25 Oct 2014 – 16 Nov 2014

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Five Years

England, United Kingdom


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  • Tube: Bethnal Green
  • Train: Cambridge Heath
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I turned a corner and suddenly was beside myself with

Living in the city our bodies are caught between object and image. We flit from being at once solid, weighty, present and complete to becoming abstract, shattered, flimsy, all surface-glitz and show. Images inflame our desire; rubbing up alongside, pressing against each other. On the street traces, marks and impressions form a trail to be followed. Cold hard solid materials take on the warmth of emotion, a dent, a fold, a scratch, a scar.

Beside presents recent work by Nicole Morris, Katrin Hanusch and Mark Duffy exploring occurrences of the human form within the built environment. All three artists work with the incidental relationships that occur when an image, object or material is placed besides another. Their work is positioned alongside fragmented texts from Emily Beber, Giulia Damiani and Amy McKelvie that probe the shifting ground between an image and its materiality.

Within Duffy?s series Vote No.1 the human face is distorted, defaced, punctured, and pierced. Details of campaign posters, found littering the Irish landscape during the 2014 European, local and by-elections, are pasted on the gallery wall. The physical fragility of these images, their shabbiness - the humour of an ill-placed nail, screw or cable-tie - reminds us of the falsehoods and constructed nature of the photographic image and the political ideals they convey.

Duffy?s photography suggests a way to respond to, or notice an urban environment. This form of attention is mirrored in Hanusch?s work, which brings in, collects and collates the discarded materials of the city to form improvised, spontaneous plinths or platforms for smaller, sculptural elements. Her works are temporary, unfixed, shifting arrangements whose delicate equilibrium offers the opportunity for the intimate, the handmade or graspable to exist beside fragments that suggest a much grander scale than they physically inhabit within the gallery.

Morris works with film, video and sculpture using both objects she has created and the human form as props in choreographed scenes. Her work frames the body through gesture, pose, and arrangement but also through the physical structures she creates within the gallery. Walls, barriers, screens, all act as the surface for a projection as well as a means of constructing space and the viewers movement within this; the audience both activates the space and is coerced into participation. Through the scenarios she creates the performed image is questioned in relationship to the ideal.

Throughout Beside a latent violence emerges from the works; a hidden aggression hinted at through the act of obscuring, creating barriers, or fragmented images in which the body appears in isolated parts. There appears a disparity between the organic softness of the body and the hard inertia of its representation, which suggests the body as brittle and able to be broken, shattered.

Beside is curated by Jessie Bond and Elizabeth Graham.

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