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What It Is Not (touring programme)

Various Artists (What It Is Not)

UK, 2010
59 minutes, B&W/colour, Sound
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

What it is Not brings together a selection of new works by UK-based artists. Against the new as a merely contemporary form of visibility, the works in this programme consistently interrogate these terms, their own guises, structures and language. This presentation of their means of representation acts to displace the works’ own logic. Here reference is reflexive, a sort contrapuntal relation between form and deformation, past and present. Both product of labour and autonomous object, the new work is and is not the thing-in-itself. The new is, in this sense, negative, a duplicitous and illusory new, gone as soon as it is discerned (see below for full programme details).

Ed Atkins Death Mask 2: The Scent (UK 2010, 8’19, video, colour , sound)
Mark Aerial Waller Phantom Avantgarde (UK 2010, 8’10, 16mm transferred to video, b&w, sound)
Mark Leckey Concrete Vache (UK 2010, 25’00, video, colour , sound)
Laure Prouvost The Artist (UK 2010, 10’10, video, colour , sound)
James Richards Misty Suite (UK, 2009, 6’0, video, colour , sound)
David Raymond Conroy Ramon Requilman Live (UK 2010, 6’09, video, colour , sound)

What it is Not / New Works UK is curated by Gil Leung for LUX
Gil Leung is Distribution Manager at LUX and editor of VERSUCH journal.

9 December 2010 – Launches Whitechapel , London
18 December 2010 – D21 Kunstraum , Leipzig. Performance by David Raymond Conroy
21 January 2011 – OUTPOST, Norwich. Performance by David Raymond Conroy
March 2011 – ARTPROJX CINEMA, New York. ARTPROJX at the SVA Theatre , New York in association with THE ARMORY SHOW & VOLTA NY
10 April 2011 – Belfast Film Festival, Digital Arts Studios, Belfast
17 April 2011 – Cinematek , Norsk filminstitutt , Oslo
5 May 2011 – S1 Artspace , Sheffield. Performance by David Raymond Conroy
26 May 2011 – Signals Media Art Centre, Colchester
27 May 2011 – Limerick City Gallery, Limerick. As part of INFLUX Art Fair
27 May 2011 – Eastside Projects, Birmingham. Performance by Heather Phillipson
30 June 2011 – CCA , Glasgow. Screening with Ed Atkins
19 November 2011 – Arnolfini , Bristol
15 January 2012 – Traffic, Dubai

Information for venues
The programme is available as a Quicktime file or Digibeta tape for single screenings. Price £75 (+VAT) for UK venues, £150 (+VAT) for Overseas venues including shipping and pdf printable posters/programme notes for audiences. Preview DVDs for preview and press are available on request. The curator Gil Leung and/or artists may be available to introduce the programme if costs can be covered, please contact LUX to discuss.

For more information on Ed Atkins see www.cabinet.uk.com
For more information on David Raymond Conroy see www.seventeengallery.com
For more information on Mark Leckey see www.cabinet.uk.com
For more information on Laure Prouvost see LUX
For more information on James Richards see LUX
For more information on Mark Aerial Waller see LUX

Programme contents

Ed Atkins Death Mask 2: The Scent
(UK 2010, 8’19, video, colour, sound)
Death Mask 2: The Scent brings together complex and enigmatic fragments, cinematic, literary and fetishistic, to destroy and intersect its own bizarre and moribund nature. From Madame Tussaud to Cannibal Holocaust, the work conflates referential points acting to ingratiate their object while simultaneously destructing any contingent logic.

Mark Aerial Waller Phantom Avantgarde
(UK 2010, 8’10, 16mm transferred to video, b&w, sound)
Phantom Avantgarde is a film housed within its own display case. The image can be viewed both on the screen, and on the mirror opposite, allowing for two separate perspectives on the work. Here we are presented withe the document or remains of this iteration. The film itself is made up of collage elements, photocopied and enlarged to life-sized scale from a selection of key films of the cinema of existentialism, as well as images of Parisian intellectuals of the mid 1960’s. Once removed from their historical cultural reference, Waller reconfigures the cut out figures as a parade of mummified bodies, narrated through subtitled text from Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s novel, Journey to the End of the Night. The figures on parade are not purely reference points to their origins of creation, but become charged receptacles of culture, living again in a parallel situation, curated and directed in a new constellation.

Mark Leckey Concrete Vache
(UK 2010, 25’00, video, colour, sound)
Vache Concrete or Ten Years within a Contemporary British Art Gallery as Scripted by Itself, splices together footage and texts from past exhibitions and publications to create an evocative stream of consciousness narrated by an authoritative computer generated voice:So this is an attempt to capture the atmosphere of a classic British institution with rudimentary pictures. Its formal qualities coincidentally referencing the gridded master plan of the host city, Milton Keynes. Not simply documents of places, they explore the poetic and continuing possibility of private reflection. Images that represent the chaotic forces of sex and money. The resulting work embodies a distinctive playfulness and inquisitive curiosity into the dynamics – architectural, spatial and aural – of the gallery, town hall, factory, and bank. [Excerpt from Mark Leckey and Martin McGeown’s ‘Vache Concrete’ transcript]

Laure Prouvost The Artist
(UK 2010, 10’10, video, colour, sound)
Prouvost employs the rhetoric of conventional forms of narration to blur boundaries between the viewers’ perception of the fictional narrative and the reality of the installation. The rhythm and pace of the editing in her films undermines any straightforward attributions of meaning while at the same time retaining an alluring and beguiling quality. Not to be perceived as a ‘set’ but rather a cacophony of film, painting, sculpture, text and sound, the physical elements in the installation of The Artist become the characters for the ‘film’ and the audience faced with so much information, (a dog barking, a voice calling, ‘to look here… no here!’, heavy blankets and paintings suspended from the ceiling dividing the space, a hand pointing at objects), become at once lost, emphatic and inherently part of the work.

James Richards Misty Suite
(UK, 2009, 6’0, video, colour, sound)
Richards uses the accumulation and reassembly of imagery as a devotional and elegiac process; the archetypes of the mixtape and of the souvenir create and demonstrate the obsession of the fan, the transformation of the mass archive into a personal one. He proposes an arena of subjectivity distinct from the one bounded by commerce and the media, and in so doing redefines processes of making and showing.

David Raymond Conroy Ramon Requilman Live
(UK 2010, 6’09, video, colour, sound)
In Ramon Requilman Live we are presented with a certain tension between a device, or a technique and a sincerity or honesty. The subject of the work is complex because there is a strained relationship between the work’s attempt at depicting and thus comenting on the reality aside from it, whilst at once needing to reflect on its relationship to its own reality, its own construction and presentation. As such the work slips between notions of authenticity, manipulation and irony, between affecting sincerity and effective design.