Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jo Coupe: 'Fade Away and Radiate' Solo Exhibition, Workplace Gallery, UK

Fade Away and Radiate
Jo Coupe 

Preview: Thursday 28th May 2009 6 – 9pm 
29th May – 27th June 2009
Tues - Sat, 11am -5pm (or by appointment)

Workplace Gallery, The Old Post Office, 19-21 West Street, Gateshead, UK, NE8 1AD

Workplace Gallery is delighted to present Fade Away And Radiate a solo exhibition of new work by Jo Coupe. 

Exploiting the aesthetics and methodologies of Science, the recent work of Jo Coupe adapts simple experiments and subverts half-understood scientific ideas, plundering iconic imagery for its metaphorical significance. In her work, the school science experiment, alchemy, and a fascination with decay unite to reveal the world as a mysteriously rational place. 

Continuing her investigations into the objects and symbols of ritual, magic and the everyday. Coupe’s fascination with paranormal occurrences has led to extended periods of research into the powerful electromagnetic forces of the smelting rooms at one of the world's largest producers of aluminium and bauxite. In this unique environment coins levitate upwards, keys stick rigidly to walls, cameras produce ghosted and partially blacked out images, and video cameras distort unpredictably; all commonly documented symptoms of ‘haunting’ or psychic activity. 

By investigating the symbolic power of the object through a holistic knowledge of the natural world and its scientific, ritualistic, and poetic usage; Coupe’s work takes on a political significance via the employment of the anti-rational and ‘magic’ - traditionally the domain of witchcraft. The setting of her practice within the macho environment of heavy industry, and her use of commonplace and domestic objects conflate two stereotypically gendered positions to move towards an analysis of objects, and the cultural and social forces at play that pervade the meanings we commonly ascribe to them.

Fade Away and Radiate consists of a new ambitious body of work including sculpture, installation, video, photography, and works on paper drawn from Coupe’s ongoing research into how specific environments can alter both the meaning of objects and their physical behaviour. 

The installation 'Supernature' recreates electromagnetic and paranormal effects observed by Coupe through the combination of jewelry, gold and silver plated steel chain, furniture, and electromagnetic fields. 'Phenomena' is a series of short, looped films on separate monitors each depicting the physical effect of powerful magnets on everyday implements such as scissors, keys, and pocket knives. 'Atmospheric Disturbance' is an ongoing collection of photographs of rainbows captured by the artist during the normal course of her day: whilst traveling in her car, reflected on a dinner plate, or in the far distance. The backs of each photographic mount have been coated with fluorescent paint to create a halo of coloured light on the wall around each image. 'Infester' takes over the space with over a hundred and twenty patinated bronze casts of exotic fungi carefully mounted on brass pins, drawing attention to overlooked and undesignated areas of the historic gallery building. 'In The Field' is an object that presents us with evidence of active forces. In this case Coupe has poured resin into a Tupperware bowl in close proximity to a strong magnetic field and then mixed iron filings into the resin. The resulting work suspends the filings as they are pulled from the resin towards the magnetic source. Slab captures a more sober moment presenting a bronze cast of a tiny dead baby bird immaculately mounted on a shallow steel plinth. 'Ultraviolet' is the latest and most ambitious of Coupe’s series of works using cut out original botanical prints, in this instance 13 images of Violets are stripped of their surrounding page and meticulously joined to create a delicate web. 

Jo Coupe was born in 1975 and studied Fine Art at Newcastle University and at Goldsmiths College, London. She lives and works in Gateshead, UK. Exhibitions include An Archaeology at 176 in London, Tatton Park Biennial, Give and Take at Firstsite, Colchester, and You Shall Know Our Velocity at BALTIC, Gateshead.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jo Coupe: "The Late Shows" Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK

Jo Coupe

The Late Shows

Saturday 16th May 2009

7pm – 11pm

For The Late Shows Workplace Gallery presents a unique interactive installation by Jo Coupe.

The recent work of Jo Coupe exploits the aesthetics and methodologies of Science by adapting simple experiments and subverting half-understood scientific ideas, or by re-appropriating iconic imagery for its metaphorical significance. In her work, the school science experiment, alchemy and a fascination with decay unite, revealing the world as a mysteriously rational place.

 Throughout The Late Shows evening Coupe will cook a selection of mushrooms that she is currently cultivating in the lead up to her solo exhibition Fade Away and Radiate here at Workplace Gallery opening on 28th May. Coupe has been developing artworks that incorporate mushrooms and funghi for a number of years. This event unifies key conceptual elements of Coupe’s practice including her fascination with unusual material not normally associated with Art, and her ability to give significance to the natural and synthetic transformative processes that she finds in the world around us.


Jo Coupe


Bracket fungus, gold leaf, synthetic gem stones, brass rod
10 x 15 cms 
3.94 x 5.91 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ant Macari. 'Rank': picturing the social order 1516 - 2009

‘Rank’: picturing the social order 1516 – 2009.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Preview Thursday 14th May 6 - 8pm
Exhibition dates 15th May - 11th July 2009

Who do we think ‘we’ are? ‘Rank’ asks: how have we imagined the shape of our society? It brings together nearly 100 contributors, putting masterpieces from almost all England’s national collections – the British Library, Tate, British Museum, V&A and the Arts Council Collection – next to images from the Working Class Movement Library, and those from numerous libraries and archives.
It places works by some of the greatest names in British art with new research from academic experts and public agencies, so that pictures of our myths and stereotypes our national life sit alongside those based on hard fact. All, though, seek to visualise the ways in which our societies is, and has been ordered and classified.

The exhibition will tour to the Grundy Art Gallery,
Blackpool, from 24 July - 12 September 2009.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 144 page fully illustrated catalogue with essays by the journalist Polly Toynbee, historian rofessor Keith Wrightson, geographer Professor Daniel Dorling, and sociologist Gordon Fyfe. Co-published with Art Editions North
and distributed by Cornerhouse Publications.

List of contributors in chronological order: (historical artists)
Fra. Didacus Valades (active 1570s)
Thomas More (1478 - 1535)
Ambrosius Holbein (c.1494 - c.1519)
Clement Walker (1595 - 1651)
Thomas Hobbes (1588 -1679)
with Abraham Bosse (c1602/4-1676)
John Overton (active 1630s)
John Goddard with Richard Dey (active 1650s)
John Lecester with John Hancock (c.1602 /4 - 1676)
Gillis van Tilborch (c.1625 -1678)
Gregory King (1648 - 1712)
Hubert-François Gravelot (1699 - 1773)
James Gillray (1756 - 1815)
Charles Williams (1793 - 1830)
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Charles Jameson Grant (active 1820s)
George Cruikshank (1792 -1878)
Ernest Jones (1819 -1869)
John Moore (active 1830s)
Thomas Rowlandson (1756 - 1827)
J Dickinson (active 1830s)
Fred Ellis (1885 -1965)
R.J. Hamerton (1822 -1875)
John Leech (1817 - 1864)
Henry Mayhew (1812 -1887)
William Powell Frith (1819 -1909)
Sir John Tenniel (1820 -1914)
George Bernard O'Neill (1828 -1917)
General William Booth (1829 -1912)
Charles Booth (1840 -1916)
Gustave Doré (1832 -1883)
Walter Crane (1845 -1915)
Théophile Steinlen (1859 -1923)
'Cynicus' / Martin Anderson (1854 -1932)
Will Dyson (1880 -1938)
Eric Gill (1882 -1940)

List of contributors in chronological order continued (living artists):
Gerhard Richter (1932 -)
Alasdair Gray (1934 -)
Victor Burgin (1941 -)
Jenny Holzer (1950 -)
Dexter Dalwood (1960 -)
Simon Bedwell (1963 -)
Heath Bunting (1966 -)
Chad McCail (1961 -)
Evan Holloway (1967 -)
Misteraitch (1967 -)
Rory Macbeth (1968 -)
Markus Vater (1970 -)
Mustafa Hulusi (1971 - )
AOC Architecture (Tom Coward, Daisy Froud, Vincent Lacovara, Geoff Shearcroft) (b.1971 - 1974)
Josh On (1972 -)
Benrik (Ben Carey, b. 1973, Henrik Delehag, b.1973)
Mark Titchner (1973 -)
Daniela Rossell (1973 -)
Nina Beier (1976 -)
and Marie Lund (1975 -)
Eva Stenram (1976 -)
Ben Branagan (b.1978)
and Gareth Holt (b.1978)
Ant Macari (1976 -)
Darren Cullen (1983 -)
Adam Latham (1981 -)
Victoria Kochowski (1984 -)
Ruth Ewan (1980 -)
I Love Capitalism (active 2000s)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Eric Bainbridge & Miles Thurlow: "Research '09" Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland

Art & Design Research '09
Reg Vardy Gallery,  Sunderland, UK

Craig Ames

Eric Bainbridge

Tim Brennan

Ralf Broeg

Ewan Clayton

Sarah Cook 

Peter Davies

Jack Dawson

Lothar Goetz

Sheila Graber

Beryl Graham 

James Hutchinson

John Kippin

Manny Ling

Andrew Livingstone

Alex Moschovi

Inge Panneels

Kevin Petrie

Sylva Petrova

Mike Pickard           

Arabella Plouviez

Colin Rennie

Andrew Richardson

Marjolaine Ryley

Jeff Sarmiento

Gurpreet Singh 

Brian Thompson

Miles Thurlow

Sylvie Vandenhoucke

Catherine Watkinson

Shirley Wheeler


Eric Bainbridge



Melamine, Sausage

246.4 x 38.1 x 1 cms


Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Miles Thurlow





Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Eric Bainbridge "Tales of Everyday Madness" cover and feature article, Frieze Magazine issue 123


Tales of Everyday Madness

For three decades, the influential British artistEric Bainbridge has been fascinated by surfaces and disguises, the exotic and the mundane by Jonathan Griffin


'Eight Bronzes', detail (Bum) 2003, Bronze, chipboard

'Untitled', 2009, collage, 24 x 19cm

Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, Gateshead

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cecilia Stenbom: "13th Media Art BIennale" Wroclaw, Poland

13th Media Art BIennale
WRO 09 Expanded City, Wroclaw, Poland
5 - 10 May 2009
Exhibitions open till 7th July 2009

The thirteenth WRO Biennale, held on the twentieth anniversary of the first Sound Basis visual Art festival issue, is the event’s first edition to be held at the WRO Art center – our new permanent exhibition space.

The projects’ development functioning within WRO structure enables invited artists to create new works during artists-in-residence program. The biennale shows effects of cooperation be-tween the regions of Alsace and the Lower Silesia, in the framework of which artists’ and curators’ residencies take place. We show also an innovative extension of Wartopia, the project by Alek- sandra polisiewicz, being an installation to which we have added up a potentiality of interactive dimension.

Making innovative projects one of the leading subjects of actions taken by the center, we have
preserved what through the existing practice proved to be a useful tool for setting phenomena in an order and enabling an afterthought thereon. Such a tool is offered by lead issues that appeared in previous editions of the WRO Biennale. complexity of relations against information society was the subject-matter of a symposium and exhibition geo/Info Territory in 1997, subsequently resumed in 2003 by the theme called globalica. Durability and transformations of cultural values was the subject of Mediation/Medialization conference in 2000. The liaisons between artistic out- put/creative work and its media vehicles were comprised by the topics: The power of Tape, 1999 – a peculiar farewell to the tape as an avant-garde art carrier in 20th century; and, Screens, 2001 and Another Book, 2005.

WRO 09 undertakes the theme of Expanded city, referring to the avant-garde tradition and
dwelling on issues of the city as a variable medium capable of coding and recoding, determining
the observation point for contemporary mediality. The symposium as much as the competition
and special presentations made by invited authors and curators attempt at determining the dynamism of this expanding space.

Contrary to most of large media art events, the WRO International Biennale of Media Art con-
sists in only one competition section with one main prize, in other words: the entries are not categorised after their presentation formats (of course at the stage of the Biennale programme’s composition individual types of work are aggregated into projections, exhibitions, and presentations). This approach, while breaking the line of art audiences’ habits, follows however from the very acknowledgement of the fact that many submitted works simply do not fit in any identifiable category, or – even more often – may be easily transferred between categories.

This somewhat traditional breakdown by screen works, installations (and objects), and perfor-
mances however – if nevertheless applied – would have worked out exceptionally well this time. A great majority of the contest entries belong first and foremost, or exclusively, to one of the aforementioned groups (this concerns also Internet-enabled works that typically assume the installation format). To a lesser than usual extent the competition works are open environments that might be explored in many various ways. Regardless of their subtlety and their content and formal wealth, the presentation formats are as defined as they are justified. The only exceptions from this rule consist, basically, in works that are very strongly technologically related to the electronic media dimension (generally the media art’s relations with its technology base have become so complex that presence – or absence – of reference to advanced technologies doesn’t anymore rule the work’s positioning within the media art domain) – which documents some particular features of such type of creation.

The 2009 WRO Biennale’s motto, Expanded city¸ has prominently imprinted on the competi-
tion programme content – the main themes of the Biennale’s each subsequent issues have so far prompted various measures of artists’ response- this time however the theme seems to resonate with genuine creative interest. It does not mean however that the submitted works feature a particularly strong programmatic approach, quite to the contrary – and this is indeed a noteworthy phenomenon – the contest entries seem to have resulted from a strong need for something opposite, i.e. re-programming and de-compilation – reduction of low energy threads and rhetorics. The contest programme is to a large extent deprived of such “fixtures” as components relative to creative processing of the technosphere, and the attitude that media artists have assumed upon entering the contemporary art mainstream and resigning of the role of cultural outsiders, in some aspects quite convenient.

In lieu of such understanding of a programmatic approach, an effort appears here to materialise and to specify spaces so far undefined. It is particularly evident in network and interactive
projects that try to compensate the abstract quality of technologically generated worlds with the physical merit of medialised objects, or with an expressive communication strategy. Since communication technologies have obviously rooted in the physical reality, capability of interfacing the both spheres seems particularly relevant.

Cecilia Stenbom
The Protocol
HD Video
Film Duration 27 Minutes (looped)
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

The protocol is a re-staging of an American infomercial, which in turn is an imitation of a US talk show. An interviewee is selling a book about a weight loss cure; a set of guidelines explaining how to lose weight witho ut any deprivation or exercise, only occasionally interrupted in her relentless flow by an interviewer seemingly in on the act. Stenbom performs both characters in a mirror image that shifts the film away from straightforward re-enactment reflecting back the neurotic inner chitchat of the consumer, and the perpetual sales pitch cloaked beneath the guise of junk science and daytime Tv.