AboutYou Are There: Expressions of Exile
"Is anything central?"
--John Ashbery, from "The One Thing that Can Save America".
The present historical moment is characterised by the disintegration of traditional modalities of relation between geographies and subjects. Transnational corporations, international terror networks, and amorphous global "markets" dictate the dynamics of politics, social life, and even personal introspective contemplation in ways never before experienced. Inside every mobile telephone is a fossil record of history and suffering, components extracted, sold, assembled and configured in ways that permit instant communication across borders. "Where" someone or something is located has never been less of a barrier to contact. Despite this fact, specific places and forms exert a kind of presence which cannot be effaced whatever the vagaries of commerce and connectivity. To be in one location, even if that location is a computer terminal, is to be absent from another place. Inscribed in this perpetual dynamic of location and dislocation exists the concept of exile, the estrangement from known territories or ideas. You Are There brings together the work of six artists to consider the qualities of such displacements.
Irene Perez-Herandez is a multi-media artist from Spain working in the UK, her works "Coat-Rack", "Rocking Chair", and "Fridge" begin in the world of quotidian objects and through a process of casual or radical performative intervention, recast the familiar constituents of modern domestic life as otherworldly hybrids trapped in the interstitial spaces between use value and aesthetic uselessness. Power dynamics and protocols of context are entirely recast, genre boundaries are ruptured and smeared until a strange clarity emerges.
Sean Boylan is an American filmmaker and painter. He will be screening his new film, Beside Me, as a part of You Are There. The film follows the evolving dynamic of two lovers-turned-prisoners. Their dilemma is presented before the constellation of a Coetzee-esque officialdom. Theirs is a struggle to relocate the familiar.
Vanessa Gamet and Vincent Clay are writers who chronicle their experience of exile. Gamet is an American based in London, Clay is an Englishman living in Belgium. Their work fuses the personal with the social, investigating how narratives emerge from life, and how narratives are imposed on life.
Kitty Graham's work interweaves the dynamics of choreography and the lost species of the misdirective arts, escape artistry. She will be performing TITLE for You Are There, an exploration of space, movement, and the limitations and possibilities integral to embodiment.
Bree Morrison is a choreographer and dancer who has recently established her practise in London after living in the northern United States for most of her life. She will perform an original work for You Are There.
Rick Right is a performer whose work refers to contemporary music, denaturing and rewriting pop songs live on stage. In his performances, Right performs a very particular kind of alchemy in recasting the familiar in new, often hilarious, terms, wherein the fundamental contents of his source material is are stripped away and entirely new works are produced. In recasting the familiar in his own unique satirical frame, Right examines one of the last frontiers of genuine collective memory, pop music, warping songs that have a ubiquity only possible in an age of mass media into his own original artefacts, in doing so, re-configures the borders between performance art, music gig, and comedy.
Exile has a long and intimate history with the creation of art, as the central focus of this exhibition, its full complexity will be addressed, including its contradictions, as with James Joyce having to leave Dublin to write Ulysses, exile can bring one's native territory into sharper focus. You are here. You are there.
Curated by Bree Morrison and William Kherbeck