BLACK AMERICA THE EXHIBITION, will be more than your average art show. In conjunction with new band Oddysseys' debut EP, Hayden Kays and Rosie Oddie will be inviting you to join them and their (now unemployed) colleagues on the last day at the bank they have worked at for many loyal years. Through the use of performance, sound and visual elements you will be walking through a physical manifestation of recession, greed and consumerism and all of the truths that we now have to face within their demise. Faded decadence running through every wall. The art has been produced by a selection of both up and coming and established artists and covers a wide range of media. All the pieces have been made specifically for the show.
Through my practice I like to explore the way in which we interact with our surroundings navigating through our each individual landscapes, through the maze of streets buildings and squares and the ways in which we perceive urban spaces. I very much rely on the city as an ongoing source of inspiration, the way in which it furnishes ever-changing, continuous streams of urban imagery and the kaleidoscopic way in which it hits our eyes. Branding, lights, colours, objects and not forgetting the movements of people, which almost takes on the nature of a narrative.
Almost entirely abstract in form and content I use the canvas as a playing ground for experimental and adventurous mark making, a cacophony of meticulous yet striking combination's of aerosol, acrylic and applied print. The surface of the canvas littered with marks, tags, and drips takes on the form of the street. The raw, gritty looseness of the works shows the decay and chaos of our urban environment. Even more so; the taking over, rubbing, ripping, as well as stamping your presence all have a direct engagement with the act of graffiti.
It is that walking goes against the grain of the social and physical development of modern capitalism that it has become so central in art and politics today. While it is the industrial means of transport that threaten to make our limbs and senses obsolete, confining our daily lives between work, shop and media indulgence – walking continues to sculpt human life as a matter of territory and political activity. It is this activity of walking that allows me to be engaged in street life and witness happenings and situations and draw inspiration from it.
Walking in our modern speed culture takes on a form of resistance, it is an activity that is accessible to everybody and it could be said is the last private space, safe from the phone or email. There is no theory of walking nor is there rules, but their can be a certain wisdom involved. It is more an attitude, a state where you can be both alert to everything in your peripheral vision and yet totally lose yourself in your thoughts. The city is an ever changing, ever flourishing environment with a continuous evolvement, with the unfolding of stories, imagery, and materials out of which one can produce art.
I examined the ways in which we interact with our surroundings, how one is able to drift and take on the figure of the flaneur. Whilst experimenting with ways in which I could document this in everyday life, through immersing myself and centering my practice around my participation in public life socially and politically on the street.
When walking you enter a state were you are both alert to everything that s happening in your peripheral vision and hearing and yet totally loose yourself in your thought process. In turn to derive is to roam free, to drift with no specific destination. What I am trying to get across in this unit is that this ideal of being free to flaneur is impossible as today’s modern experience we are contingent to laws on how we should live. And I attempt to articulate how hard it is to move through our streets when we are watched and waited upon to put a foot wrong. I have examined how I, a young white male in his 20’s and others like me are viewed upon in society for the cloths we wear, where we hang out and the people we hang around with. How threatening youths and the hoody culture is portraid in the social reality of now and how techniques of surveillance and our Big Brother culture is meant to keep us in track. And how we live our life in a context of fear.
Stills from 'with intent'
Launderette Video Installation
On one of my many walks, with my video camera in hand waiting for a situation or scenario to arise, i came across a launderette. As i peer in immediately the aging wood Verine interior catches my eye, as locals sit silent steering at the revolving drum in front of them, spinning themselves into some sort of trance. Their domestic temple a place to sit reflect and cleanse their soul.
Concentrating on the ideas of the derive and the figure of the flaneur in particular it is the way in which the building resonates with a state of mind.
Sitting myself down i place my video camera onto of a washing machine and record their actions, leaving the production of the video up to someone else a stranger a chance encounter
Stills from (Launderette)
Using two projectors i project my video onto a door and a lump of concrette both found whilst on a previous walk. I use the resonateing humming of the washing machines as sound accompaniement
Final Piece (Launderette)
Trace video installation
In this piece i am truing to represent, a happening, someones journey. i want this film to be constantly slipping between the generic (the shadows the colors, the lights and the blurs in the world around us) and the specific (the young man of the 20th centurary).
through this process i record the man's journey through the city at night, there is nowone around, no cars on the road, only the street lights glow from above. As the individual slips in and out of focus, i am aware of the symbolic relationship the body has with the city.
Every thing is in motion, the protagonists body walks, rises, falls, rotates his head, the air as it carries frequencies, particles, light and sound.
I am making a close refereance to the figure of the flaneaur and the action of the derive.
This piece originated from my journey around the city I live in. Aware of skips, piles of rubbish accumulated on street corners, other peoples discarded waste, I concentrated on collecting 16mm stock film. As well as a visual feast shifting between a documentary of a nuclear power station, a demented figure wielding a golf club, a man moving bags at a fruit and veg stand this film more represents my journey, my interaction with the everyday and the city. It is that I have rediscovered, re-used and re-appropriated my found footage.
Shed Video Installation
In this piece I chose to investigate the interaction I a have as an artist with the everyday and my surroundings. my practice very much involves me walking. through this process I collect artifacts from my journey. It is this process of scavenging, looking and being that land me with these weird and wonderful souvenirs. It is not my decision what I find yet it is what I come across, there is a limit, a boundary to what I can find.
I find I am drawn towards objects and materials that look like they can tell a story; aging scares, splintered wood, objects that have once been part of something. It is my aim two re-discover these object and bring them into a new context.