Saturday, September 27, 2014

Matt Stokes: "In Absence of the Smoky God" Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK

Image: Matt Stokes in Absence of the Smoky God, 2014. (Production still) Dual channel HD Film and Audio installation, 7.24 minutes.  Commissioned by Site Gallery and Sensoria Festival. Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery


Matt Stokes

In Absence of the Smoky God

Site Gallery
1 Brown Street 
Sheffield S1 2BS, UK


27th September - 8th November 2014


Site Gallery presents In Absence of the Smoky God, a major new commission by artist Matt Stokes. Taking the form of a two-screen video and audio installation, the work is inspired by hidden Sheffield locations, sci-fi literature and Barry Hines' 1984 BBC TV production Threads, which portrayed a fictional cold-war nuclear attack on Britain.


Filmed on location in Sheffield, Threads chronicled the before, during and after effects of atomic detonations on the city's citizens. 30 years after its original broadcast, Stokes envisions a more fantastical post-apocalyptic tale by imagining the impact of such an event on the human body, and its social and cultural consequences.


Collaborating with composer Ben Gaunt and a cast of 10 Sheffield-based vocalists, he has created a vision of a transformed society in which archaic customs and systems prevail. In this futuristic world, the human voice and other functions, have been affected by radiation sickness and environmental diseases.


Against this backdrop, Stokes and his collaborators explore the possibilities of shifts in communication through altered speech patterns and capabilities. This manifests itself with two languages being spoken by two different societies. One society survives in a lamp-lit underworld, communicating via a form of mutated English and clipped sounds, whilst the second lives in a scorched overground environment conversing via a form of tonal expression. Heard together the two different groups produce conflicting vocal sounds, which as the work progresses, move closer to each other, from disharmony to harmony, eventually attempting to achieve union.


The gallery will also house a selection of printed materials from Barry Hines' archive, which are on loan from the University of Sheffield Library. Elements include papers and images relating to the filming of Threads 30 years ago, scripts and manuscripts annotated by Barry Hines and the original BBC press release from the televised broadcast. Letters and press cuttings following the broadcast on 23 September 1984 give insight into the reaction to Threads, and the social and political interest in the imagined aftermath of nuclear attack.


About the artist:


Matt Stokes is based in Blaydon-on-Tyne. Recent solo-shows include Grundy Art Gallery (UK), Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Germany), De Hallen Haarlem (Netherlands), CAAC (Spain), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (UK) and Arthouse (USA). His practice stems from inquiries into events and beliefs that shape people's lives and identities. Music - its history, subcultures and socio-political effects - often provides the catalyst for researching and forming collaborative relationships with communities. These collaborations develop into films, installations and events, which build upon collective knowledge and skills.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Extended until 4th October: Eric Bainbridge 'Late 90's Constructions' Workplace London

Image: Eric Bainbridge, Late 90's Constructions, Installation view Workplace London. Photo: Wig Worland

Eric Bainbridge

Late 90's Constructions


8th August - 4th October 2014


Workplace London

61 Conduit Street



Friday and Saturday, 10am - 6pm

(and by appointment)


tel: 44 (0)207 434 1985 


'Late 90's Constructions' brings together a body of works made by Bainbridge in 1997 that specifically address the history of Modernism and the traditional material hierarchies of Modernist Sculpture. In these works Bainbridge employs ubiquitous 'low - grade' materials such as melamine faced chipboard and dental floss to reappraise a Formalist vocabulary. That a material can be 'second - hand' and in some way dirtied and devalued by its former use - yet be explored for its aesthetic potential nevertheless, sits at odds with the Modernist ideal of 'truth to materials' and the inevitable distillation of form and material towards a refined 'pure' essence. In contrast to this reductivist impetus Bainbridge emphasises the 'subordinate' conditions of temporal normality, liberating the autonomous Art object via the absurd patina of everyday life.


'...the small scale of these sculptures allows for various references - constructivism, architecture, the amateur 'string picture', the still life etc. Although I don't consider them as maquettes, the size of the work enables an active imaginative relationship to the object, i.e. it is easy to fantasize about their potential large scale and environmental potential. I wanted to continue exploring the aesthetic, status, and value of the material by using a language that was recognizably modernist. It seemed important that the works 'belonged' to something historical. I like the idea* that if all things were destroyed and we had to remake the contents of museums without "special" materials maybe we would use melamine and dental floss...'

Eric Bainbridge, 2014


Eric Bainbridge was born in Consett, County Durham, UK in 1955. He completed a Masters in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London in 1981. Frequently cited as one of the most influential British artists working in contemporary sculpture Bainbridge has exhibited in important group exhibitions throughout his career such as "Material Culture" at the Hayward Gallery, London, and "British Art of the 80's and 90's" at IMMA in Dublin, he was recently included in "Modern British Sculpture" at the Royal Academy, London. Solo exhibitions include "View Points" The Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, "Eric Bainbridge" at The ICA Boston, "Style, Space, Elegance" at The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and recently 'Forward Thinking' at MIMA, Middlesbrough and 'Steel Sculptures' at Camden Art Centre. Bainbridge's work is in significant international collections including the Stedelijk Collection, Arts Council England Collection and the Tate Collection. Bainbridge lives and works in Sunderland, Hartlepool and London.


from 'Mastering The Art of Ventriloquism' an essay by Penelope Curtis in 'Eric Bainbridge: Works 1991 - 1997, Cornerhouse - Delfina' published by Cornerhouse Press, ISBN 0 948797 48 7


Forthcoming exhibitions include Eric Bainbridge, Workplace Gateshead, 20th September - 25th October 2014.

Workplace will be presenting a solo booth of Eric Bainbridge at Frieze Art Fair, Regent's Park, London, 15th - 18th October 2014 (Booth H10)


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Workplace Gallery at The Manchester Contemporary 2014: Jennifer Douglas solo presentation

Image: Jennifer Douglas Untitled (painting #3), 2014, Floor paint and carbon on canvas, 50 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK


Jennifer Douglas

Stand 315

The Manchester Contemporary


Preview 25th  September 2014

(by invitation only)

26th - 28th September 2014


Old Granada Studios
Quay Street
M60 9EA


Workplace Gallery are delighted to present a solo stand of new painting and sculpture by Jennifer Douglas at The Manchester Contemporary 2014.

As part of her recent solo exhition at Workplace Gallery Gateshead Douglas presented a single painting entitled If walls had eyes. The 60 x 42 cm painting on canvas was painted blue and repeatedly punctured with mutiple screw holes and Rawl plugs. Referencing both the Buchi and Tagli (holes and slashes) of Lucio Fontana's paintings and the romantic escape of the dusk sky this work more specifically referred to a battered old industrial breeze block wall that has been recurrently over-painted and drilled into without consideration for aesthetics or meaning. If walls had eyes prompted an entirely new body of work presented for the first time in Manchester.


Jennifer Douglas was born in 1975, in Amersham, UK. She studied at Newcastle University and Glasgow School of Art. Exhibitions include Jennifer Douglas, Workplace Gallery Gateshead, UK; Surface, The Civic, Barnsley, UK; Collecting Contemporary Art, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead; Exit Strategy, Tramway, Glasgow, UK; The Short Score, DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery, Durham; You Shall Know Our Velocity, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; FANTASTICA, Grundy Art Gallery & Museum, Blackpool; ROTATE, Contemporary Art Society, London; Northern Futures, The Civic, Barnsley, UK. She was the winner of 2D Salon Art Prize 2012, and Northern Futures. Jennifer Douglas lives and works in Gateshead, UK.


For a preview of available works please email:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mike Pratt: 'Zamboni for the Moose' Gastatelier Leo XIII, Tilburg, NL

Image: Mike Pratt Folded Napkin, 2014, Styrofoam and enamel paint 33 x 28 x 6 cm. (MP0268) Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery

Zamboni for the Moose

Gastatelier Leo XIII

18 September untill 21st of September from 16.00 untill 20.00
Concert by Nancy Acid on Sunday 16.00 as part of the Incubate Festival

Who are the Manitoba Moose? These words might conjure prosaic scenes of a ponderous two-meter elk traversing the Canadian tundra while pummeled by icy arctic winds, but this is not the case. The Moose were a defunct third-rate ice hockey team. Who would mount the hockey ring day in and day out, etching their dreams of Turner Cup glory into a seemingly static two-dimensional crystalloid plane. As they skate to and fro, the heat and friction created by foot-mounted steel blades branded conscious intentions of victory into a slick watery canvas whose superficial banality exhibits the Moose' daily rituals of affirmation and comradery, despite the overwhelming likelihood of defeat. As these ice bound pugilists glide with the serene grace of a Russian ballet company, they begin to zig-zag in a closed practiced formations resembling a Big Moose as the offensive tactics of the coach ask for a wider field. Looking closer at each player's swollen face reveals mouths agape with condescending piano key grins and vacant eyes screwed towards the fabled Dirac sea materializing below their tired feet.

Press Release for Zamboni for the Moose by Laurence Henriquez:

As the debauched screeches of revelry, the modern notions of positivism and empirical reality begin to fade away, the etchings emanate fiery amber and resemble the edges of long forgotten occult geometries, hermetic prostrations that strive to illuminate transcendental truths that exist beyond the material cosmos. The ritual only becomes complete upon the entrance of a peculiar and indelible contraption known simply as the Zamboni, whose job it is to clean and resurface the ice anew. The Zamboni is our Hermes, on a quest of transmuting perpetual loss into victory, nigredo to albedo.

With the Moose as their Virgil, this summer Juliette Jongma gallery presents Zamboni for the Moose, curated by Juliaan Andeweg. With participation by the artists: Thomas Raat (NL), Florian & Michael Quistrebert (FR), Gareth Nyandoro (ZW), Tamy Ben Tor (IL), Miki Carmi (IL), Mike Pratt (UK), Anne de Vries (NL), Kareem Lotfy (EG), Paul Geelen (NL), Anders Nordby (NO), Timmy van Zoelen (NL), Nancy Acid (AW), Julian Sirre (NL).

Gastatelier Leo XIII
Leo XIII Straat 90H
5046 KK Tilburg

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eric Bainbridge / Sophie Lisa Beresford - Preview: Friday 19th September 2014 6pm - 8pm at Workplace Gallery Gateshead

Workplace Gallery is delighted to invite you to the opening of two parallel solo exhibitions

Eric Bainbridge / Sophie Lisa Beresford

Preview: Friday 19th September 2014, 6 - 8pm


Workplace Gallery

The Old Post Office

19 - 21 West Street




Exhibitions continue: 20th September - 25th October 2014

Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm or by appointment


Kindly supported by:



Thursday, September 04, 2014

Matt Stokes: "Metarave I – « it’s only a fantasy »" WallRiss, Fribourg, Switzerland

Image: Matt Stokes (conversation texts - Banner No.1) 2006, printed silk-screen inks and acrylic on canvas tarpaulin 300 x 400 cms. Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery


METARAVE I - « it's only a fantasy »

Varis 10, Fribourg
Preview 5th September 18:00

Mathis Altmann
HR Giger Mia Goyette
Tillman Kaiser
Emanuele Marcuccio
Frédéric Post
Pamela Rosenkranz
Lorenzo Senni
Timur Si-Qin
Matt Stokes
Anne de Vries

Performance 20h : Tinguely Sound (live)
Metarave I - Collective Transcendence Party
05.09.2014, 21h30, Bad Bonn Club

IVVVO (live)
Throne (live)
Grey Chalk
DJ Danse Noire

It is twenty years since the great days of the Gugelmann megaraves in Roggwil, near Langenthal. It was also in 1994 that Netscape Navigator 1.0 came on the market and what was then the new World Wide Web began to become popular. Taking this look back as its starting point, "Megarave-Metarave" deals with artistic responses to the aesthetic, social, eco¬nomic and political questions thrown up by digital life and considers the historical traces of the futuristic promises of rave culture and the early web. The exhibition is part of the cooperation project Megarave-Metarave by Kunsthaus Langenthal and WallRiss Fribourg and includes exhibitions and events in both institutions and a publication. With the kind support of Pro Helvetia.

WallRiss also wants to thank Pro Helvetia, Roth Echafaudages, Anyma Fribourg, Belluard Bollwerk International, Vitromusée Romont, Frank R Communication, Lowrider, Danse Noire, Bad Bonn, Jean Tinguely.


Metarave takes the multiple imaginaries of rave culture and the utopias of the early internet emancipatory public sphere as the fertile ground out of which emerges a contemporary art exhibition. The exhibition is thought as a tactic to produce a specific hallucinated history of the present. It projects itself as if it was a body found in state of shock, discovered in a epistemic state of confusion, not knowing exactly when and where it is. Here, rave and early web occupy the place of mnemonic objects that can never fully be grasped. The body of the exhibition acts as if being in touch with them, without being able to define them as something experienced or only a dream vision of a now distant past. Colliding past and present the idea of rave/web and that of a contemporary art exhibition also aims at opening a future beyond any sense of justification.

This gesture defines itself as stupid: acting "as if" knowing to be wrong but not being able to act differently. But acting stupid is here a reaction to a "stupor". This strategy aims at diversion: only once the common sense history suspended can one approach the actual domestication of the senses, the current disorienting tension between the past the actual and the future, the now invisible that so vividly shapes our vanishing bodies and souls; a sense of acceleration and the vertigo we experience mixed with a feeling of despair concerning what one should do (disappear or mutate).

Something has played a trick on us, or are we just fooling ourselves: the nineties come to us as the new "when it all began", a date in the pop simulator with 2001, 1984, 1969 or 72, 1949, the nineties: all strangely mixed up with a relation to seventies flair of pastness, to neo-conceptualism flirting in a love-hate affair with neo-media art, to cyber/eco materialism, to the mourning nostalgia of the end, or nihilist impulses. The nineties are not a past that we can think in a linear term. The nineties aren't the nineties' seventies, nor the sixties' twenties, etc

If the nineties are a place in time, they are more a contemporary multitude made out of nostalgia, futurity, origine, the absence of present, our goal; images and sensations of all kind, a site that allows us to fool ourselves in the historical sublime.
Oscillating in one's performances of the self, one wants to win or to die. Self-historicisation and lies: be it the 90s internet or the emergence of the rave phenomena, both act as new sites of techno-sociality we fantasize, a dialectical image, including things some have missed, some others miss: raves, global techno-tribalism, communion, speed and futurity, aliens encounters, l'"enfance de l'art". Here, nostalgia is not only romantic, but always already a site of capital investment of the affect, a systemic weakness thought a traumatic site where a body can emerge.

More rationally, can one consider that the movements that shaped the 90's are kind of avant-garde esthetic position to what is now in form with a new generation of artists, or that rave prescient of certain forms of socialisation now installed critically in the young contemporary art scene. If so, is this of any interest? Rather, what if the future preceded the past. To know we might have to forget about what we think it is to know, but we might also do "as if "we were in the nineties so to trick the melancholic regime of esthetics: when today was the dream of tomorrow. The moment of this generation we invoque is unspecific. Not defined by its age, it rather recognizes itself in the destructive character of an always already broken narrative of history, lost between the too early and to late. May this help us to understand the absurd behavior of the child of Megarave: Metarave.

For full program of Megarave-Metarave see: