Sourcebook is an exhibition of re-search impulses by artists Mandy El-Sayegh and Helena Hunter through their conceptual, material, and structural coincidences. In moving image form, it compiles aesthetic output in the layering of surfaces that can be experienced as cuts and transitions, aural notations in speech and poetry, or paratextual excess of found objects and frequencies.
Sourcebook reveals the ongoing show-and-tell between El-Sayegh, Hunter, and curator Renan Laru-an in their attempt to create art during a crisis of reunion. When commonly used tools in research have foisted incommensurability on context specificity, they accessed historicised content by reassembling linguistic markers that produce newly disambiguated texts for reading. The collaboration finds itself in the margins of analytical script as it disappoints source materials, such as archival data and field reports, from the tradition of close reading.
What becomes available on the screen are ectoplasm and fascia, scrying and scanding, signals and traces fabricated to illuminate the strange attraction in old surfaces, haunted punctuations, unbound chapters, and disappearing specimens. Turning the pages of this sourcebook is a sequence of fleshing out in which image and voice, subtitles and illustrations, the analog and the digital are introduced into the film’s frame by many, different hands. Each scribal contribution recomposes the previous embroidery; every mark made anticipates the range and depth of imagination that blossoms in elaborating the first inscription. The coupling of things and gestures—the repetition of form in self-satisfying styles, the incompleteness of content in suspended investigations—integrates the incongruences of historical-research time into contemporary artistic stitches.
Binding El-Sayegh’s and Hunter’s appendices in Sourcebook recovers the collapse of the contextual in the informational. The exhibition transmits the pressure of parapraxes in the organs of cultural connection, once a scalable and representative context to work with. After the artist’s touch, all secondhand references can build their own improvisations that are willed to frustrate contact and initiate misadventures in our relationships: A cult-in-interstice to be had in a regime of juxtapositions that never fulfilled their promises.
Sourcebook is made possible through the British Council Connections Through Culture with additional support from UCL Anthropology.
OFFLINE EXHIBITION: LUX Library, Waterlow Park Centre
Sourcebook is on view at the LUX Library from 27 January to 3 March 2022. Open: Wed-Sat, 12-4pm
ONLINE EXHIBITION: LUX Online
In conjunction with the physical exhibition Sourcebook will be streaming on the LUX website from 27 January to 3 March 2022. Watch Sourcebook here