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Opportunity: Volunteers wanted to take part in a performance by conceptual artist, Giorgio Sadotti 27 January 2017

Performance: 5 pm, Thursday 23 February (as part of the Preview event)

Rehearsal: 3 pm, Thursday 23 February

Bonington Gallery is looking for 84 volunteers to take part in a performance that will take place on the opening night of our next exhibition by artist Giorgio Sadotti.

The performance itself is simple and will last a matter of minutes. It doesn’t require much rehearsal beyond a short meeting and rehearsal prior to performance in the afternoon, and doesn’t require individuals to have any prior performing experience.

Performers will help create a physical installation in the Gallery that will remain in place for the duration of the exhibition (until Friday 31 March 2017).

Please email boningtongallery@ntu.ac.uk with the subject heading ‘Giorgio Sadotti Performance’ to register your interest and/or find out more information.

All Men By Nature Desire To Know: PREVIEW: In Photos 16 January 2017

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Accidental (but amazing) colour-matching between Stefania Batoeva’s new work, NEVERSLEEPNEVERDIE II and a visitor’s outfit.

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Stefania Batoeva produced two new paintings for the show: NEVERSLEEPNEVERDIEII, 2016 and NEVERSLEEPNEVERDIEIII, 2016

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A visitor examining the text of Alan Michael’s new work, Today is, 2017.

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Stefania Batoeva (right), talks to visitors in front of her work in the show.

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Exhibition curator Joshua Lockwood (left) with exhibition visitors and artist Flora Klein (right).

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Our friend Leon Sadler (co-curator of Mould Map 6: Terraformers) also paid a visit to the preview.

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Audrey Reynolds with her work: (clockwise from top) 1458, 2013-2016; A Sitting, 2016; Curbelow, 2016

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Joshua Lockwood and exhibiting artist Alan Michael, in front of Flora Klein’s Untitled (blue), 2017.
All Men By Nature Desire To Know is now open! Drop by Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm to see the work for yourself! (Full documentation of the show coming soon)

All Men By Nature Desire To Know: Featured Artist: Alan Michael 11 January 2017

Alan Michael was born in 1967 in Paisley, Scotland, he now lives and works in London.

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Michael’s paintings are often photorealistic renderings of everyday objects, taken from obscure reference photos – or film stills as is the case with his latest work included in All Men By Nature Desire To Know.

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The other side to Michael’s work includes text-based paintings which also borrow from varied reference points – including brand names and pop culture references – as well as referring to other artworks and art movements. 

All of Michael’s work seems to hone in on meticulous details, but the meaning behind the paintings is harder to pin down. The mix of text and imagery sometimes seem to be at odds with each other, or at least have little obvious links. Still, the works draw the viewer in; inviting you to try and unpick them and the intentions of the painter.

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Alan Michael has produced new works specifically for All Men By Nature Desire To Know. Here are a couple of sneak peeks:

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Recent solo exhibitions include:

» About a work #9, Galeria Zero, Milan, 2015

» P.A, Vilma Gold, London, 2014

» Calvinistic Girls, High Art, Paris, 2014

Recent group exhibitions include:

» Dead Ends, curated by Kari Rittenbach at 1001 44th Rd, New York City, 2016

» Le Bourgeois, 3236RLS, London

» The Painting Show, CAC Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016

» Attachments and Assignations, Cubitt, London, 2014

Images: Rose Clouds of Holocaust, Pervert, Fone, 2014, silkscreen, oil and acrylic on canvas, 173 x 124 cm; A Troll, 2015, laser copies mounted on canvas, 75 x 105 cm; A Rainbow, 2016, oil on canvas, 84 x 59 cm; details of two new works included in All Men By Nature Desire To Know

 

All Men By Nature Desire To Know: Featured Artist: Flora Klein 7 January 2017

Flora Klein was born in 1988 Bern, Switzerland, she currently lives and works in Berlin. She Graduated with a BA in Fine Arts at ECAL, Lausanne in 2013.

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Layers of acrylics are used to build up abstract blocks of colour with contrasting strands spreading across the top of the base layers like ribbons. Although Klein’s work is easy to identify in style (the paintings often share a palette of bold oranges, browns and reds, and recurring lines and shapes can also be found between the works), none of the works have a clear subject or even a main focal point. 

As a result, a lot of the meaning is left up to the viewer – the paintings don’t immediately suggest a clear emotion, are neither masculine or feminine, and the titles don’t give many clues either…

Find out more about Flora’s recent exhibitions:

Solo exhibitions:

» Flora Klein, Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf and Oracle, Berlin, 2016.

Group exhibitions include:

» Christian Andersen, Copenhagen, 2016;

» Undisturbed Solitude, Kunsthaus, Hamburg, 2016

» Stuttgart, Francesca Pia, Zürich, 2016

For this exhibition, Flora will be showing new works which have not been seen in the UK before.

Image: The Sex, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 145 x 110 cm

Install Sneak Peeks... 6 January 2017

Ahead of the preview of All Men By Nature Desire To Know next Thursday, check out some install shots for a sneak peek at the new work in the show…

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Delicate install by Ollie of a new carpet installation work from Audrey Reynolds

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All Men By Nature Desire To Know curator Joshua Lockwood and curator Tom Godfrey in the space this morning

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Trainer details (Joshua Lockwood) on Audrey Reynolds’ installation work

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Tom moving a new painting from Stefania Batoeva

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Tom and Joshua having a discussion in the Gallery, with new works by Stefania Batoeva in the background

Details of paintings by Stefania Batoeva…:

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…and some sneak peeks of work by Flora Klein…:

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…and another work by Audrey Reynolds. What is it?

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We recently had our lighting rig load tested, too…

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The install continues next week when we receive new works by Alan Michael. Stay tuned…

All Men By Nature Desire To Know: Featured Artist: Audrey Reynolds 5 January 2017

Audrey Reynolds lives and works in London and Folkestone, and studied at Bath College of Art and at Chelsea College of Art, London. 

Reynolds’ work is a mix of sculpture, installation and painting – all of which incorporate seemingly random objects and materials including modelling clay and household paints, as well as fitted carpets, ribbons and brass letters.

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 Layers of paint are built up and scratched away, with the found objects embedded into the surface of double-sided paintings, creating sparse but carefully arranged compositions. On the other hand, installations of rugs and carpets blur the line between a functional object and an artwork. In her writing, Reynolds exposes fragments of everyday life, reflecting on the ordinary before slipping into more abstract passages where it isn’t clear quite who or what is being written about, while still conveying a sense of something personal… in a way, something quite similar to her paintings. 

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Audrey will be producing new works specifically for All Men By Nature Desire To Know.

Solo exhibitions include:

» Thirteenth and Third Girl, Ancient & Modern, London, 2014 and 2012

» Anote, Outpost, Norwich, 2011

» Bayard Eade, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland, 2011

» On a, Arcade, London, 2010

A collection of her writing will be published by AkermanDaly in Spring 2017.

Images: Arietta, 2008, MDF, modelling clay, paint, ribbon, 122 x 120 cm; 1888 (right side), 2014, oil paint, wood dye, household paint on MDF, 31 x 40 cm.

All Men By Nature Desire To Know: Featured Artist: Stefania Batoeva 4 January 2017

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Stefania Batoeva (b. 1981 Sofia, Bulgaria) is a London-based artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2014. Her paintings cross between the traditional form of painting and sculpture – often created as site specific work.

Batoeva’s work also blurs the line between abstract and figure-based painting, exploring ideas around the subconscious and memory. 

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The paintings are difficult to categorise – as Batoeva captures moments in vivid colours which feel similar to distant memories; almost-recognisable figures obscured by heavy brush-strokes, smears and scratch – or the figures themselves represented through loose brush-stokes themselves, almost disappearing into the background…

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Stefania will be producing new works specifically for All Men By Nature Desire To Know. Find out more:

Recent solo exhibitions include:
» Angela Is Sliding, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest, 2014
» PAUL, Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv, 2014

Recent group exhibitions include:
» Club Caligula, Supplement, London, 2015
» You will find me if you want me in the garden, Galerie Valentin, Paris, 2015
» Got tortilla with butter on phone. Think it’s the end?, Rod Barton Gallery, London, 2015
» Majestic Bather, 68 square metres, Copenhagen, 2014

 Images: Never Sleep Never Die2016, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 170 x 200 cm; New Friend, 2015, Oil on canvas, 230 x 180 cm; Club II, 2015, Oil on canvas, 230 x 180 cm

Krísis: Extended Documentation 1 December 2016

Krísis Conversations: Tuan Mami and Boedi Widjaja 28 November 2016

As part of Krísis, Tuan Mami and Boedi Widjaja reflect on the state of ‘crisis’ in relation to movement in liminal spaces via their new performances and artworks.

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Something Human: Both of you are visual artists and performers whose work utilise a form of ritual or “processual” approach that invites the audience to engage with the works. What does this process mean to your practice, and why do you seek to engage audiences with it?

Boedi Widjaja: Process means to me, first of all, a way to get into a dialectical state of mind. It is about finding unusual connections, thoughts and ideas out of conflicts, contradictions and contrasts. A good process tends to suggest new paths for navigating opposing histories and contexts. Process may be described as a series of methods that generate connective material, enabling forms, ideas or expressions to be made out of newly found relations between subjects. Process is also a space that the audience can enter, to experience the dialectical tensions that make up an artwork.

Tuan Mami: Actually, in my old works, I have used a sort of ritual setup or ritual approach but in something more like a normal daily activity. For example, I invited audience members to sit with me one by one in a private space and collaborate in sort of celebration for our shared moment, or I invited 100 old ladies to visit an art opening to create a shared moment of exploration. But recently I am working more with ritual as part of mythology, to present the relationship between environment/object which is closely intertwined with the relationship between human and nature in the world, where one could perceive on a physical level as well as that which exists in the imagination. For me, ritual is a sort of special moment or environment when I could focus on the meaning of my art, it is also the oldest form for our art. I get a lot of feeling in experiencing through the ritual form, me-my work-the audience we are all in the same level/same journey of experiencing the subject/object.

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SH: You both hail from Vietnam and Singapore respectively, and Boedi, you also have a personal and professional relationship to Indonesia. These countries have witnessed different periods and outbursts of internal political conflict and debate within its borders, and are situated within same region that has recently seen an escalation of political tension. How do you think your practices address the recent socio-political issues?

BW: Southeast Asia is a diverse and politically complex region. The twentieth century saw countries in the region gaining independence hence nationalistic politics is de facto. The region continues to ring with echoes from the Cold War, as seen in the tension at ASEAN’s meeting with China over the South China Sea, America’s drive for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the U.S lifting its ban on weapon sales to Vietnam and Philippines’ rhetorical leaning towards China.

A series of works that I am currently developing is Imaginary Homeland—one that looks at Indonesian political history since the nation’s independence in 1945. The series explores nationalism, identity and memory, through mass media imagery. It inevitably looks at Indonesian military history, and how the Cold War has impacted the personal narratives of so many. 

TM: My works are based on research, which takes place on a certain topic or in an area between human and its reactions, between daily life and imagination, so I look at socio-political matters as a central point in my exploration. But I get into the issues in indirect way. I often adapt the ephemeral senses to create a moment, which presents an ambiguous reality, the one you could experience by yourself by traveling between the past-present-and the future. I see socio-political matters as basic human matters, looking at it as a researcher to review or reveal in a poetic dialogue.

SH: For this exhibition you have been invited to reflect on the notion of ‘crisis’. Could you please tell us more about how your artworks and performances reflect on this condition?

BW: I am presenting 2 works in Krisis: (Post) Path.7, New Ground—a documentation of Path.7, New Ground, a live art work that I performed in London in 2015—and Imaginary Homeland: 谢谢你的爱,  a new live art work.

Path.7, New Ground indirectly addressed the migrant crisis in Europe, as I contemplated my own diasporic experience. I walked from east London to the Barbican, lugging a 30kg bag of lump chalk with a 1.5m helium balloon tethered to me, culminating in a performance by the Barbican lake. The work was visceral—the weight of the chalk and the balloon’s movement resisting my forward trajectory, speaking of the weight of motherland and the disorienting force of nostalgia. (Post) Path.7, New Ground looks at the abstraction effect that media has when representing a live event. I wanted to draw out the camera—the primary device that tracked my durational walk and through which we comprehend all forms of crisis today. I did this by arranging individual frames from the documentation videos, cropped tightly around the balloon’s movement, in a regular grid.

Imaginary Homeland: 谢谢你的爱 is a new work from a series that looks at the impact of mass media images on memories and personal narratives. The work is about the dialectics between image and corporeality—bodily movement complicating the image surface even as the latter choreographs the former.   

TM: I’ve been invited to make a second chapter of my last research-based project which I had been working on in the area between the Cambodian and Vietnamese border. I had researched about the long controversial history of the relationship between the two countries and also the conflicts that exist nowadays. For the ‘Krisis’ exhibition, I’m going to create an ambiguous notion of the “Border”. On one hand, it is a construct based on human forces that create man-made borders for protection, which in turn, becomes a threat. On the other hand, it is about human instinct and its memory. Since border issues are getting more intense in the world recently, my work is an ironic voice to twist the matters into a playful game or a ritual moment where everyone could join in to de-construct the material issue into an ephemeral moment of peace and respect for all kinds of people and nature. I want to create an experience for people go through time, space and sharing together of the imagination of freedom geographically and spiritually.

More information at krisis.live

Images credits: Boedi Widjaja and Tuan Mami

Featured news
Exhibition explores the evolution of painting 16 January 2017

The history of painting will be explored in a new exhibition of four contemporary artists whose work broadens and challenges our understanding of the traditional medium. All Men By Nature Desire to Know – at Bonington Gallery from Friday 13 January to Friday 17 February – will present a variety of works which examine the […]

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