Part of AV Festival 14: Extraction
Yuri Ancarani, Vanessa Billy, Jimmie Durham and Maria Thereza Alves, Harun Farocki, Marie Lund, Dennis Oppenheim, Gabriel Orozco, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Thomas Sopwith.
AV Festival 14 explores the raw materials that create our experience of the world, from their origins deep in the ground, to their extraction, transformation and global exploitation.
The group exhibition 'Stone' focuses on the raw material of stone and how it has been shaped by human agency. It includes the work of nine contemporary artists with nineteenth century hand carved models by local mining engineer Thomas Sopwith that visualised geology in three dimensions for the first time.
The artist’s hand is present both on and off screen setting up new relationships between nature and artifice. Orozco’s ‘Boulder Hand’ shows the uninterrupted rubbing of a stone by the artist’s hand, like a river eroding the stones on its riverbed, whilst in Oppenheim’s ‘Rocked Hand’ one hand slowly covers the other with rocks. The short video works by Durham and Alves feature the artist’s hand in the act of throwing and dropping a stone.
Farocki’s ‘Transmission’ reflects on how stone is the material in which collective memory is immortalised, and Lund’s sculptures memorialise human actions in stone. The balance and tension between materials is explored in Billy’s sculptures shaping stone by water and gravity. These shifting natural forms are revealed in Rocha Pitta’s movement through landscape, and are orchestrated by
the dramatic hand gestures of a quarryman in Ancarani’s work.
‘Cathedral’, a single screen film and sound work by Salvatore Arancio, is presented in the Project Space, filmed and recorded at Fingal’s Cave, a geological formation on the uninhabited island of Staffa. Until 10 May.
AV Festival 14: Extraction runs from 1-31 March 2014. It
takes place in over 15 venues and public sites across North
East England in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and
Middlesbrough. The curated programme features 11
exhibitions, 36 film screenings, 10 music concerts and 11
new commissions by national and international artists.
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