery, UK