Tuesday 6 November 2012

GHost IV Exhibition: Presence and Absence

GHost IV: Presence and Absence -
 Haunted Landscapes and Manifesting Ghosts
Image: from 'Reisen' by Sharon Kivland 2011
St. John on Bethnal Green
200 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA (next to Bethnal Green tube)
December 6th 7th & 8th

 An exhibition and series of art events exploring the desire to materialise what is absent via the medium of haunted landscapes or through the manifestation of a ghost.
 Works have been selected in response to research seminars, held earlier this year, at UOL. The exhibition will feature audio visual installation plus a programme of performances and artists film screenings all sited throughout this atmospheric John Soane Church of St John Bethnal Green.
 The winter nights are long and dark and the church's stone floors breathe out cold vapours. Wrap up warm, or bring a blanket . Wander around the vestibule, belfry and gallery, haunted by manifestations of moving images, interventions and performances and entwined with the smell of incense. Then settle down in a pew and cast yourself adrift in the films and sounds of haunted landscapes, haunted seas.
Warming winter drinks will be served.

December 6th 6.00pm – 9.00pm
First Thursdays Opening Night
Exhibition of audio-visual installation and performances throughout the venue and continual screening of Haunted Landscapes, a selection of artists short films, in the nave .
December 7th 6.00pm – 10.00pm
The nave of st. Johns will play host to a programme of live soundscape performances and film screenings including an edited show reel of international films, “Haunted Sea” first shown at Folkestone Triennial 2011. Exhibition and performances throughout the venue.  
December 8th 2.30pm – 7.30pm
Exhibition of audio-visual installation throughout the venue and continual screening of Haunted Landscapes, a selection of artists short films, in the nave
7.30 – late: GHost selects John Carpenter’s The Fog for Phantasmagloria Film Night (note: there is an entry fee for the Fog screening – more details here)

Tymon Albrzykowski, Nick Baxter, Inez de Coo, Phillip Goodman, Romeo Grünfelder, Victoria Haviland, Birgitta Hosea, Calum F Kerr, Sharon Kivland, Ellen Lake & Chris Green, Mario Lautier Vella, Arabella Lee, Hayley Lock, Joanna McCormick, Amy McDonough, Jude Cowan Montague, MYSTERIUM, Anne Robinson, Eva Rudlinger, Sabine, Schöbel, Stasis 73, Pauline Thomas, Sally Waterman, Neil Wissink

Moving image installation and performance Thursday 6th, Friday 7th, Saturday 8th December

Pauline Thomas

Loomings’ DVD, 58 Seconds, no sound, 2009

Loomings’, is part of collection of ‘found moments’ that meditate on the sensation of time passing and the ephemeral. This simple observation of a silent - almost formless moment touches underlying tensions between appearance and disappearance, stillness and movement, emptiness and fullness. This fragile film suspends and lingers in a strange sadness, accompanied by vague awareness of presence, waiting and incompletion.
Pauline Thomas’s search to find an image where absence and duration might coexist started with painting and has evolved into moving image, which like time is always disappearing and therefore a continuous loss. Recent group shows include, ‘Open Water’, at Mottisfont Abbey, ‘Pilgrimage – Walking to Heaven’, St John on Bethnal Green and ‘Counting the Changes’ in Collaboration with Arabella Lee, Gloucester Cathedral.

Anne Robinson

'Alive Alive-O'
Single screen video work, B/W with sound, running time: 10mins, 10 seconds, 2012

'An Occulting Light'
Video Installation, B/W with sound, running time: 15mins./loop, 2007

Both of these works are concerned with the possibility of time travel.. 'remembered songs' as a kind of psychic architecture and the voice as spirit presence. In Alive Alive-O, a remembered song re-inhabits the strange and magical shape of an empty ruined boat, as an invocation. The film was shot in inside the hull of an 1895 lugger being restored in Penzance. I have memories of my dad singing Molly Malone, the haunted presence in the boat space. The soundtrack was made in collaboration with musician David Cross, formerly of King Crimson. An Occulting Light has been made using single frames and re-filmed fragments from the British war movie The Cruel Sea. In this new, slow film, time is expanded as if we are in an altered state of mind or heart. An ‘occulting light’ is a navigational beam interrupted by darkness.

Anne Robinson’s practice encompasses painting, moving image installations and performance and is concerned with the perception and politics of time passing in art.  She has shown work nationally and internationally, recently working with the Commonist Gallery and CGTV on film and singing interventions, and has published in: The Journal of Visual Arts Practice and The Journal of Media Practice as well as curating the event One More Time in October 2011. She has recently completed a PHd on temporality and painting and works with the moving image as an artist and educator, currently senior lecturer in Film at London Metropolitan University.

Birgitta Hosea
site specific performance, 10mins-3 hours, 2012

The cinema is the art of ghosts, a battle of phantoms… it’s the art of allowing ghosts to come back.” Jacques Derrida
Inspired by Victorian spirit photographs, this tableau vivant explores the act of mediation that is involved in the digital image making process. Taking the role of a techno-medium, I channel messages from film and radio through my multiple digital doubles and live projections of automatic writing, electronic ectoplasmic drawing and animation in an examination of the connections between a medium, such as film or digital code, through which a message is encoded, stored and transmitted and the psychic medium, a person who transmits messages from the spirit world.
Birgitta Hosea is a London-based media artist who works with expanded animation. Since studying at Glasgow School of Art and Central Saint Martins, she has exhibited widely in both the Uk and internationally. Her work is included in the Tate Britain archives and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and artists residencies. Most recently, she was artist in residence at Digital Arts and Animation Department, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA and at the Centre for Drawing, Wimbledon College of Art.  Recent exhibitions include Ghost Station at Bletchley Park, Chatter at the Cinematic Arts Gallery, Los Angeles and D R A F T a collaboration with M K Palamar at Parasol Unit. Birgitta is Research Leader for Performance and Course Director of MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins.

Mario Lautier Vella

Black and white High-Definition video on DVD player; 6 minutes, 48 seconds (looped) in found mirrored box with additional inner mirror. Dimensions variable. 2012

Domestic is inspired by Mario Lautier Vella's ongoing experiences of the supernatural and daily life in a haunted home. It explores ideas around the uncanny in the domestic space – how our homes shelter what we wish to keep secret and hidden, where the invisible becomes visible and the familiar becomes unfamiliar. The work also responds to notions of an invaded space by considering whether what we deem fearful or uncanny can actually provide a means of protection and safety and the ability to evade what we most fear. 
Biography: In 2009, artist Mario Lautier Vella discovered his home was haunted. A series of strange events prompted further investigation leading to regular séances and an attempt at a house cleansing. The ongoing haunting forms the basis of  the artist’s ‘Like Home’ project, with artwork exploring ideas around sensing and collaborating with the invisible, protection, evasion and the uncanny domestic space. Mario Lautier Vella was born in Malta. He lives and works in Hertfordshire.

Arabella Lee
'Illion East'
installation 5min, 2012
Illion East is a remote village in the west of Ireland that was struck by lighting in the 1970s and after the tragedy was abandoned. The land was sold and is slowly being reclaimed by a later planted forest.

(It is one of the many eroded and derelict villages and farms still visible in this rugged landscape, deserted either during the Famine or at a much later date.) This installation seeks to capture the past presence and spirit of the people who lived there while reflecting on the loss implicit in this site  
Biog: Recent exhibitions include 'Unhallowed', Walking to Heaven, The Belfry of St Johns on Bethnal Green. In Collaboration with Pauline Thomas, 'Counting the Changes', Gloucester Cathedral and also 'A time, and times, and half a time', The Belfry, St Johns.‬

Certum est quia impossible est.  Tertullian   (It is certain because it is impossible) 

Calum F. Kerr 
'Threshold Figure (Charon’s Obol Exchange)' 

Attican (Athenian) Obolus (Silver Coin), 449 B.C.
Those living on the threshold between life and death, presence and absence will experience a bearded, wild-looking figure. He will be blocking doorways, between vestibule and the nave, stairs and the balcony. In response to vistors answering a question he will place an edible coin in their mouths. The answer will be recorded, before they pass directly through his robes. Coins have been placed in the mouths of the dead for thousands of years through Hellenistic and Roman times to the early Christian era. In Greek culture 'Charon’s Obol' was a coin placed in the mouth of the deceased to pay Charon the Ferryman for passage across the river Acheron. At St John’s, Threshold Figure will aid the living cross to the other-side through this ancient ritual.
Calum F. Kerr is an interdisciplinary artist; his work embracing sculpture, performance, sound art and music. Histories and characterisation are important, as is direct engagement with the public. A peripatetic strain means performances are frequently mobile and benefit from multiple interrogations of the same location such as St Johns. He has performed at Tate Britain Late and in Shezad Dawoods film ‘FEATURE’ (2009), ‘Calling Out of Context’ at the ICA (2010), and ‘The Cage’, aas residency at New Art Gallery Walsall (2011) and at festivals in Bulgaria, Germany, The Netherlands and USA. Solo presentations include ‘And Many More...’ Weibke Morgan Gallery, 2007 and ‘Listen & Lawn’, Model Gardeners, 2010. He performs/ collaborates with Lonesome Cowboys from Hell and Flange Zoo

Phillip Goodman
Film looped, 1min .30, 2012

This is  a short film a made earlier in the year, its composed of a series of shorter videos all of my journey home from an exhibition in a bar called 'soul' the bus is bereft of soul, and of art, and yet i manifest both through the making of the video, the bus is also haunted by the disembodied voice of itself, and of other passengers, ones that you do not see on film, and in point of fact i do not remember seeing myself. the video is very simple and uncomplicated, it has no great narrative or story line it is simple and everyday, and yet, because of the way the bus shakes me, the video becomes very animate, the street lights shining through raindrops take on properties not their own... 
Phillip Goodman works with, photography, video making, music, sound art and writing. He regular exhibits with Re-kinal Arts at their annual exhibitions at Alexandra Palace and Queens Woods Hampstead.  He is a co-founder of the arts collective DELIA and also plays music with a number of different artists groups  including flange zoo and beats of madness.

Victoria Haviland
'Conversation With My Grandmother'
Script, computor text printout, 2012

'With the hand of my heart from the face of my remembrance; until what I wish for be unveiled and appear in sight out of its secret place'.     Le Geoff.
I explore relationships influenced by social history, memory and memorial.  Works contain clues of intention and expectation provided by past eras for the investigation into unreachable and unexplored worlds.  I seek to define and conflate differences and similarities between the act of medium-ship and of memorial.  On long solitary walks, I pass graveyards, litter, people, dogs. I absorb myself into the intensity of the approaching and passing of other walkers after which I loose myself to the silence, a back drop for memorial and for all that is lost. Through musings on the landscape I am able to remember and forget simultaneously. I sense memories exist within the trees and grasses, I can see them, they are invisible. I am reminded to remember that some memories are forgotten. Perhaps they exist; awaiting reclamation, suspended in animation within another dimension.
Victoria Haviland lives and works in London.  She is a graduate of fine art at Wimbledon College of Art. Recent exhibitions include: Wunderkammer at The Nunnery – Bows Arts Trust 2012,‘Expansive Mood’, Mansion House, City, group show curated by Sarah Woodfine and Paul Ryan, 2011 ‘Double the Vision My Eyes Do See’, group show curated by Soriah Rodrigez of Zoo Art Fair, WCA, 2011, ‘What the Folks Say’, Compton Verney Museum, Warwickshire, 2011, ‘Out of Bounds’, group show, Camden Arts Centre, curated by William Cobbing, 2010 and ‘Foyer’, group show, curated by Sarah Woodfine, WCA 2009

Haunted Landscapes Film Screening Thursday 6th and Saturday 7th December

Sharon Kivland

'Reisen: The limped waters of mountain lakes, The snow on alpine peaks and The smoke of steam trains.'

Film, 2011
The images in the films are photographs, from a series of works which the artist re-photographed from old postcards. The images also relate to two small pamphlets, entitled Reisen, which refer to the trains, train journeys, railway-lines, stations, station platforms, railway timetables, ticket collectors, and train compartments in the life and work of Sigmund Freud. Each film is subtitled ‘Every year Sigmund Freud went on holiday with his brother, Alexander’.
Sharon Kivland is an artist and writer and 'occasional curator' working in London and France. She holds a Masters in History of art, Goldsmiths College, University of London and a
Doctorate from The History of Art Department, University of Reading. She is a researcher at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, London, and a Visiting Fellow at the IGRS, University of London. She has exhibited widely in Europe and North America and is represented by DomoBaal, London, Galerie Bugdahn & Kaimer, Düsseldorf, and Galerie des petits carreaux, Paris. Publications include Freud on Holiday volume III. The Forgetting of a Proper Name
co-published by Cube Art Editions, Athens, and information as material, York 2011 and A Case of Hysteria, Book Works, London, 1999.

Hayley Lock

Title: Blue Light
Film, Duration: 11 mins 30 secs, 2012

Fusing stories from the past with elements from science fiction the film 'Blue Light' tells tales of madness, hysterics and awkward moments from blurred memories of times past. Filmed on the North Norfolk coast and Cromer Hall where Arthur Conan Doyle stayed and drew inspiration for his tale 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', Lock draws on stories of the ghost of The Black Shuck, a demon dog that is said to run the coastal and corpse paths from Sheringham to Overstrand, Enid Blyton's tales of 'The Secret Seven' where her characters are seen in awkward adulthood and Lock's talisman, the Dark Glass, an object that is used as an egress to another world.
Lock's practice straddles fact and fiction, truth and the fake. Weaving new narratives of history and myth through a complicated andsometimes mysterious tale of heartache of heartache, lust and delusional thinking, Lock allows her practice to accumulate, take unfathomable journeys and elicit deceit to create part encrypted biography and part parallel histories through film, drawing, collage, sculpture and sound.Using illusionary reference to a quiet, perhaps even hidden language of esoteric symbol, the nature of Lock's materials appear deliberately opaque. Moving through a fragmentary universe that includes an unknown and seemingly anonymous mythology, Lock perform acts of encounter, translation and deliberate disorientation through storytelling.

Sally Waterman
Digital video projection, dimensions variable, 2’32, 2011
Composer: Donna McKevitt (Warner Classics, 1998)
Taken from Translucence (Based on Derek Jarman’s writings)
The Translucence project investigates Waterman’s experience of illness, death and loss, serving as a reflection on the fragility of life, through the interpretation of Donna McKevitt’s musical score (Warner Classics, 1998), based on Derek Jarman writings. February (2011), comprises a series of slowly dissolving photographic stills of the passing seascape, shot during the catamaran journey across the Solent, from Portsmouth to Ryde Pier Head, Isle of Wight, to attend the funeral of a close family friend, who suddenly passed away at the age of 44. The rise and fall of the waves, which passes between darkness and light, together with the shifting focus between the distant sea and the droplets of water on the window pane, becomes representative of my contemplative mood, enhanced by the haunting quality of McKevitt’s instrumental score, which lulls the viewer into a meditative state. The sequence ends with an unexpected view of the shadowy depths of the pier structure, as the catamaran docks alongside, which serves as an appropriate visual metaphor for the ceremony that lies ahead and a confrontation with the reality of loss.
Sally Waterman employs literary adaptation as a mechanism for self-portraiture, creating poetic still and moving image works that explore memory, place and familial relationships.  She received her PhD in Media and Photography at Plymouth University in 2011. Recent exhibitions include: The Solo shows Waste Land, Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (2012) and Viewfinder Photography Gallery, London (2007), Waste Land: Game, Viewpoint Gallery, Plymouth College of Art (2008) and the group exhibitions What Happens Next?, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, London (2008). Her work is held in public and private collections including King St. Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvar, Hungary, the National Art Library at the V&A and the Yale Center for British Art, New York. She has lectured at Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth and was a visiting fellow at the University of London (2011-2012).
Neil Wissink, "Pugwash"  Canada/UK, 16mm Film, 5:44 min,2007,

My practice explores geographical interstices and their subjective histories, the works themselves effecting poetic collisions between their materiality and their subject, between documentation and fabrication. Pugwash depicts a farm in Nova Scotia which was originally settled by my ancestors, but which I had never before visited as it was abandoned shortly after I was born. In London I showed the rushes to a professional psychic medium, whose ‘reading’ of the film became its soundtrack, offering a highly subjective and contentious proposition for what representations of place can mean.
Neil Wissink is a Canadian-born artist currently based in London. Since completing his studies at the Royal College of Art (2007) and Central St Martins (2003) he has exhibited his work in galleries and festivals internationally. Neil recently won the inaugural AMIP award for artist’s moving image, a co-commissioning scheme from the National Film and Television School and The Royal College of Art.

Sabine Schöbel, GRUNSKE Germany, Super8 and 16mm on DigiBETA, colour, sound, 4min 45sec, with the assistance of Deborah Phillips, Eva Heldmann, Justyna Hayda, 2009

The demise of the 'Palace of the Republic' in Berlin, at sunset. This is a portrait of a powerful symbol of nostalgia for the GDR that was re-used, restored and then, eventually, demolished, becoming a changing, magical emblem of the new centre of the city. The last glimpses of its 'skeleton' evoke thought-provoking experiences: the last bits of stairwells are reminiscent of other images of ruins, such as Berlin in the 1940s, when it was a bombed-out city, or of the World Trade Center in New York. It also conjures notions of the Romantic era in the 17th and 18th centuries, when ruins where expressly built. GRUNSKE is, in an odd way, the name of the sculptor responsible for this accidental monument: it's the name of a company that recycles metal. Over the course of months, their machinery carried out the contract of dismantling the Palace, for the public good in a public space. (Sabine Schöbel, 2009) 

Sound Performances and Haunted Sea Film Screening 8th December

Stasis 73
Live sound installation | 30mins.

Amongst the marshes, in the solitude, stand the acoustic mirrors. 70 years ago, a man dreams, heavy with the burden of listening to the weight of the endless sky. Silent now, the man not as solid, in fact not solid at all, but still there, is in his concrete box thinking of peace, civvy life, listening to the sounds collected in the listening ear, reflecting memories.
LIVE_TRANSMISSION is an immersive live sound installation consisting of drones and sonic explorations, utilizing electro-acoustic manipulated pure noise, voice, text, whisperings, field recordings & darkness.
STASIS73 Is a sound and film outfit drawn together by the chemistry of the random. Located on the English south coast they are individually and collectively painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, installation artists and musicians. Live performances involve multiple projections, complementary to the sound layers: spoken word, recordings, freeform and sculpted sound using an eclectic mix of instruments, electronics and found objects, processed acoustic sounds, decay, and extended drones.

Jude Cowan Montague
A breath; a presence; a glove upon the keys. 
I lost my desire and cried inside the sanctuary.
Only the fat pipes, the thin notes protected me
with common prayers.
The hymn numbers can be added and subtracted, 
but always, the number four returns
to the universe.
'Four it was never written': A dark prelude improvised upon St John's organ by Jude Cowan Montague for Ghost IV.

Jude Cowan (aka Jude Cowan Montague) is a British writer, artist, musician and composer based in SE London. She is an experimental musician, a singer songwriter, improviser and multi-instrumentalis. She has published albums on various small labels including Three Legs Duck, Linear Obsessional and Rash Records. From 1987 to 1988 she studied at Community Music with the jazz educator John Stevens. Since 2011 she has been involved in an ongoing improvisation and composition project called 'World News Vision' in which she responds to diverse media stories from the Reuters television news feeds. She performs as a solo artist and in Foulkestone, an avant-folk duo with Richard Sanderson. Other musical collaborators include Steve Moyes, Mark Braby, Mitch Friedman and Matt Armstrong. She has also worked with artists Daniel Lehan, Joanna McCormick and Paul Wady.  She trained as a film historian and has a PhD in silent cinema from the University of London. In 2008, she began writing poetry in response to her work as an archive researcher for ITN Source. 

Musical Performance 10-15 minnutes
Kevin Quigley (guitar/electronics)
Jon Ford (synth/electronics)
Christos Fanaras (Organ/electronics/effects)
Martin Kasprzak (guitar/electronics)
a musical evocation to a painting: Provoking the Spirit of Samuel Palmer
MYSTERIUM propose to performance a musical evocation - to the self-portrait painting by the artist SAMUEL PALMER, unveiling and releasing a beautiful meditative movement of sound; whilst the audience is cast under the spell of the mesmeric self-portrait of Samuel Palmer which will be projected on a screen from behind. The self-portrait by the artist Samuel Palmer was an attempt -  '...to lay the image in a ethereal state'; to paint an impression of myself as a soul or spirit'

Samuel Palmer was a disciple of the artist/poet William Blake and a student of the ideas of Emmanuel Swedenborg where he believed the artist was a 'correspondent' between the spiritual world and material world.
MYSTERIUM is a musical collective that aim to create and capture the sound of the profane and the sacred through improvised music.

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