Central to the display are a series of in-progress diagrams co-authored by Le Melle and Okon. The diagrams document the beginning of the two cultural workers’ attempt to chart a language framework for an as-yet-to-be-realised discussion about cultural production of any kind (art, yes, but also music, film, dance, theatre, food, etc). So far, it seems that this discussion would be structured around two axis lines, intersecting to make four quadrants. At each end point of each axis line are two terms that Le Melle and Okon think of as being in a state of opposition. The first pair of terms is Investment <—> Proximity. The second pair of terms, and those which were investigated for this showing at Turf Projects are Technical <——> Adjacent.
This current draft of Technical – Adjacent is the result of a thought exercise, proposing that all individual moments of cultural production could be plotted along the axis line between the two terms. Also, all individual moments of cultural production are characteristically Technical to a certain extent and also characteristically Adjacent to a certain extent. For example, fat is dominantly Adjacent though fat does possess some Technical characteristics. Furthermore, if a violin chord sounds fat, that violin chord may also be described as Adjacent, though it will undoubtedly be Technical in some ways. To map this, Okon/Le Melle mis-used a theory that mandates that all people who want to change the world should know what they are ‘For’ and what they are ‘Against’. And so, in preparation for this showing two questions were asked: ‘What, Technical, are you for?’ and ‘What, Technical, are you against’ and so on for Adjacent. Two sets of overlapping circles hold what has been answered thus far.
This as-yet-to-be-realised discussion is braced by versions of Okon’s “Mahalia Jackson”, a recurring series of oriented strand boards, painted with varnish and framed with various ‘exotic woods’. As once described by Okon, the series makes concrete a meditation on hope. The Mahalias are an offered technology that makes visible the as-yet-to-be-seen. Also included are two audio tracks produced by doris_davenport (Le Melle’s production moniker) and Okon. One of these tracks is proposed as possessing dominant qualities of the Technical and the other is proposed as possessing dominant qualities of the Adjacent.
Besides relaying the content of the show, the artist and writer would also like to communicate the methodology with which the show was worked on. The aim was to, based on the budget, determine and pre-agree on a set length of time that both Le Melle and Okon would work on the show together. In this case, what was agreed totalled 10 working days. The agreement was to spend these 10 working days developing the idea and making the work and no more. Thus what is presented at Turf does not represent a completion of the Technical <—> Adjacent inquiry but rather is a reflection of what has been completed thus far.
1 See Adam Farah
2 See also, phat; oil
3 Donna Haraway in Storytelling for Earthly Survival
4 Exhibition handout, Ima-Abasi Okon, Infinite Slippage: nonRepugnant Insolvencies T!-a!-r!-r!-y!-i!-n!-g! as Hand Claps of M’s Hard’Loved’Flesh [I’M irreducibly-undone because] —Quantum Leanage-Complex-Dub (2019), Chisenhale Gallery
// FREE EXHIBITION EVENTS
➮ OPENING NIGHT // Sat 18 Jan 2:30-5pm
Free & open to all; BYOB welcome.
➮ ARTISTS LUNCHTIME FEEDBACK // Led by Ima-Abasi Okon // Sat 18 Jan 12-2pm
Taking place at the end of each month, our free feedback sessions are a chance to get feedback on your work from a practicing artist in a supportive environment. All kinds of creative work are welcome. January’s feedback session will be led by Ima-Abasi Okon, who is currently exhibiting work in collaboration with Taylor Le Melle.
➮ FAMILY ART FUN DAY // La La Language // Sat 8 Feb 12-2pm + Fri 21 Feb 12-2pm
Families are invited to imagine, and start to build, a new language inspired by Technical-Adjacent. Work with artists to use symbols, pictures and stickers to map out a new way of sharing your ideas.
➮ ARTISTS LUNCHTIME FEEDBACK // Led by Imani Robinson // Sat 23 Feb 12-2pm
February’s feedback session will be led by writer, artist, and live art practitioner Imani Robinson.
➮ GROUNDWERK 6.5 // Learn to Mis-use English Grammar // Led by Taylor Le Melle // Sat 29 Feb 2:30-4pm
How can we bring new perspectives to our varying relationships with English grammar? How can we rethink the building blocks of written communication, and generate new forms of language to suit different needs? Groundwerk is a monthly series of free practical workshops for artists and creatives wishing to gain the skills to support their practice. A version of this workshop was initially developed for Chisenhale Gallery in July 2019.
➮ CROYDON SCHOOL OF ART WORKSHOPS
Exclusively for Croydon School of Art students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your course tutor for details
➮ SCHOOLS & GROUP VISITS
We work closely with local partner schools, and all schools and groups are welcome to visit, receive free resources & an intro to the exhibition. Please book ahead; email@example.com
// ABOUT TURF
Founded in 2013 by Croydon locals, Turf Projects is the first entirely artist-run contemporary art space in Croydon, South London.
A registered charity, Turf has supported the work of over 400 artists to date through a programme of free public exhibitions, workshops and events. Turf also run vocational skills workshops for artists, MOSS (a collective of learning disabled adult artists), Art Press (a collective of Croydon artists aged 14-21), a support & residency programme for Croydon School of Art students, family workshops, projects with local schools & more.
Open Wed-Sat 11-5pm & until 8pm on Thursdays.
46-47 Trinity Court (at entrance to the Wellesley Road underpass), Whitgift Shopping Centre, Croydon CR0 1UQ.
If you’re planning to visit Turf and have access requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.