SISYPHUS IN RETROGRADE
9 APRIL - 4 MAY 2019
LONDON CURATORIAL X AINDREA CONTEMPORARY
17-19 TRITON STREET, REGENTS PLACE, NW1 3BF
'Sisyphus in Retrograde’, curated by Aindrea Emelife and Gabriella Sonabend, presents the works of 5 contemporary artists whose practices reference ancient knowledge and incorporate the activation of sculpture through performance, kinetics and sound. Questioning the symbolism of materials and forms, these artists are linked by their fascination with the ritual object, the point of tension before collapse and the transfiguration of physical forms through the activation of sound, movement and touch. Together they pose questions about possible futures and sustainability within culture and environment.
Exploring the limits of their materials, these artists use sensorial elements to play with the audiences expectations and to challenge our relationship to symbolism and form. Each has research based practices which cross the boundaries between art and science.
Like Sisyphus eternally pushing his boulder uphill, these artists return repeatedly to their subject matter posing questions about how we can use ancient knowledge to develop sustainably in light of the imminent environmental crisis of the era of the anthrophocene. Perhaps posing another question, is human activity as the dominant force progressive, will we save ourselves, or are we in retrograde?
ARTISTS: SOL BAILEY-BARKER, EVY JOKHOVA, ADELINE DE MONSEIGNAT, NISSA NISHIKAWA & HARRISON PEARCE
Radio producer Merlin Nova presents a 7 part podcast interviewing the artists, curators & collaborators of this project. The podcast explores the themes of the exhibition asking fundamental questions about the impact of culture on the way we relate to our environment and the relationship between the environment and technology. Episodes will be released weekly.
CLIMATE: CHANGING OUR CULTURE, RESTORING OUR ENVIRONMENT - Thursday 25th April 2019
A panel of artists, land-workers, climate change activists and scientists gather to discuss whether cultural output can have a tangible affect on activism or whether we need to entirely rethink our idea of culture in order to restore environments.
The question of whether art can be an effective form of activism is centuries old but today we ask something more pragmatic, how can we learn to use creative resources affectively to influence systemic change. This talk is also an opportunity for experts to share insights into the current state of environment globally, helping us to understand both negative and positive developments. The conversation will explore the impact of new technologies, the role of government and corporations and institutions (from scientific to cultural).
PANEL: Sol Bailey-Barker, Nissa Nishikawa Daniel Hudson, Extinction Rebellion & Colin Tudge. Chaired by Gabriella Sonabend.
This event was supported by Arts Council England & British Land
‘BODY’ workshop with Nissa Nishikawa - Saturday 20 April 2019
The workshop held by Nissa Nishikawa focused on diverse disciplines of meditation and dance. Movement and story, choreography and ritual weave with awareness, sensitivity and concentration aiming towards a full integration of mind and body in the immediate landscape.
Gaining awareness of one’s possible processes of embodiment through collective work is key to the workshop activity. Observation and invention in this workshop aims at uniting body and mind fluidity while activating emergent somatic dimensional-access.
‘HAND MADE MACHINES & MACHINE MADE HANDS’ + ‘THE FAMILIAR EARTH/ TENKO NO SEISHIN’ - Thursday 18 April 2019
Nissa Nishikawa presents The Familiar Earth/Tenko no Seishin a movement piece taking place within her new installation Den. Movements unveil the architecture of soil renewing objects while transforming the preliminary nature of a ceremonial tea room. With Isabella Nefar and soundscape by Delfina Muñoz de Toro.
Sol Bailey-Barker presents Hand Made Machines & Machine Made Hands an audio-visual performance piece using a web of sculptures, repurposed analogue technology, a revived organ, vocal loops and object-interventions.
This piece is performed in the heart of his new installation, a glowing pink laboratory housing a series of kinetic and sonic-sculptures. The centre piece Biosphere For A Dead Leaf Mantis contains a full ecosystem with a praying mantis as the apex predator. The piece reflects on the rapid decline of insect populations globally. Hand Made Machines & Machine Made Hands includes a reading of a seminal text on Transhumanism, reflecting on the history of human augmentation through technology and the impact of this on the natural world.
‘THE PORTION’ interactive dinner with Evy Jokhova, presented in collaboration with chef Sebastien Louis Lauret and chef and farmer Abi Aspen Glencross - Friday 3 May 2019
‘The Portion’ was a three part meal, talk and open discussion, which explored norms and normativity, asking the questions: how much is too much, how little is too little, who sets the norms and how have these changed over time?
This collaborative dinner experience looked at topics such as food shortage, rationing, demand and supply, dieting, religious rites and fasting, over consumption, dietary changes due to environmental issues and government enforced food regulations. Participants were invited to collaborate in making their meals by trading, bartering and exchanging components of the meal with their fellow diners in order to create their suppers. The menu for this meal looked to ancestral traditions in vernacular Western cuisines – to our grandmothers who could make five meals from one chicken.