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Performance Event

Of Other Spaces Closing Performance Event

Of Other Spaces

Closing Performance Event

Saturday 4 March 2017, 2:00 – 6:00pm

Performances by Anne Bean, He Chengyao, Siôn Parkinson & Rhubaba Choir

With film screenings by Rose English and Monica Ross 
along with a collective reading conceived by Annabel Nicolson

Summoning the spirit of Hannah Arendt’s ‘space of appearance’, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? exhibition and event programme at Cooper Gallery proposes the body as an event. Standing among and between others, the body is a resistant otherness, queering and questioning its own appearance. 

Qualifying the essential liveness of the body and appropriating it as both medium and content, Of Other Spaces concludes on Saturday 4 March with an afternoon of live performances by the legendary Anne Bean, preeminent Chinese performance artist He Chengyao and “She Town” based artist Siôn Parkinson with Rhubaba Choir.

Anne Bean’s new performance I think you move me .....so c’mon move me now is an intermittent 45 year conversation around Feminism between Anne Bean 1972 and Anne Bean 2017. Moody and the Menstruators join in the groove, as does an ongoing dialogue with the artist Alexis Hunter.

Siôn Parkinson has worked with Rhubaba Choir on a performance work Blind Love Bad Taste to be presented in Cooper Gallery. Enveloping the gallery space with voice and text, Parkinson and the Choir will speak in a collective voice to conjure a multispecies animal completely other to our own form. The performance draws from a peculiar image of jumbled sea creatures made up of an ancient, foul-smelling shark and two worms permanently attached to her eyes.

He Chengyao will present a durational action in Cooper Gallery Project Space through-out four hours of the event. An intensely powerful form of self-expression and a challenge against social stigmas surrounding the power structure in social and institutional systems, her work foregrounds the dilemma of human existence encountered during current ‘dark times’. 

The event will be punctuated by screenings of artist’s film by Rose English and Monica Ross along with a participatory collective reading conceived by Annabel Nicolson in the spirit of feminist collective working.

Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? is a two-chapter contemporary art exhibition and event programme at Cooper Gallery and off site venues in “She Town” Dundee. Inherently radical, dissonant and often luxuriantly subversive, the programme situates feminist thinking as a provocative and cogent mode of creative and, above all, critical inquiry that offers a perspective on today’s politics.

 

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Of Other Spaces Closing Performance took place on 4 March 2017, with live performances by He Chengyao, Siôn Parkinson & Rhubaba Choir, and Anne Bean, as well as a public collective reading of A Room of One's Own by Annabel Nicolson. Photography courtesy of Erika Stevenson.  

Of Other Spaces /// Closing Performance /// 4 March 2017 

The performances by He Chengyao, Siôn Parkinson & Rhubaba Choir and Anne Bean were filmed courtesy of Rob Page. 

 

 

 

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Biographies:

Anne Bean

A central and inspirational figure in Performance Art over 45 years, Anne Bean, born in Zambia, is intentionally a difficult artist to categorize. Since the 1970s, this ‘uncatchability’ has been a purposefully created strategy to question style, consistency, career and categorization itself. Morphing between numerous contexts, materials, media, collaborations, ideologies and manifestations she challenged herself to follow a trajectory that allowed for fluid, direct and dynamic response, resulting in a huge range of solo and collaborative projects as well as curatorial enterprises worldwide.

Between 1971-74, Bean was part of the successful cover-band Moody & the Menstruators which was initiated while the group were at art school in the 70s. In the Chapter Two exhibition Bean presents a moving-image portrait of the band Moody & the Menstruators collaging iconic footage from the band's performances across Europe. Alongside the video work, press cuttings, photographs and reflections from the group's activities are presented. 

For the Of Other Spaces Chapter One exhibition, Bean presented three new works from her ongoing series of works exploring her relationships with five of her artist contemporaries who recently passed away. Bean intends for these works to be a ‘femage,’ with rather than for these five women, with whom, over time, she had discussed art/life strategies and negotiations. Three of these artists, Alexis Hunter, Rose Finn-Kelcey and Monica Ross were featured in Chapter One of Of Other Spaces and their works were in dialogue with Bean’s new sculptural installations. In addition, Bean premiered a new live performance at the 12-Hour Action Group on Saturday 3 December 2016.

Bean has exhibited in numerous solo and has initiated/participated in numerous collaborative projects, travelling through Britain, Europe, America, Mexico, Southern Africa and Japan, at venues including Palais Des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Creative Time Inc., New York; America Centre, Paris; Whitechapel Gallery, London. Bean has represented British Performance Art in Imports, The Kitchen Gallery, New York; British Radical Theatre at a banquet for Chancellor Schmidt and Henry Kissinger in Bonn; has twice participated in the Hayward Annual. Her British Council Creative Collaborations award, 2009, led to ongoing worldwide work with women from countries of conflict. She received a Legacy: Thinker in Residence Award, resulting in a major work, TAPS, 2010 including over 80 artists, engaged in improvisatory experimental practice and later inspired A Transpective, shown in Venice 2013 and The ABCD ness of it all, an Acme Artists Now commission, 2014. In 2015, she was artist in residence at Whitechapel Gallery and presented a major commission at London Contemporary Music Festival. 

 

Rose English

A uniquely interdisciplinary artist, Rose English emerged from the conceptual art, dance and feminist scenes of 1970s to become one of the most influential performance artists working today. As a writer, director and performance artist, English combines elements of theatre, circus, opera and poetry to explore themes of gender politics, the identity of the performer and the metaphysics of presence.

English’s seminal 1975 performance work Quadrille is exhibited in Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces by way of a Super 8mm colour film transferred to video. Staged among the dressage competitions at the Southampton Show and featuring six dancers dressed with ponies' tails, aprons, knee-high socks and heeled-hooves, the work delves deeply into the aesthetics and political connotations of choreographed bodies. English’s legendary collaborative performances Berlin (1976) and Mounting (1977) featured in the Of Other Spaces Chapter One exhibition through ephemeral art works documenting the performances and a new audio visual composition by the artist. Made in collaboration with Sally Potter and performed in four parts between a squatted regency house, an ice rink and an Olympic swimming pool, Berlin is one of their most celebrated works, enacting a reflexive critique on the spectacle of the ‘event’ itself. Mounting, an interdisciplinary performance of theatre, dance, text and visual art by Rose English, Sally Potter and Jacky Lansley took place at Modern Art Oxford and parodied through political irony and subversive wit a Frank Stella exhibition on display at the time. 

Ranging from site-specific performances and collaborations, her recent exhibitions include Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980’s Britain (Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, 2014), The Eros of Understanding (Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen, 2014), Test Run: Performance in Public (Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, 2015), Liberties (Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, 2015), A Premonition of the Act (Camden Arts Centre, London, 2015) and Rose English (The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire as part of The Grand Tour, 2016). English has received numerous awards for her performances including the Time Out Performance Award, the Wingate Scholarship and the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists. Her publications include Abstract Vaudeville: the work of Rose English which is a comprehensive monograph documenting her 40-year career to date and was published by Ridinghouse in 2014.

 

He Chengyao (b. 1964, China) is an internationally established Chinese artist whose work has been widely exhibited in China, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

He Chengyao’s work often draws on her mother’s experiences and pain of living in China in the 1960s and 70s as a young woman who became pregnant out of wedlock and subsequently suffered a metal breakdown and ran shouting through the streets naked day and night. Her work is both an intensely powerful form of self-expression and a challenge against social stigmas surrounding mental illness and the power structure in social and institutional systems.

Chapter One featured the photographic work of He Chengyao’s infamous piece Opening the Great Wall in 2001 in which He spontaneously enacted a performance by taking off her top and walking partially nude among German artist H. A. Schult’s installation of one thousand ‘Trash People’ on the Great Wall. In this piece He reconstructed the living space of her childhood under the spatial pressure of both the Great Wall and the ‘Trash People’, seeing them as symbols of a patriarchal society. The ceremonial act of imitating the insanity of her mother was also a comment on the modern myth that has ruined the lives of Chinese women and their identities. 

Recent exhibitions include Pain in Soul: Performance Art and Video Works by He ChengYao (Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, 2007), THIS IS IT (Alice Chilton Gallery, New York, 2011), ART OF ENCOUNTERING VI (Kologne, 2015) and Half the Sky: Chinese Women Artists (Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, 2016). She has previously participated in exhibitions at Tate Britain, Hayward Gallery, V&A Museum, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (Poland) and the Busan Biennial (South Korea).

 

Rose English

A uniquely interdisciplinary artist, Rose English emerged from the conceptual art, dance and feminist scenes of 1970s to become one of the most influential performance artists working today. As a writer, director and performance artist, English combines elements of theatre, circus, opera and poetry to explore themes of gender politics, the identity of the performer and the metaphysics of presence.

English’s seminal 1975 performance work Quadrille is exhibited in Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces by way of a Super 8mm colour film transferred to video. Staged among the dressage competitions at the Southampton Show and featuring six dancers dressed with ponies' tails, aprons, knee-high socks and heeled-hooves, the work delves deeply into the aesthetics and political connotations of choreographed bodies. English’s legendary collaborative performances Berlin (1976) and Mounting (1977) featured in the Of Other Spaces Chapter One exhibition through ephemeral art works documenting the performances and a new audio visual composition by the artist. Made in collaboration with Sally Potter and performed in four parts between a squatted regency house, an ice rink and an Olympic swimming pool, Berlin is one of their most celebrated works, enacting a reflexive critique on the spectacle of the ‘event’ itself. Mounting, an interdisciplinary performance of theatre, dance, text and visual art by Rose English, Sally Potter and Jacky Lansley took place at Modern Art Oxford and parodied through political irony and subversive wit a Frank Stella exhibition on display at the time. 

Ranging from site-specific performances and collaborations, her recent exhibitions include Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980’s Britain (Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, 2014), The Eros of Understanding (Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen, 2014), Test Run: Performance in Public (Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, 2015), Liberties (Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, 2015), A Premonition of the Act (Camden Arts Centre, London, 2015) and Rose English (The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire as part of The Grand Tour, 2016). English has received numerous awards for her performances including the Time Out Performance Award, the Wingate Scholarship and the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists. Her publications include Abstract Vaudeville: the work of Rose English which is a comprehensive monograph documenting her 40-year career to date and was published by Ridinghouse in 2014.

 

Siôn Parkinson

Siôn Parkinson (b.1978, Dundee, Scotland) Studied Fine Art at Slade School of Art, London (2007-2009), Central Saint Martins, London (2002-2005) & Die Universität der Kunste, Berlin (2004). Parkinson is an artist and singer. His performances often see him appearing in costume to invoke the voice of an animal, variously a burning elephant, a stuffed walrus, a lovelorn worm, and most recently a seal who talks and vomits.

Recent exhibitions and preformances include HEY!, Glasgow International (2016), Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking, CCA Glasgow (2016) – both collaborations with artist Richard Whitby and Organo Humano (The Post-Human Gospel) with Lawrence Lek as part of Syndrome Liverpool (2014). Previous events have taken place at David Roberts Art Foundation (2013), ICA London, Limoncello London (2012), Autolitalia London (2010) and Café Oto (2010). In 2012 Parkinson participated in the 48 Hour Splash residency at Dundee Contemporary Arts and in February 2011 he participated in the Live Art Residency at Chisenhale Gallery. 

Rhubaba Choir is a community of singers based at Rhubaba Gallery and Studios in Edinburgh. The Choir acts as a commissioning platform for new works providing invited artists, musicians and writers with the resource of collective voices as a material.

See more at rhubaba.org

 

Monica Ross (1950-2013, UK) was an artist working with video, drawing, installation, text and performance who first came to prominence as a Feminist artist and organizer in the early 1970s. Ross was co-responsible for collective initiatives such as Feministo (1975-77/78), a collaborative postal art event that evolved into a travelling exhibition, most famously shown as Portrait of the Artist as a Housewife at the ICA, 1977, Kunstlerinnen International 1877-1977, Schloss Charlottenberg, Berlin, 1977, and the touring project Fenix with Kate Walker and Su Richardson. Both projects made visible the conditions and constraints of the working class female artist with Fenix (1978-80) making studio practice public by appropriating galleries as workspaces.

In her work Monument to Working Women (1985), we see the artists Shirley Cameron, Monica Ross and Evelyn Silver dressed as working women, intervening in a public site where History – in the monument of John Bright, an influential industrialist – misrepresents the living memories of workers, specifically women workers, and their experience of the relations between labour and capital.  Her much admired text History or Not (2000), reflecting on the art, activism and relations of her women artist peers in the 70s & 80s, will be featured in the exhibition through an audio recording of her daughter Alice Ross reading the piece.

Her works have been presented in numerous exhibitions at esteemed art spaces since the 1970s including ICA, London (1977 & 1979), Bonner Kunstverein (1981), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (1983), John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (1990), Kunsthalle Bregen (2001), Hatton Gallery, Newcastle (2004) and Beaconsfield, London (2009). Her seminal work Anniversary—an act of memory was performed at sixty venues in the UK and abroad and concluded with the final performance taking place at the Human Rights Council of United Nations in Geneva on 14 June 2013. Two major survey exhibitions of Ross’ work are forthcoming at Chelsea Space, London (2016) and Gallery North at Northumbria University in Newcastle (early 2017).

www.monicaross.org www.actsofmemory.net www.youtube.com/user/actofmemory

  

Image courtesy of He Chengyao. 

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Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?
 
is a two-chapter contemporary art exhibition and event programme at Cooper Gallery and off site venues in “She Town” Dundee. Having accomplished Chapter One on the high note of the 12-Hour Action Group in the winter of 2016, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? continues its dialogue through word and deed in Chapter Two.

The title of the programme acknowledges the work of Hannah Arendt who understood politics as a ‘space of appearance’; a process of being seen and heard by others. Deprived of this, gestures whether artistic, social or political, cannot herald in new alternatives. To do this, gestures must be provoked into becoming an event. Always without precedence an event ruptures and shatters how ourselves and the world appear. Transgressing prejudices and assumptions an event is a moment that declares another world is possible. Summoning the spirit of Arendt’s ‘space of appearance’, Chapter Two proposes the body itself as an event.

Standing among and between others, the body is a resistant otherness, queering and questioning its own appearance. Protesting and speaking, confronting and mythologising, this questioning body utters its answer in performance. Immersed in a depth of meaning and dissonance, the artists’ films and live performances, two practices intertwined with feminist thought and action since the 1970s. Chapter Two of Of Other SpacesWhere Does Gesture Become Event? elaborates necessarily complex answers to the otherness of a questioning and critical body. 

Artists featured in Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? include Anne Bean, Cullinan Richards, Rose English, He Chengyao, Mary Kelly, Linder, Annabel Nicolson, Siôn Parkinson, Georgina Starr and Hanna Tuulikki.

Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? is a project initiated and curated by Cooper Gallery DJCAD University of Dundee and is supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Henry Moore Foundation, Kingston University and Scotland's Jute Museum @ Verdant Works.

For more information on the exhibition please visit the exhibition page for Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces

 

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