Tuesday, 26 May 2015

PhotoLondon, OffPrint And A Smokey Installation At The Tate Modern - All In Just One Week!

Wow! What a week this has been... As PhotoLondon 2015 debuted and succeeded, OffPrint took over the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern, SPBH curated a weird and wonderfully pleasurable Project Space, I've drunk my body weight in alcohol and danced off the rest, and finally smoked out the Turbine Hall in the performative installation, The Smoke House, it's been fantastic, but I am looking forward to relaxing now!!!

The week commenced with many openings, very notably the Whitechapel Gallery's exhibition of Christopher Williams which is an absolute must, a truly delicate show that astounds you, as you wonder through the show, dropped hang photographs are set against rough, unfinished walls with not an ounce of contrive, just perfect curation. Then onto the MaxMara Prize for Women, as Prosecco filled our glasses, the works controlled the centre stage, intermixing textiles, installation with a strong Italian essence and style. 

The week continued in the same vain, opening, after opening including of course the new Photo Fair at Somerset House. Some excellent galleries worth mentioning are of course, Rose Gallery with their stunning original Eggleston's that are truly out of this world, Flowers Gallery with their perfect positioning and collection of both emerging and established back to back, Ingleby Gallery's presentation that was utterly divine and many others like Tristan Hoare and Ravestijn Gallery. It is worth mentioning that the fair itself is rather difficult to navigate through and would benefit from some strong thematic curation, but as a first, I think it could be a good balance between the many others!

Friday saw OffPrint open at the Tate, and what an opening it was. Hundreds upon hundreds of people turned up to see, experience and purchase as well as watch and take part in the SPBH Project Space programme of events and performances. From Selfie-Stick aerobics, Hacking, Crystal Healing, Live book making to Laughter, the programme engaged and amazed many.

I was very proud and honoured to be taking part and on Sunday 24th at 16:00pm, my performance started in the Turbine Hall! As the glasshouse was wheeled through the publishers into position, a sense of intrigue built. Smoke was pumped into the glasshouse, getting thicker and thicker by the second. It bellowed up into the roof, swirling and spiralling, catching the black books as it rose, each one gently spinning. The smoke continued for a time, before being released out into the Turbine Hall, as I entered the glasshouse and for a time disappeared amongst the smoke before the doors and windows where opened. Clouds of thick white smoke, danced their way out of the glasshouse into the space, as onlookers watched intently. 

For those who missed the performance you can see it here on SPBH TV:

It was a week to remember and now I look forward to a well earned rest, a massive thank you to all that supported the performance, in front of and behind the scenes!


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Performative Installation - The Smoke House At Tate Modern For OffPrint London 24th May 4-5pm

I am extremely pleased and proud to announce that my Performative Installation, The Smoke House is part of the SPBH Project Space at the Tate Modern for OffPrint London 2015. The piece will be performed in the Turbine Hall on Sunday 24th May 4-5pm!

"In a ritualistic response to the fire and flood at Gibson's studio, the artist reclaims her experience in this citation of the performative installation, The Smoke House.

Physically creating a space whereby controlled levels of smoke bellow into a polycarbonate glasshouse and where books dangle from strings inside.

This performance visualises the sensorial elements, allowing the viewer to witness what Gibson faced on that evening. Offering a cathartically ordered and shared experience that was absent at the time. Through the visual pleasure of looking, suggestions around our human intrigue towards trauma come into question as we wait, watch and wonder."

More can be found here; and with a fantastic programme of events, it is surely a weekend not to miss!


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Art Ltd - The Gender Gap


Great to see a review of my recent show at Sloan Projects in Santa Monica, by Molly Enholm in the May issue of Art Ltd, with a focus on the gender gap - Are Female artists still undervalued? Here is an excerpt from the review.

“The seeming dichotomy between the two series on view in the promising inaugural exhibition at Sloan Projects — three large-scale paintings by Claudia Parducci paired with a series of intimately scaled collaged photographs by Melinda Gibson — may have more in common than first glance might suggest. Though culled from disparate sources, each artist tackles iconic imagery in order to reassess the weight they typically wield.

Contrasting the monumentality of Parducci’s paintings are UK-based Melinda Gibson’s collage works. The ten individual works are installed in a repetitive manner, just below eye level, methodically spaced at regular intervals within identical frames. Where Parducci explores the sublime, Gibson mines the didactic; her collages are composed of the photographic images that fill the pages of Charlotte Cotton’s academic book “The Photograph as Contemporary Art,” which Gibson came across as a student at the London College of Communication. Forget writing in the margins; in these works Gibson literally deconstructs the authority of the academic text, as she cuts out, rearranges and overlaps the “textbook examples,” creating new meanings and associations from the photography of her predecessors. The motif of the human silhouette becomes a unifying element of these works, from layered images which form a Magritte-esque bust in Photomontage VII, to the sensuality of intertwined reclining figures fastened out of the interior scenes and landscape photography of Photomontage III, originally from pages 106, 136 and 202 from Cotton’s tome. Like Parducci, Gibson’s works prompts a desire to reassess the influence of the ubiquitous images from daily life, whether they aim to document or educate."


Friday, 1 May 2015

Upcoming Talk - Royal Photographic Society - 'Concerning Photography' On Saturday 16th May

I am very excited to be part of the 6th Annual weekend event held by the Contemporary Group of the Royal Photographic Society, speaking at Concerning Photography on Saturday 16th May 2015. With a weekend of events including talks by wonderful artists and curators, like Melanie Manchot, Paul Reas, Zelda Cheatle, Peter Mitchell amoung others it is going to be a very inspiring and exciting event.

I will be speaking on Saturday afternoon and will be talking about my practice, proposing questions around the  role of the artist in Contemporary Photographic culture.

More information can be found here: 

Newly Launched - Aperture's The PhotoBook Review 008 - Publisher’s Note: Lesley A. Martin

Last weekend saw the launch of the new Aperture Magazine 'Tokyo' along with the excellent PhotoBook Review 008, which will also launch this week in Los Angeles at ParisPhoto LA.  I am very proud to have contributed a piece of writing to the issue and with the Publisher's and Editor's notes live now, here is an extract from Lesley A. Martin.

"The PhotoBook Review 008 coincides with the Summer 2015 issue of Aperture magazine, “Tokyo” (#219), as well as with Shashin, a symposium and festival for Japanese photography that takes place on April 24 and 25 at the New York Public Library. All three have been shaped, in part, through consultation with Our Man in Tokyo and this issue’s guest editor, Ivan Vartanian of Goliga.

That essential idea—of redrawing the boundaries of the photobook via events and performances, in order to engage audiences at earlier stages of a book’s creation or more inclusively at the time of its launch—has its own history. But it has also become an important part of our present. This issue includes commentary from contemporary artists such as Melinda Gibson, Katja Stuke of BöhmKobayashi, and Jason Fulford, as well as curators and publishers such as Bruno Ceschel and Aron Mörel, on the intersection of performance, bookmaking, and audience engagement."


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

5 Years - 1826 Days - Automatic


5 years, 1826 days and I finally feel ready to release the words and films that have been so dear to me for these past years. Today, five years ago, my life changed, along with many others - it was the end of our youth as my dearest friend committed suicide on the 21st April in 2010. It's taken many years to come to terms with the heartache, the longing and the sorrow that followed that day and there are still days where it feels as though someones hands are around my neck, squeezing the breath out of me, but today the weight is much, much lighter and I want to share with you an openness, the works I made over these past five years.

Automatic, brings together a collection of works that I made, encompassing 12 automatic typewriter texts - unconscious streams of writing, almost poetic in there nature, where mistakes are many and letters run into one another. The subject matter, often dark has an honesty that bares itself open, these texts, written in 2011 physically act as a release. The short film, 11 AM is 1 of 13 that captures the passing of time, every hour on the hour, as the first anniversary dawned. Each short film, ten to fifteen minutes long, quietly documents the light falling on my written eulogy and the sounds that echo from outside, the noises of normality.

This year will see the final film made and a closing of this project, so stay turned to see the results and all that 2016 has to offer. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

London At Its Best - Marclay And Delaunay

 
It happens so often in London, that you say, 'I must see this show, don't worry I'll get to it next week' and before you realise it, the show has opened and closed before you even got a chance to put it in your diary! So with the multitude of incredible shows on at the moment, I made some time to take a few days out of work and enjoy all that the city has to offer. What better way to enjoy the summery days then with a walk around the galleries, intermixed with lunch and drinks with friends and family.

Christian Marclay's exhibition 9 x 9 x 9  at White Cube's Bermondsey space closed last Sunday, so I was determined to make sure that I didn't miss it. I am a huge fan of Marclay and to say I was not disappointed is an understatement; excitement, intrigue and amazement would be a few words to describe my feelings towards his video installations, audio performances and new works within the white walls. 

The exhibition was a triumph visually as well as conceptually. To sit inside a darken room, surrounded with four walls of projected Comic Collaged text, swirling around, up and down created this extraordinary sensory experience that was felt deep into your pit of your stomach. At times it was if your had drunk to much absinthe and been left to interrupt your dreams, as the room spun around, a group of black figures at the centre, holding tightly on. Then into the other rooms; refined silkscreen prints and large scale canvases, a nod to the Pop Art movement as well as wonderful collaborations with the London Sinfonietta and the Vinyl Factory, where performance and production where intertwined. It was truly spell binding.

 
Yesterday saw a wonderful family trip with my baby nephew to see the newly opened Sonia Delaunay exhibition at the Tate Modern. This exhibition was to our delight very quiet, we could take our time, slowly meandering through the huge exhibition, admiring the sensational colours, expressively painted in the stunning works that earned Delaunay such respect in the early 1900's. The works on paper were beautiful, the curvature of the gouache, the fluid movements created by the forms she drew, a tactility of materiality as well as a sensual, intimate touch to the figure she painted in the Tango series, we were all captivated! 

What was wonderful to see was how her natural style could so easily be translated into graphic patterns, textiles, Fashion as well as Theatre costumes. To see her design illustrations, the print and fabrics as well as clothing was intriguing. The craftsmanship of these works, the woven designs made in Russia to her costume designs for the Hungarian Dadaists, her Delaunay style, artistic vision was always so prominent, an extraordinary women of her time whose vision today seems still so contemporary, a true inspiration. I shall be sure to return again to experience this must see exhibition.

http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/christian_marclay_bermondsey_2015/

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/ey-exhibition-sonia-delaunay

Friday, 10 April 2015

Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty At V&A

 
There are few exhibitions in this world that you visit and leave feeling so unimaginably touched, it brings tears to your eyes, but I can honestly say that after seeing, being immersed into Savage Beauty, the new Alexander McQueen retrospective at the V&A, I am wholeheartedly overwhelmed and can't really find the words to describe this powerful expression to the senses. The only other exhibition that has left me in this space was Sophie Calle's exhibition Rachel Monique at the Palais de Tokyo back in 2010. 

When an exhibition touches your senses so deeply, the experience is truly monumental. You are transfixed into another universe, where time isn't important, silence encapsulates your mind and the only details you care for are within the walls and the objects that surround you. This afternoon, I was transported into a world of dark beauty, materiality and artistry that travels deep into your core. A sensory experience that touches you on every possible level, from the hard digital videos of the live runways, the intricate pattern cutting and assembly of fabrics to the mise-en scene laced with Classical scores. With every step you are stuck with more, more and more. Emotion builds, at times it is if you need to leave to take a breath, pause, and then plunge down deeper, darker before you need to resurface.

This exhibition was always going to touch me deeply, not only for the obvious reasons of being McQueen, but also for a more somber, sorrow note, that touches my heart ever so closely; that this exhibition would have been adored by my dearest friend, who the same year and having worked with McQueen, also committed suicide. This show, for me, feels almost like a binding of souls and although it brings tears to my eyes, makes me love this exhibition even more than I thought I could. It is a triumph of curation, where a true artist can change the way you feel forever. 


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Forthcoming Contribution In Aperture's Spring PhotoBookReview Coming Soon...

Very, very pleased to have contribution a piece of writing about the Photobook as Performance as Photobook, part of the new Spring issue of Aperture Foundation's The PhotoBookReview! With a specific focus on Japanese Photography and Performance I am in some wonderful company; Aron Morel, Bruno Ceschel, Anouk Kruithof, Sebastian Hau, Rinko Kawauchi, Sokyusha and many, many more.

Stay turned, it's all coming soon, first release date will be at the ICP pop shop on the 26th April, part of the new Japanese Photography Symposium in New York - Shashin!


Saturday, 28 March 2015

Don't Miss - Sloan Projects Debut Exhibition in LA

With only 1 week left of the debut exhibition, "Claudia Parducci & Melinda Gibson" at the newly opened Sloan Projects Gallery in Santa Monica, if State side, don't miss it! 

Recently selected as Pick of the Week by Artillery Mag, "Melinda Gibson's small, elegant photo montages encapsulate narratives in visual space that suggest human relationships that are constantly shifting, yet never fully consummated." Here are a couple of installation shots from the exhibition.


Monday, 23 March 2015

Berlin-Dresden-Berlin

 
London-Berlin-Dresden-Berlin-London, with teaching in-between and a fair few beers! It was an absolute pleasure to be back at the Shift School of Photography in Dresden to teach on a new workshop all around the Products of Photography - specialising in the Photobook alongside a very good friend of mine and fellow artist/publisher Mr Roger Eberhard. Not only was Roger teaching, but so too was another friend and fellow collaborator - Arthur Herrman from Kummer & Herrman. 

It was a very intense three days, but in-between all the hours of teaching, presenting and more teaching we surely did have some fun and taste the Dresden delights and even an impromptu stop over in Berlin for midnight drinks and an early brunch before I was whisked off to the airport! It was an excellent weekend that was full of advice, inspiration and intrigue - all that come some wonderfully well from the Shift School.

Here's to another workshop and many more nights in Berlin!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Acts Of Looking Exhibition At The Southbank

Last weekend saw the wonderful WOW Festival at the Southbank Centre, with an amazing array of workshops, talks and events the festival really celebrated all that modern women are and proposed some very interesting questions that can help, inspire and shape women's futures in the years to come, so a huge thank you to WOW! 

I was very privileged to be involved in one of the exhibitions, Acts Of Looking, a collaboration with the excellent agency Making Pictures and the Southbank, here is an installation shot from the exhibition. It's not every day that you receive installation shots that have such a surrounding, very proud to be part of this projection showcase and wonderful to see the series, The Photograph As Contemporary Art so large - quite a difference indeed!

More on the exhibition and digital platform here: 

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