Friday, July 22, 2011

Matt Stokes: "Nuestro tiempo (Our Time)" Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), Seville, Spain

Matt Stokes
Nuestro tiempo (Our Time)

Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo(CAAC), Seville, Spain
Date: 21 July - 6 November 2011
Exhibition Session: Song as a Force of Social Transformation

Exploring notions of collectivity, lifestyles and beliefs that emerge out of musical encounters, is what characterizes the work of Matt Stokes (United Kingdom, 1973). Enquiry is a fundamental part of his methodology, whereby works are initiated through undertaking meticulous research that enables him to familiarize himself with the music scenes he explores. Stokes makes contact with groups that interest him and investigates their origins, histories and values. He seeks out the characteristics of each location - folk music in Camden and Newcastle, England, Northern soul in Dundee, Scotland, punk rock in Austin, Texas - and gets involved with each community in order to question, celebrate and transform aspects of these influential scenes into artworks. Collaboration and collective authorship are two of the central pillars of this working process, a collection of impressions, stories and materials which he draws on to create films, installations, musical works and events.

Nuestro tiempo (Our Time), Matt Stokes's first solo exhibition in Spain, offers a selection of his most emblematic works. Real Arcadia (2003) documents the acid house raves held in isolated rural settings (the so-called "cave raves") in the Lake District region of Great Britain in the late 1980s. Long After Tonight (2005) focuses on Northern soul, a music and dance genre which emerged during the 1960s in the north of United Kingdom. these are the days (2008-09) explores the efficacy and actuality of punk rock as a widespread phenomenon in Austin, Texas (United States). The Gainsborough Packet (2008-09) is a film set in the early 19th century, against the backdrop of the dramatic transformation of urban life brought about by industrialization, where the dialog is sung and presented in folk-pop style. Finally, Cantata Profana (2010), the multi-screen video installation that concludes the exhibition, features six extreme metal vocalists performing an immersive choral composition.

Matt Stokes
Cantata Profana, 2010
Six-channel HD video and audio transferred to synced hard-drives
Duration 06:48 minutes, looped
Photograph: Nils Klinger
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK