HAVE TO HAND, BY MY HAND, OH HANDYMAN
ELEANOR VONNE BROWN | LIAM CRICHTON | STEPHEN MORGANN | STEVE MYKIETYN | BEATRIZ OLABARRIETA
Curated by Keef Winter
Preview 21st March 2014 – 6pm – 9pm (Eleanor Vonne Brown publication launch,Beatriz Olabarrieta production performance, Stephen Morgann live casting action)
Exhibition Open 22 March – 11 April 2014
(Fridays & Saturdays 12-6pm and by appointment)
The handyman’s potential lies in the role of the underdog – a renegade plumber, a deviant painter-decorator, a glorified technician. The Handyman Aesthetic is a language that presents subordinate materials from the polarised spaces of the city, between glimmering high-rise and dissonant disrepair, materiality and abstraction, resolution and fracture. ‘Judd’s earliest sculptures, perched on the edge between his neighbourhood’s obsolescent manufacturing and the city’s new systematicity, embodied a tension between materiality and abstraction, between manual labour and modular production.’ (Shannon, Joshua, The Disappearance of Objects, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2009, p. 166.)
All of these artists are, of course, artists, but they are also the hammers and drills in a larger art machine. They make the art of others and use the material that got left over; they produce the boxes your art arrives in, they reuse your material and reconfigure it to their own purpose, in their own time; they take the lollipop sticks from your mouths and prop up their plywood strips with them. In this vein, each of these artists aim to use FLOOD space as an extension of their studios, organising onsite, overlapping as necessary. In this show the artists begin to work for each other, one artist giving another a hand, and in turn the line between finished work and supporting structure becomes blurred.
Eleanor Vonne Brown, founder of East London independent art bookstore and project space X Marks the Bokship, produces a book work for this exhibition, cataloguing her visual and textual ideas in parallel to her busy bookshop schedule. Her limited-edition publication sits housed in a custom-made shelving unit screwed together by Liam Crichton. Crichton, a board member and technician of Platform Arts in Belfast responds directly to the exhibition space with a raw, material approach that underpins the proceedings with a clean, sinister edge. His work casts a footprint for Stephen Morgann, a mainstay in busy art fabrication company Other People’s Sculpture in East London. Morgann up-scales the inherent properties of an emergency blanket carried in the form of a tabletop on a trolley from London. In the gallery he will choose a part of the building’s fabric to pour plaster moulds live at the opening. These near-flat sculptures visually link us in proportion to the work of Steve Mykietyn, an art handler based in New York, who reveals new paintings from his studio and project space ORGY PARK that flow free with colour, geometric motifs and are painted onto pieces of toughened fabric. Lastly, Beatriz Olabarrieta scripts a live action to play out the production of her work in real-time on the opening night. The result of this event becomes the artist’s exhibited work.
Eleanor Vonne Brown, b. 1977, lives and works in London. Projects include X Marks the Bokship, London 2008 – 2014, X-Operative, Wysing Arts Centre 2013, XARCHIVE, Badischer-Kunstverein 2012, Translation and Verbal Mutation, Whitechapel Gallery / FormContent 2011, Publishing as Practice, Bokship 2010, Communication Breakdown, Nassauischer Kunstverein 2010, The Newpaper 2007 – 2008. bokship [bok-ship] n. Like a bookshop but not, a Bokship is a bookshop, project space and production studio all under one roof. It is a vessel to discuss independent publishing and develop publishing as part of artistic practice.
Liam Crichton (Scottish, b.1984, lives and works in Belfast) graduated from ECA in Ba (Hons) Sculpture in 2010. Crichton creates large-scale sculptures and installations that investigate physical space and contain references to and elements of minimalist sensibilities, occult aesthetics, and formal sculptural practices. His work is often characterised by a sense of dichotomy that challenges traditional perceptions and cultural surroundings. He is currently a Co-Director and Technician at Platform Arts, a studio collective and project space in Belfast. Crichton has recently exhibited in London, Philadelphia and Belfast.
Stephen Morgann (born 1988, London) lives and works in London. He graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Middlesex University in 2011. His studio is based at ‘Other People’s Sculpture’ where he is a mainstay in an art fabrication company. His clients regularly include Rachel Whiteread, Oscar Murillo, and Daniel Silver among others. Morgann’s artistic practice explores the techniques of customising moulds, casting and firing various materials. His process is key, allowing a window of accident to infiltrate his outcomes. By imitating simple forms through complex techniques, Morgann begins to hint at larger modular systems, maquettes of megastructures that assert significant geometrical forms. He aims to produce results that are precious, seductive and unique; works that could be mistaken as functional and at times unassuming but are nonetheless inherently valuable.
Steve Mykietyn Born in Norwich, CT in 1978, Mykietyn graduated in 2000 with a BFA in Fine Art from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and in 2006 with a MFA in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art. His work examines motifs, distorted messages and hyper-media often painted onto unusual surfaces. He is the founder of Orgy Park Gallery in Brooklyn. Recent exhibitions include: db Presents ‘Ella Barclay and Steve Mykietyn’, MOP Projects (Sydney 2013); ‘Ghostface’, Bobby Redd Project Space, Brooklyn (2012) ‘MegaMix Histories’ Bahrain Site Museum, Manama (2010); ‘Arcade Park’ BETAspaces, Brooklyn (2009); ‘My Brain’s a Cliff and My Heart’s a Bitter Buffalo’ a two-part show at castillo/corales, Paris, and Jonathan Viner, London (2008). ‘How Do U Want It?’ Sleeper Gallery, Edinburgh (2008); ‘Deathlords of Karaoke’ Gallery Titanik, Turku (2007); ‘Battle Bags’ AIAV, Yamaguchi (2007); He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Beatriz Olabarrieta, born 1981, Bilbao, Spain, lives and works in London and graduated from MA Fine Art Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2007. Her work proposes an ongoing analysis of the nature of sculpture and of its potential not only in terms of form but also as systems of objects that draw out performative scenarios. Recent solo shows include Foliage, MOT International, Brussels (2012); Motor Motor, Praxis Programme, Artium Basque Museum-centre of Contemporary Art, Vitoria, Spain (2012/13); Scene 10 What happens when all the characters leave the stage, curated by Formcontent at The Royal Standard for the Liverpool Biennial (2012) and a Solo Presentation with MOT International at the Opening (curated Section) of ARCO Art Fair Madrid (2013). She is represented by MOT International.
Keef Winter (b. 1980, N. Ireland) is an artist based in London. His work examines types of dissonance through constructing various forms of sculptural apparatus. As a curator he is the co-founder of Space Delawab in Belfast 2008-2010 and founder of Bruno Glint Projects in London 2012 -. He recently completed a PhD at the University of Ulster developing his idea of a Handyman Aesthetic. He has recently exhibited at T-A-P, Southend, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, and 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo. He has upcoming shows in Chandelier Projects and Vulpes Vulpes, both in London.
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