Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Advocate - a residency by Natasha Rees, an update

The first AirSpace Summer Residency is in to its final stages, and with just a couple of days to go, it is the time to start to pull together the previous 10 days research and findings in to a coherent presentation of works.

Natasha has identified the word LOGORRHEA to sum up the residency's work. Defined as a tendency to extreme loquacity it seems to foreground the strength of words and wordplay in our modern society, both politically and in the realm of the mass media.

In response to theme of the residency Natasha  has been developing a series of works that have been made in response to her 2 week stay in Stoke-On-Trent. From her initial proposal of posters and a moving image work, the work has taken form in a variety of media. Among these a hand printed poster with a short exhibition text written out by Rees 200 times; a set of architectural rubbings; a wall collage and some stencilled wall and floor pieces.

We had a "mid-term" residency chat with Natasha who told us a bit about her thinking:

“I wanted to make something that marked my intense period in the space, something hand produced, in a way echoing the labour element of an industrial past that I feel very attached too. Each poster then becomes essentially a uniquely made thing, something that is duplicating the same idea but slightly differently each time. I like the idea that visitors to the space can keep something that links directly to my labour during the residency.”  “It became apparent that my interest in language - how it manifests and is understood, was crucial to my experience during the residency. That rhetoric and speech was crucial not only in the act of legislative structuring (within art and social life) but also its public dissemination. The effects and responses to this through the architecture I encountered and worked with, and more esoterically, visual languages became the conceptual centre-point within the work. ”
 "The first engagement with the city was through the architecture and the traces of a highly successful, industrial past, seemingly imposed upon by a corporate present. One such observation was the brutalist building opposite the gallery’s bird yarden - an active BT switches tower that apparently stands totally unmanned, operating from a series of programmed switches. Also, a relic from the galley’s past (that of a gas utility office), an iron pillar which
stands in the studio Rees has been working in: “I thought it was very intriguing that this busy gallery space contained a hand cast iron pillar, and the huge building opposite that is totally people-less. I wanted to draw a comparison by doing rubbings of both buildings and placing them – in a sense, equally next to each other.” 

The Advocate: a Type of Logorrhea opens this Friday 30th August at 6pm with a Q&A session at 7pm. The Show runs for a week until September 7th.

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