23.10.16

Work Out opens Friday 28 October 6-8pm

Open 11am - 5pm Friday - Saturday 29 October - 13 November

Artists' Talks: Saturday 5 November 3pm - Margaret Roberts, Terry Hayes 

ROOMSHEET

Work Out shows the work of artists Linden Braye, Terry Hayes, Margaret Roberts, Sardar Sinjawi, Katherine Scott and William Seeto, whose work invites some combination of physical and mental engagement. 

To 'work out' suggests the two apparently different processes of solving a puzzle in the mind and exercising the body in space. Even though these are commonly thought of as different processes, there has also long been an interest in the inter-dependency of the mind and the body. Artists implicitly accept that inter-dependency when they employ a spatial vocabulary—whether virtual or actual—to test the mind. In philosophy, Merleau-Ponty discussed this inter-dependency in terms of relationships between perception and reflection, for example as he reflected in 1964:

Left to itself, perception forgets itself and is ignorant of its own accomplishments. Far from thinking that philosophy is a useless repetition of life I think, on the contrary, that without reflection life would probably dissipate itself in ignorance of itself or in chaos. But this does not mean that reflection should be  carried away with itself or pretend to be ignorant of its origins. By fleeing difficulties it would only fail in its task. (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, An Unpublished Text in The Primacy of Perception, trans James M. Edie, Northwestern University Press, 1964, p19)

The phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty was drawn on by artists in the mid 20th Century to explain their growing interest in extending their spatial language from the virtual space of images to the actual space of the body as well. The work shown in Work Out inherits and emphasises that interest by being puzzles that are resolved or explored by bodily moving around or from some other actual spatial engagement. The particular interest that each of these artists has in this area is outlined below.

In the past, Linden Braye would don the costume of a generalised animal, and, while her loyal dog Luna was alive, challenge Luna (as well as human audiences) to work out what she had become. Luna tried to do this by running around and barking. Since Luna has passed on, Linden has sometimes become birds, attempting to leap into the sky or search for scraps in the ground or  rubbish bins.
Linden Braye 2016
Terry Hayes  will work with aboutness, as in 'What is this artwork about?' once the (art) and the (ab) have been worked out.
Terry Hayes 2011
Margaret Roberts will show some of the geometric processes that Francesco Borromini is thought to have used to work out the footprints of his 17th century baroque churches, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza. They will be shown as wall drawings with facility for visitors to physically move parts to work out how its thought the shapes were devised.
Margaret Roberts 2016

In his long-term project, After a Beam of Light, Sardar Sinjawi explores the formation of images via the simple interaction of people and objects in spaces also populated by transparent reflective surfaces. He does this by asking viewers to work out the disjunctions between what they see from a single spot and what they know by moving around. He arrived at this by experimenting with clear perspex and mirror to create objects that are illusory like holograms, but that are actually mental entities that viewers themselves create through the conjunction of reflection and their own spatial location. He gives viewers the opportunity to understand that it is they who create the illusory object, just as they can also undo it by moving behind the reflection to see the illusory object disappear.
Sardar Sinjawi 2016
In a different way, Katherine Scott also problematises the image, using projections that ask viewers to work out their formation and relationship to the images' likenesses in the space that is occupied by both image and viewer. 
Katherine Scott 2016
 William Seeto will show work that is a continuation from his project, The Space in Between that explores the transformations produced by simple physical processes such as folding/unfolding/extension and that asks viewers to work out how those changes come about.
William Seeto 2016

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