Do please come to our presentation at Sluice Exchange Berlin.
Sluice_Exchange Berlin 2018
Das Kühlhaus Berlin
Luckenwalder Str. 3, 10963 Berlin, Germany
16-18 November 2018
Sat + Sun 1100-1900
We’ve been having a good deal of private time – working things out – over the last year. It’s been work but productive so we were delighted to show at M100 in Odense, Denmark in September. We organised an exhibition called ‘Resistant Materials’. Thank you M100 (http://m100.dk) for hosting us and precipitating a crystallisation of our anger, and sadness, joy and hope. Thank you Theis Vallø Madsen for a very interesting take on our work (see below) and thank you to Kristine Mengel for taking great photographs. In the end we’re just speaking for ourselves.
Ben Coode-Adams & Justin Knopp Proof 2018 letterpress wood type on paper, dimensions variable Photo: Kristine Mengel
The exhibition concerned how it is possible to fight back specifically, when discussion is generally shut down. We showed work by Ben Coode-Adams, Fiona Curran, Justin Knopp, and Freddie Robins.
For the Berlin show we are delighted to add E.M.C. Collard to the line-up. Her paintings fit right in to our discussion about biting countryside with their visceral natural imagery.
A Danocentric Perspective on the works of Coode-Adams, Robins, Knopp and Curran
Theis Vallø Madsen
Danes are famous for their ”hygge” brought about by knitted jumpers, rain, dimmed lighting, cookies, and half-timbered houses in the countryside. In recent years coziness and other forms of “moods”, “Stimmung” or atmospheres have become objects of studies in academia. Philosophers regard these kinds of “atmospheres” as aesthetic phenomena in-between objective and subjective states of being. According to German philosopher Gernot Böhme, atmospheres are typical intermediate phenomena bordering subjecthood and objecthood. A pleasant or unpleasant atmosphere are far from vague or weak but on the contrary “[…] bathe everything in a certain light.” They are totalizing. Yet it is possible to resist and even change a specific atmosphere in a room by an extra-ordinary event. Something has to break, or somebody has to say something completely out of line in order to change the mood of the room. Artworks have also been known to disturb pleasant moods by picturing or including things that are usually left out in order not to spoil a common sense of well-being and harmony.
Freddie Robins Someone Else’s Dream Series of reworked knitted jumpers, mixed fibres 2014 – 2016 L-R. -burnt, -hanged, -crashed
The works of the four British artists currently exhibiting at M100 all seem to – to a Dane at least – resist coziness and other kinds of pleasantness. Freddie Robins’ hand knitted jumpers invoke a sense of coziness brought forth by their materiality but the reworked pictures work against the intuitive feel and cultural signification of their material. Materiality and imagery are at odds with one another.
The paintings by Ben Coode-Adams are also uneasy. Things and shapes are flickering, worming around or rearranging themselves out and into one another. These paintings are on the move.
Ben Coode-Adams Self-Portrait with Bluebird on a red ground 2018 Watercolour on paper H58xW76cms Photo: Douglas Atfield
Fiona Curran’s paintings picture clouds and rainbows in synthetic or strange forms. They have been short-circuited or recharged from an unusual energy source. Justin Knopp’s type based posters promote resistance by words and materials. The four artists are all navigating in-between different states or materials whether that would be coziness and discomfort, materiality and image, or harmony and disharmony. The artworks appear to be uneasy with their surroundings and their current situation. This uneasiness is much more interesting than consensus and established truths.’
Paintings and embroideries by Fiona Curran and Ben Coode-Adams Photo: Kristine Mengel
We decided to take this show to Berlin with Sluice Exchange. This show builds on our article in Sluice Magazine Autumn 2018 concerning local v’s international. Ben’s photograph of Dedham Vale is on the cover.