Celebrating the diamond jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan, Zamana Space opened on 13th April with Jubilee Arts UK, a multi-media group exhibition showcasing the wealth of creative talent and imagination shaping the Ismaili Musilim community today. Artists, professional and amateur, representing all ages and backgrounds created works, taking inspiration from one of four themes, Time Legacy Aspiration and Devotion.
Bringing together over 400 works, representing a range of media and subjects, Zamana Space expressed the history and emotion of the Muslim disapora. A sense of identity , a shared legacy -- a geographically, linguistically and ethnically diverse peoples, often from regions embroiled in post-colonial politics, this exhibition explored a rich and extraordinary past, at times painful, yet always remarkable, whose strength and unity is founded upon a single faith, to take us on a journey that aspires toward the sublime through hope, understanding and knowledge.
In the 1950's and 1960's, London was the site of a transatlantic cultural revolution, setting off a radical reformulating of the possible in artistic creativity. United in their distrust of well-established cultural norms, the post-war generation of artists, poets and writers found new ways to express the truth of their experience. The result was an explosion in time-based art forms - film, events, actions, conceptual art, process-based practices and performace.
Many of these artists first met one another taking refuge the Charing Cross bookstore, known as Better Books. Dubbed "the most important bookshop of its generation", Better Books became haven, platform and voice for the radical spirit of London.
Featuring works from John Latham, Gustav Metzger, Jeff Nuttall, Jeffrey Shaw, Stephen Dwoskin, Allen Ginsberg, Annea Lockwood, Pip Benveniste, the People Show, DIAS and William Burroughs, this exhibition presents for the first time the artworks, films, and poetry that bore witness to this movement, together with rarely seen photographs, ephemera and documentation.
Werner Schreib was an important rising star in the post-war German art scene whose contributions were prematurely cut short when he died suddenly in a fatal collision with a jack-knifed lorry on the autobahn at the age of 44. Although World War Two officially ended in 1945, the process of unravelling the legacy of that war continues to this day, with repercussions and resonances that, like aftershocks, reverberate indiscriminately and uncontrollably, sometimes producing effects deeper and more devastating than the earthquake itself.
The full extent of the atrocities committed in that war and their implications still remain shrouded in a veil of mass silence. Despite the lessons of World War Two, the technologies of death and genocide that foster ‘terminal culture’ spiral out of control. This exhibition is situated within this urgent context, presenting work that responds to ‘terminal culture’ and breaks the silence in which terminal culture incubates and reproduces itself.
Werner Schreib They whisper, they murmur 1969 (collage, frottage, pyrogravure)
17 September - 12 November, 2016
Annea Lockwood's sound sculpture 'DUSK' is an environmental sound work that unearths hidden and inaudible sonic phenomena generated through underground explosions from seabed ‘black smoker’ hydrothermal vents normally only accessible by seismologists. Lockwood has transposed these frequencies to the audible range focusing a listening experience on that which may not otherwise be heard and creating a work that gives us a glimpse into the hidden voice of the planet we call Earth. The artist was active in the 1966 Destruction in Arts Symposium, producing a piano destruction piece with Ralph Ortiz. For Lockwood, who has a deep interest in our relationship to the ecology of the planet, the destruction of the piano was as much about the artist’s effort to explore uncharted languages of composition as it was about deconstructing the canon and culture of the piano itself.
The Writing of Art offers a glimpse into contemporary art approaches influenced by traditional arts based on Persian and Arabic script, bringing together the work of Graham Day, Hanieh Delecroix, Parastou Forouhar, Farnaz Jahanbin and Katayoun Rouhi.
Providing a window into the infinitely variable interpretations and articulations of the art of writing, the exhibition highlights the plasticity between word, idea and image, traditionally juxtaposed as discrete systems of the visual and the discursive. On view together for the first time in the contemplative halls of the Ismaili Centre, these works create a moving poetic dialogue that implicitly weaves culture and history with the ineffable and the sublime.
The only English language exhibition catalogue on post-war German artist and concrete poet Werner Schreib, combining academic essays with personal anecdotes. Published by Laure Genillard on the occasion of
AFTERSHOCK - The Grammar of Silence, Werner Schrieb and Annea Lockwood
17th September - 12th November 2016
This extensively illustrated monograph is the first of its kind offering insight into the 40 year oeuvre of Gary Woodley, an artist who utilises geometry to explore architechtonic space. Published on the occasion of Impingements
27 June -12 Sept 2015
ADAM BARKER-MILL is an artist who uses light to transform the pictorial medium. His works bridge the purely visual with the sculptural, causing light to acquire a volumetric density. Using geometric abstraction to transmute the ideals of non-objective painting into the language of sculpture, he createes time-based installations in which the very tenets of representational art are defied and brought into dramatic focus. By appearing to eschew all forms of materialism and instead concentrating almost entirely on light itself, Barker-Mill’s installations often appear to embody the ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk – the all-embracing art form or total artwork. preview the catalogue
The room is filled with a marginalised violence, the floor littered with the memories of physical violations. Large sheets of brown parcel paper mostly crumpled, some packed into lugubrious misshapen balls, limbless anthropomorphic forms. (continued)
The readymade, monochromatic colours and minimalist ideas are all embedded in works which John Nixon characterises as ‘non-objective constructed paintings’. Nixon, whose shows are self-curated (read more)
Gustav Metzger died yesterday at the age of 90. His immovable resolve to resist the art market and his deep and unyielding belief that art is and must be politically and socially engaged are commitments from which he never wavered. Here was an artist with an unrelenting resolve to 'rage, rage, rage against the dying of the light.' (continued)
Painted in black, graffiti-like on a wall outside the Longside Gallery are the letters 'Wp Wp Wp' onomatopoeia for the sound made by helicopter blades as they whoop-whoop through the air. It is playful, mischievous, yet ominously suggestive of a sound we equate with danger, apprehension, even fear. (continued)
Pip Benveniste involvements and collaborations with contemporaries place her among the most avant-garde of British artists who were searching for new ways of responding the experience of life during and after World War II...(continued)
Silent Explosion is an ambitious exhibition of the work and life of Ivor Davies set against the backdrop of the artist’s meticulously assembled archive, the jewel of which is unquestionably Davies’ exceptional collection of materials from the 1966 Destruction in Art Symposium.
Today’s avant-garde is so thoroughly disciplined and domesticated within the scheme of Empire that a whole different set of regulatory and resistance models has to be found to counterbalance Empire’s attempt at totalization.
- Okuwui Enwezor, Documenta 11
Originally from Victoria, Canada, I am a curator with a deep interest in the meaning, politics and multiplicities of his/herstories and the slippages between multiple narratives. Mine is a critical practice that excavates undiscovered contemporary histories and establishes alternate and often aporetic narratives through discursive means-- probing the archive, critical writing, interview and encouraging dialogic situations. I am particularly concerned with activating archives and oral histories, conflict and memory. I seek to facilitate resistant knowledge production structures and lay the groundwork for alternate epistemologies and heteroptopias.
All work builds on previous projects. Nothing is taken in isolation and everything is connected. There is thus for me personally the opportunity to construct an ongoing and evolving theoretical narrative that stands in opposition to the dominant ideological paradigm.
I have worked with Zamana Space, Flat Time House and LG, London as well as ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and Trondheim kunstmuseum in Norway. I am a member of the International Association of Art Critics and hold a Masters in Art History, Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as a law degree from the University of Toronto, and an Honours BA in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, where I was active in student politics and served as President of the undergraduate student union for two terms. While at UVic, I organised several events with pioneering theorists, including Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky and Ralph Nader.
My book Better Books Better Bookz - a study of the poetry bookshop Better Books that was pivotal to numerous events and happenings of the 1960s avant-garde, including the Destruction in Arts Symposium, has just been published by Koenig Books.