Thursday, 30 April 2015

Indefinable Cities - Documentation

Indefinable Cities is an exhibition taking place at AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, England and then travelling to 6 Cities in Japan, with Tsukiyo to Syonen. Curated by Koh Yoshida (JP) and Anna Francis (UK)

The exhibition explores the development of cities worldwide, and in particular looks to capture the way that artists are responding to and documenting Cities in flux, and more; how artists impact on their environments and the regeneration of Cities. 

Indefinable Cities opened on April 10th and runs at AirSpace until May 16th

Indefinable Cities, Gallery Installation View

Daiki Murakami, Manifesto for a Free Town, 2015 マニフェスト・フォー・ア・フリータウン

Within Daiki Murakami's practice he explores the crossovers between art and politics. Part political statement, part artwork, he will run for mayor of Onomichi City, Hiroshima. In anticipation of the upcoming election he first proposes to run for the mayor of art. He presents “An Anarchist Mayor’s Town Development Project” for the exhibition, exploring the notion that 'Art can not only make us believe that the imaginary world on paper is a reality but also change our perspectives.'  

Ben Cove, Look-See 2015

Ben Cove makes work across a range of media with individual works often conceived to form coexisting relationships to one another, frequently conceived with specific spaces in mind. Some works continue to utilise direct appropriation with a move towards a progressively more abstract painting and sculptural language that often questions the relationship between image and object.

For the exhibition a new wall-based work which sits somewhere between facade, furniture and display case has been produced. It comprises of a number of identical partially-painted hardwood elements onto which paintings and found photographs are placed

Emily Speed, Groviglio/Tangle, 2015 

Emily Speed’s interests lie in the relationship between people and buildings and her work explores the body and its relationship to architecture. The idea of shelter and the inhabitant is at the core of much of her work; how a person is shaped by the buildings they have occupied and how a person occupies their own psychological space.

In 'Garbuglio/Tangle' Speed presents a curtain comprised of diamond projections which form an outer wall; inside these soft rustications, a collection of fragments of film are projected; a tangle of flesh, stone and cloth. The work began during a residency in Rome, and questions the relationship of the senses to the architecture of the city.

Hirofumi Suzuki, Diary of A Stranger, 2015 知らない人日誌 

Hirofumi Suzuki’s enduring practice, spanning over 30 years, takes the form of simple pencil drawings. Produced quickly, in large numbers and predominantly focusing on common aspects of everyday life. Suzuki’s drawings invest a value in a subject that may, on the surface, seem a touch mundane. Repeated journeys in various forms, provide the impetus for nameless portraits, or landscapes of nondescript urban locations. The importance for Suzuki, however, lies as much in the activity as in the output - the act of stopping and focusing on a scene and then spending what may only be half an hour carefully recording the subject, transcends the mundane into something altogether more significant.

For Indefinable Cities Suzuki has produced drawings of urban locations in Osaka, Japan, making repeated visits to the same sites, in this way the drawings capture a city as it changes and the passage of time is captured within the parallel drawings. In addition, Suzuki has been making drawings of strangers on trains over many years - and these anonymous portraits are shown in a city far away from their origins  

Rebecca Chesney, Melody 1, 2 & , 2015 and Urban Wildlife Observations, 2013-2015

Rebecca Chesney is interested in how we perceive land: how we romanticise, translate and define urban and rural spaces. Her practice looks at how politics, ownership, management and commercial value all influence our surroundings and within this field has made extensive investigations into the impact of human activities on nature and the environment.

Exploring the blurred boundaries between science and folklore, Chesney’s work is also concerned with how our understanding of species is fed by the confused mix of truth and fiction.

Her projects take the form of installations, interventions, drawings, maps and walks and are underpinned by research into the protection of the environment, conversations with scientists and a desire to make work specific to chosen locations. Here, Chesney has created a series of new sound pieces; each is a field recording of birds singing in Preston city centre, where the artist is based. Each piece has a corresponding diagram indicating location, date, time, species etc. In addition the exhibition includes a selection of Urban Wildlife Observation films.

Ayaka Nishi, Measuring Memory, 2015 記憶の記録 

Ayaka Nishi's practice takes as its starting point the Japanese literary tradition of 'monogatari', which is an extended prose narrative tale, comparable to an epic, and often related to the oral tradition of the telling and retelling of stories. In Nishi's case this relates to the anthropomorphisation of natural objects, where pebbles, twigs and shells etc are found to possess a small voice; in the work, even artefacts like old books, broken glass and plastic packages are found to speak, and these voices allow the artist to construct tales and conversations.

Nishi's work takes the form of collage, drawing, lithography and installation and aims to create poetic and nostalgic feelings in the viewer, summoning the viewer to a place between dreaming and waking when experiencing the work. For Indefinable Cities Nishi has immersed herself in the fabric of Stoke-on-Trent, drawing on what the city has to offer, salvaging and rummaging in the cities overlooked spaces, Nishi has collected various discarded objects and materials. In a return to an installation work created in Hiroshima, Japan in 2011, where Nishi created small landscapes in the gallery, here works have been made with scrapped and discarded things, timber, iron, glass, plastics and shards of pottery are transformed.  

Indefinable Cities, Gallery Installation View

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