Lucy Clout: Manual Non Manual Manual

3 Jul 2010 – 31 Jul 2010

International Project Space (IPS)

Birmingham, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Number 11 outer Circle
  • Bournville station

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International Project Space is pleased to present an exhibition by London based artist Lucy Clout. The new works on display employ a variety of media to engage with ideas of conjecture and emptiness, adopting and adapting a range of pedagogical models that have been developed from a historical understanding of gendered performance work.

Integral to the display at IPS is Clout?s new video work manual non manual manual (2010) which presents the viewer with an ostensibly static image of a seated protagonist. The video evolves to become a workout for the physical head, moving provisionally between languages including instructional video, dance lesson, avatar creation, vanity, the shopping channel and the artist?s studio. The central figure leads the viewer through a sequence of head movements that refer, in various and preposterous ways, to her own space and the room in which the viewer sits. Through a series of tics, movements and gestures, the subject nods at, points to, and follows with her eyes, nose and chin, horizons, signs and words in the belief that her movements (and thus content) will be reciprocated by the viewer.

Accompanying manual non manual manual are a series of objects, which operate on an immediate level as support structures - both physically and conceptually. Central to the gallery space is a conspicuous screening device - on one level a practical shield from light, but also a self-conscious and intimate display system. Introducing another aspect of Clout?s practice, these sculptural works investigate the formal modes of display, as well as aesthetic considerations often applied within conceptual or socially relevant art. Clout?s site-specific curtain work floorplan one (2010) sits beside the permanently installed black curtain at IPS and acts as a rhetorical device, highlighting the imperfections of the gallery tradition.

Two framed sets of collages (studs 1 and studs 2), level two types of making: embellishment and construction. These works, like many of Clout?s, play with a particularly basic form of animation. As a whole, the exhibition presents the viewer with a varied set of works that manifest the anxieties and mannerisms in regular use within the presentation of contemporary art.


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