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Things I have made
A Thing What I Wrote (2020)

A Thing What I Wrote (2020)

The Peter & nou Handbook: A Field Guide to a Speculative Practice (So Far) (2020)

Delivered to the University of Cumbria Research Office in a suitcase at 3.30pm on Thursday 27th February 2020. Then Professor Robert Williams and family took me out for a pint. Now I have no idea what to do with myself…

Domestic Bliss – GoMA, Glasgow

Domestic Bliss – GoMA, Glasgow

 

Pop into Domestic Bliss up in Gallery 4 of GoMA when you are passing. Katie Bruce’s exhibition makes the space seem like new. My work, based on the life of Carson McCullers and from my solo show They are the We of Me (GoMA, 2006) gets to hang out with works by Jacqueline Donachie and Jo Spence, with personal fav. Kate Davis not far off…

From GoMA website:

Domestic Bliss
8 March 2019 (Preview 7 March 5 – 8pm)

Domestic Bliss presents works from Glasgow Museums’ collection reflecting on this building’s history as a former house, Royal Exchange and civic space. Observing how artists work with fine art, design and craft practices alongside social and political changes, this show explores domestic labour and feminism, public and private space, intimate relationships and historical narratives. We live in a consumerist world where home interior, lifestyle magazines and social media present flawless examples for us to emulate in our own lives. What happens if we question what is seen as ‘domestic bliss’, and whose stories are hidden or revealed?

‘I want to make something that lives with the eye as a beautiful piece of art, but on closer inspection, a polemic or an ideology will come out of it’. Grayson Perry

Opening up the gallery space for the first time in a number of years Domestic Blissexperiments with domestic design and traditional museum displays. Works cluster together around themes, they are curious and ask questions about their role in public collections and what histories are hidden or revealed. Included in the exhibition are portraits of intimacy, domesticity and important stories from our collection. However, within this, questions are also asked about the relationship between the artist/maker, the sitter and the audience. These include questions around gaze, authorship and exploitation of marginalised lives that are more prevalent now in our current climate of social media thus creating a discourse on class, values, intersectionality, and documentary media.

Domestic Bliss began with the curator Katie Bruce interested in the work Untitled (Yellow Foot Sofa) by Nicola L (1937 – 2018), acquired in 1990 for Glasgow Museum’s collection, and thinking about the history of the building as home, exchange, library and museum.  The exhibition includes works from the fine art and decorative art collections that have never been shown at GoMA before alongside new acquisitions from Anne Collier and Siân Robinson Davies with more recently-displayed works such as Growing up as Boy by Grayson Perry,  Ice Cream Paperweight (Brown) by Scott Myles and Home Ornaments by Daphne Wright.

At the centre of the show is a reading table, which also functions as an event space responding to themes within the exhibition. Commissions from Camara Taylor and Mandy McIntosh include events that will begin to question the ‘domestic bliss’ the title of this exhibition alludes to. These and the public programme of discussions, talks and readings will inform display changes to the exhibition in the future.

Artists:
Jane Evelyn Atwood, Chris Bramble, Thomas J Clapperton, Emmanuel Cooper, Anne Collier, Kate Davis, Jacqueline Donachie, Nick Evans, Alasdair Gray, Ilana Halperin, Jessie M King, Nicola L, Oscar Marzaroli, Mandy McIntosh and the Feegie Needlers, Scott Myles, Grayson Perry, Niki de Saint Phalle, Siân Robinson Davies, Jo Spence, Ettore Sottsass, Joel Sternfeld, Camara Taylor, Jane Topping, Hanneline Visnes, Nick Waplington, Daphne Wright.

From The Skinny’s Review:

For Domestic Bliss, the Gallery of Modern Art furnishes its top floor gallery full of works from Glasgow’s renowned civic art collection that touch on homelife and domesticity.

In a wide format photograph from Nick Waplington across the back wall, a recent mother tilts the new baby’s head as it vomits, with the frame of the photography taking in the entirety of the small living room’s details, as a frank and exceptional insight into private family life.

There are also drawings of Jane Topping’s own studio wall with fragments of research on the playwright Carson McCullers, particularly a period when McCullers left her husband to live in a queer commune of sorts in the 40s. They show sketches of intimate photos along with quotidian itemised lists (‘cigarettes, dirty plate, war news…’) and poetic annotations or quotations: ‘choice’, ‘Plus, I crave’.

Like the photo of Jacqueline Donachie’s own hectic studio wall, there’s an analogy subtly drawn between the artist’s desk and the build-up of things and papers familiar from well-used coffee tables or fridge doors, and the fortuitous connections and gatherings that might take place there.

Documentary photography takes on a poignant bent in the work of Jane Evelyn Wood, who provides a disarmingly intimate record of Jean Louis, a French man dying of Aids, in his final months. The photos of him passionately kissing, then shaving in the mirror are warm, close-up, inviting and vulnerable.

As well as moments of tenderness, there are the sumptuous perfume bottles designed by Niki de Sant Phalle, and the eccentrically colourful and elegantly formed vases and glasses of Ettore Sottsass.

Entering and exiting, there’s what sounds like the noise of a basin of dishes in water, or the rhythmic rumble of a washing machine. It’s Ilana Halperin’s recording of melting ice crystals in an Icelandic lagoon. At once, the familiar everyday humdrum is made sparkling, and connected global rhythms and radical shifts.

Adam Benmakhlouf 2019


Domestic Bliss, at Gallery of Modern Art until 31 Dec

 

Peter & nou – new images

Shot by designer Matthew Walkerdine for his website, I’ve half inched these gorgeous new images of Peter & nou.

All those ‘corrections’ in Peter were drawn by me and then scanned and overlaid on the original text by Matt. Matt is, as is artist Jessica HigginsGood Press.

 

Touch Screen (Technicolour) (2016)

Touch Screen (Technicolour) (2016)

Once more adhering to my habit of organising something when I should be writing something, here’s an update on an old post:

‘Once more adhering to my habit of making something when I should be writing something, here are a couple of super-short films I made in bed this morning. Think of them as screen savers (to come).

23/06/2016 – Sorry, the Technicolour version is now off line. Email me if you’d like to see it.

25/07/2018 – Touch Screen (Technicolour) is on Vimeo again – but email me, cos you’ll need the password…’

 

A 35mm 208-ish Frame Version of Blade Runner…

A 35mm 208-ish Frame Version of Blade Runner…

…for the Harp Room (2017). I’d forgotten about this film, made at Hospitalfield this time last year. Watch it here.

Like the other 35mm 208-ish Frame films (and there are around 20 of them, you can see them if you are fortunate at www.rabbitcottontoothcottonrabbit.com) it’s made with scraps of an original 35mm copy of Blade Runner.

 

Alchemy: The Curios Society @ The Whitechapel

Alchemy: The Curios Society @ The Whitechapel

I was highly excited to be in the mix and contributing a text/talk for Alchemy: The Curios Society, alongside the amazing duo of Kate Briggs and Robert Williams. All connected to Mark Dion’s Theatre of the Natural World show at the Whitechapel…

And then the snow arrived and I was trapped in the Greggs on Glasgow’s Gordon Street (it’s a sit-in Greggs, with brick wallpaper, so very much like being in Shoreditch/Finnieston) unable to move below Crosshill, let alone below Maw-well.

So I swiftly rewrote the text and had Fiona, the Scottish electronic Word person, read it for me remotely. Prof. Robert Williams, always a pleasure, was my remote ‘Igor’ – thank you Robert. Introduced by the ever patient Jane Scarth, this happened way back when… 3rd March 2018, The Whitechapel, London.

In the future times, you will be able to listen to the gig here. In the mean time, here’s the title image of ‘Fiona’s’ talk, where I (she) attempted to connect Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, mad female scientists, Villeneuve’s Arrival and Naomi Mitchison’s Memoirs of a Spacewoman, with eggs, aliens and alchemy.

You know, I think I’ve mentioned this already…What does that mean?

nou (2018)

nou (2018)

As you may have gathered, Peter (2014) has a partner and an opposite. Here’s a link to a 2 minute clip of my new video, nou (2018): nou clip.

nou (18 mins, 2018) – Inspired by Scottish socialist writer Naomi Mitchison’s Memoirs of a Spacewoman, nou is a tale of space travel, hypnosis and transformation – across time and space, from an alien world to a dentist’s chair. nou is the sequel to Peter (2014), which won Best PKD Short Film at the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, New York, 2017.

nou was first shown at Glasgow International 2018, as part of the always exciting Old Hairdresser’s programme, Old Hair, curated by Rob Churm.

Sound design for nou was by the inimitable Mark Vernon.

www.rabbitcottontooth…

Thanks to Trish de Vries, Peter & nou comes in a web version.

Constantly evolving, never the same twice (though, technically, it could be the same twice, its just highly unlikely), frustrating, annoying and verging on the incomprehensible:

www.rabbitcottontoothcottonrabbit.com‘s domain name refers to a specific moment in time and space;a narrative used by a dentist to hypnotise a child, looping over and over and over…

You can actually watch both Peter (2014) and nou (2018) here. Plus all my other works pop up at some point, though that’s the least of it…

 

 

Peter & nou – the book(s)

Here’s my new publication, Peter & nou.

Matt and Jess at Good Press organised this and Matthew Walkerdine designed it too. It’s element heavy, with a sticker of a lab rat in a kaleidoscopic space/time traveling tunnel included for you, gratis. You’re welcome.

It comprises a book called Peter (like the film Peter, 2014), a book called nou (like the film nou, 2018), two postcards and an envelope – all in a beautiful box. The whole package echoes the dimensions of a DVD ‘boxset’ and if you post off your envelope, you get yet another book sent straight back to you. Well you will, when I get the gorgeous new return envelopes made up. Hang in there…

Get your copy now – a limited edition of only 250 – available from Good Press here.

ISBN: 978-1-9995858-0-8

Eggs and Aliens

You’d never know it, but…there has been action. Trapped in Glasgow by snow, I hastily re-wrote my contribution to this sold out event The Curios Society at the Whitechapel

(Saturday 3rd March, 3pm, Whitechapel), so that Eggs and Aliens was delivered by ‘Fiona’, the ‘Scottish’ digital Word voice, who, when slowed to somewhere between slow and normal, sounds almost exactly like me anyway. A totally subjective trip from the first Alchemist to alien abduction, via a female mad scientist, two linguist spacewomen and a picnic, Eggs and Aliens‘ images were gamely moved along by the non-digital flesh finger of Robert Williams.

So I missed in person, Robert’s excellent discussions of his work with Dion and the brilliant Kate Briggs’ talk about the alchemy of translation… But I’ve got an audio file – a treat for later today…

Huge thanks to Jane Scarth and the tech team of The Whitechapel for the massive effort and for agreeing to let Fiona speak in the first place.

Fiona’s better than I am at pronouncing ouroboros anyway.

“Assembling on the first three Saturdays of Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural WorldThe Curios Society meets to investigate the weird and wonderful, the unlikely and impossible. 

Alchemy can describe a philosophical tradition, an esoteric practice, a way of thinking and at times, an artistic methodology.

We meet artists Robert WilliamsKate Briggs and Jane Topping to explore ideas of the alchemical in art. From transmutation in translation to the figure of the alchemist in popular film cultures, this talk charts a course through the mysteries and cultural intersections of alchemy.”

From the Whitechapel website.