Miraj Ahmed | Isha Bohling | Kelly Chorpening | Pierre D'Avoine | Shin Egashira | Matt Franks | Issam Kourbaj | Jeffrey T Y Lee | Theo Lorenz | Ian Monroe | Foster Spragge | Tony Thatcher and Research Associate: Sophie Read
Dilston Grove is a unique historic site to engage with: a deconsecrated Italianate chapel built by Clare College, Cambridge in 1911, one of the first in-situ poured concrete structures built in the UK, and now, a dynamic exhibition venue. The building has qualities that typify Modernism and the Post-Industrial age; its austere bunker-like structure reminiscent of the process of mould-making, and its physical effect on ambient temperature are felt viscerally as well as through the intellect. The building is in some liminal state, between things, between histories, almost a ruin, yet physically resilient and as such reflects the ethos of the project.
Propositions will broaden the possibilities of what can be described as content or curating. Work includes the choreographic tracing of the building's exterior as a form of measure, the depiction of structures that imagine the building's construction and near destruction, and interpretations of the building's social uses over time through sculpture, live performance and sound.
As an exhibition, Between Thought and Space explores the democratic potential of site-research. Ongoing exchange and dialogue has enabled individuals to resist conclusions or rest upon 'what they would normally do' in order to respond more collectively to Dilston Grove, their work building directly upon the knowledge and esteem of a site vital within the area for over 100 years.
Ongoing live performances and re-positioning of works within the space throughout the exhibition, as well as an in-conversation will take place at the Architectural Association (AA) on 15 May 2015 between architectural historian Professor Jane Rendell and Sally Shaw, Head of Programmes, Modern Art Oxford, and previously Curator of Art on the Underground. This will be a discussion of the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and the creative, critical and even democratic potential of site-research, in relation to the contexts of both the Dilston Grove exhibition and contemporary practice in general.
To date the project has been informed by contributions from individuals with knowledge and experience of Dilston Grove (artist Richard Wentworth who used it as a studio in the late 1960s; local historian Patrick Kingwell, Secretary, The Friends of Southwark Park), plus practitioners with a keen interest in site-research (Tom Emerson, 6a architects – designed Raven Row and South London Gallery; Martin Hargreaves, choreographer and collaborator - Hayward Gallery Mirror City exhibition, Yvonne Rainer at Raven Row, Tino Seghal, Tate Modern). Sound artist Salomé Voegelin and architect Matthew Butcher have provided perspectives from their respective disciplines.
Born in nine countries and working across eight UK academic institutions, Between Thought & Space comprises: Miraj Ahmed, Isha Bohling, Kelly Chorpening, Pierre D'Avoine, Shin Egashira, Matt Franks, Issam Kourbaj, Jeffrey T Y Lee, Theo Lorenz, Ian Monroe, Foster Spragge, Tony Thatcher and Research Associate: Sophie Read, writer and PhD candidate, The Bartlett, UCL.