Sites and Citations

Image: Ruth Beale, England’s Pleasant Land: A Remake, 2013, Arc Issue 17.1

Ruth Beale, England’s Pleasant Land: A Remake, 2013, Arc Issue 17.1

                          SITES AND CITATIONS | 19 – 30 October 2016 Opening reception: 22 October, 4-6pm Ruth Beale Sandra Lahire Marie Yates Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round of Disobedient Films with composer Jamie Perera ONCA Centre for Arts and Ecology, 14 St George’s Place, Brighton, BN1 4GB Organised by Hemera Collective Sites and Citations is an exhibition that brings together artists, film-makers, composers, and academics who use research-led practice to interrogate the different modes of sharing and interpreting information and ideas relating to public space. In the context of the theme of Brighton Photo Fringe 2016 – the commons – and exhibiting in a space dedicated to the intersection of art and ecology, we will be considering these ideas through explorations of data and land ownership, the relationship between labour and resources, the spaces of activism, and how we define our public space. Ruth Beale’s work is situated between performance and publishing and is informed by writing, authorship and the framework of research and histories. In the fragments of the work England’s Pleasant Land: A Remake (2013), the artist revisits the subject matter of the 1939 pageant play by E.M. Forster that tells a story of the history of the countryside prior to Enclosure through to the present moment and its need for preservation. In its re-telling and re-imagining, here through a rehearsal script and posters, we are made aware of the pageant reenactment as a particularly linear, class-based, empirical telling of history, while highlighting the issues of preservation and ownership and the idea of historic/natural authenticity in contemporary notions of the countryside that endure today. Marie Yates’ Oppositional Frameworks 1(from Signals 1975 – 78) (1976) is an historic image-text artwork from a larger body of conceptual works undertaken for an exhibition at the Robert Self Gallery in 1978 together with the gallery’s publication of her bookwork “A Critical Re-evaluation of a Proposed Publication 1978” (photocopy available). Her long-standing (1971-8) project “The Field Workings” represent a developing progression of ideas about nature and culture and the context of the ‘field’ as a work of observation carried out in the natural environment. The viewer is invited to make observations and to consider their presence within the work, as well as their position within the established binary framework and categorisation that informs, not only, the dichotomy between nature and culture but of photographic/artistic seeing/vision and perhaps even our broader relationships with one another. In the experimental documentary film Serpent River (1989) by Sandra Lahire, the artist explores the impact of a uranium mining corporation on an area of Northern Ontario, Canada. Through fragments of audio interviews and moving image, Lahire focuses on the female labour workforce and the element’s potentially devastating effect on the body, together with the corporation’s neglect of the natural environment and the native Canadian community. Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round of Disobedient Films with composer Jamie Perera’s, Climate Symphony (2016) is a project that turns hard data on climate change into a symphony that tells the story what climate change means through sound. Through the sonification of publicly accessible datasets that cover anything from migration and weather patterns to ice flow, this project seeks to transform the language of action and activism in a way that doesn’t rely on visual tropes. The audio for the exhibition is created through a test lab where participants collectively select and perform the datasets and instrumentation for the symphony and follows a chronological narrative. LIST OF WORKS: 1, 2, 3: Ruth Beale, England’s Pleasant Land: A Remake, 2013, screen-print on wall, script, risograph posters 4: Marie Yates, Oppositional Frameworks 1 (from Signals 1975 – 78), 1976, set of 6 panels: colour & black and white archival inkjet prints with texts mounted on board, 30.5 x 35.25 cm each. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery 5: Sandra Lahire, Serpent River, 1989, SD video, Colour, Stereo, 30mins, Courtesy of LUX, London 6: Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round of Disobedient Films with composer Jamie Perera’s, Climate Symphony, 2016, audio. Please note: the Climate Symphony will begin every 20 minutes. EVENTS: Data Sonification Test Bed for a Climate Symphony Friday 21 October, 12-4pm at ONCA Take part in Climate Symphony’s first participatory lab at ONCA and learn more about Climate Symphony while generating and composing sound and music that will become part of the exhibition. Free to attend and open to all. RSVP through Eventbrite as places are limited Dr Louise Purbrick, University of Brighton, in discussion with Kay Watson, Hemera Collective Saturday 29 October, 2-3pm at ONCA An introduction to the works and concepts of the exhibition with discussion with Dr Louise Purbrick about land ownership, resources and labour. BIOGRAPHIES:
Ruth Beale’s works are informed by varying cultural expressions and the reordering of political and social ideas. In 2011 she presented the event series ‘Public Knowledge’ at Cubitt Gallery, the first in the new programme curated by Fiona Parry, and was part of ‘The Department of Overlooked Histories’ at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge. Her work takes on collaboration in themed discussions such as her ongoing ‘Miss B’s Salons’, and didactic performance such as ‘Art for Virtue’s Sake’ ICA, London, a lecture on the historical relationship between education and ‘culture as a social project’ and ‘The Aesthetics of Power’ Form Content, London (2010), a play about fetishisation of fascist architecture. Ruth Beale was born in the UK. She lives and works in London. Sandra Lahire was born in 1950. She studied Philosophy at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne (BA), Fine Art Film at St Martins School of Art (BA 1984) and Film & Environmental Media at the Royal College of Art (MA 1986). Her films have been shown nationally and internationally at cinemas and festivals including Creteil, Locarno, Berlin, Montreal, Sao Paolo, Turin, Jerusalem, Australia and the Philippines. Writings include Lesbians in Media Education published in Visibly Female (ed Hilary Robinson, Camden Press 1987) and articles for Undercut. She also wrote a musical score for Lis Rhodes’ film Just About Now. She passed away in 2001. Marie Yates (b. 1940) is known for her conceptual works addressing issues of representation, signification and sexual difference, in the form of installation, image and text. In the early 1960s she was also known as a painter and environmental sculptor. She continues to work presently through projection and installation projects. She has exhibited widely. Her installation works have appeared in many public sites in Britain and abroad, as well as in the collections of the Arts Council of England, the British Council and the Royal West of England Academy and in private collections. Her first major solo exhibition was in 1973 at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. She also exhibited in many women’s group shows in the 1980s, contributing to curating, organising and speaking at conferences and feminist events up and down the country.

Disobedient Films was established by artist-filmmakers Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round to disrupt traditional linear documentary and extract new angles and emotions around factual narratives. Their projects are disobedient in form and content – aiming to create an active form of storytelling which brings the audience into the experience.

Jamie Perera is composer / artist based in London. He undertakes sound mixes, music supervision, consultancy and runs a music library. He composes bespoke music for a wide range of clients in a variety of styles. The music features regularly on film, and television, and on NGO, corporate and commercial media campaigns. The exhibition is organised by Hemera Collective, a UK-based curatorial collective that specialises in photography and lens-based media, with research interests that range from social history and environmental subjects, to literature and contemporary art. Jaime Marie Davis, Ashley Lumb, Helen Trompeteler and Kay Watson are current members of Hemera Collective. Recent exhibitions include Secret Agent, Guest Projects, 2016 and Finnish Museum of Photography, 2015, Workshop in Light and Color: The Legacy of the New Bauhaus, University of New Mexico , 2016, Essays, Brighton Photo Fringe 2014, Diary: 1/20000, Jianyong (Coca) Dai, The Anatomy Museum, Chinese Visual Festival, 2014 and Building an Empire: The Photographic Factory of Valentine & Sons,