Friday, 31 July 2009

Notes on NOTES...

image - Arco, Bookwork/C-type prints, 2008 © Sam Belinfante

Open Dialogues is taking part in Notes on NOTES…; a collaborative writing residency with Matthew Hearn, John Dummett and Rachel Lois Clapham

NOTES on a Return is a series of events and exhibitions recalling a sequence of live artworks which took place at the Laing Gallery in the late 1980s.

The programme brings back works by Anne Bean, Rose English, Mona Hatoum, Bruce McLean and Nigel Rolfe. Five UK and international artists - Sam Belinfante (UK), Sofia Greff (Germany), Graham Hudson (UK), Meg Mosley (UK) and Viola Yesiltac (USA/Germany) - have also been commissioned to make new works that respond to the five original 1980’s performances.

Together, the exhibition based archival recollections, new commissions and symposium are all part of an open question or in-process experiment in how to house ephemeral practice and return to or re-enact the live.

Notes on NOTES

Notes on NOTES is a writing residency
in which Rachel Lois Clapham, John Dummett
and Matthew Hearne will collectively make an imperfect fiction of Notes on a Return in a series of live, drawn and public actions.

Rachel Lois Clapham ‘Scoring Notes on a Return’
Ultimately speculative, a score lies in between action and object, performance and document; it is a singular record of action past or imagined and a call to future performances.

Exploring how to compose, punctuate or re-write performance Rachel Lois will publicly make a score for Notes on a Return using materials gathered from artists and audiences over the two days of the symposium. The resulting score will be used to produce a written response to the five newly commissioned performances in Notes.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to contribute to the composition of the score in whatever way they wish. All contributions will be acknowledged in the final published text.

Rachel Lois Clapham has a BA Fine Art/Art History (2000) and an MA in Contemporary Art Theory (2007) from Goldsmiths College. Previously editor of Live Art UK’s Writing From Live Art, and Arts Council funded Writing Live fellow for Performa Biennial, New York, her writing on performance related practice is published in the UK and internationally. She works across exhibitions and gallery education, most recently curating Nahnou-Together Now an exhibition at Tate Britain (June -Sept 08). She is currently Co-Director of critical writing initiative Open Dialogues and writes a regular column 'Inside Performance' for Dance Theatre Journal. Current interests are collaborative live writing, scores and the porosity of text.

John Dummett ‘My very first Incunabulum’
Through working on and annotating a facsimile of Mel Bochner’s seminal 1970 conceptual artwork; ‘Language is not transparent’ John Dummett will print a text composed of the transient, ephemeral, and unstable fictions that together constitute memory. This live printing process will draw upon what is made visible and legible during the 1,050 minutes of the Notes on a Return symposium.

(Incunabulum is the Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle" and can refer to the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything. In printing, an incunabulum is a book, or even a single sheet of text that was printed— not handwritten — before the year 1501 in Europe.)

Working with text, writing and discussions,Dummetts' practice is a live collaborative process which performs the act of thinking and critical reflection. Over the past 10 years he has worked internationally exhibiting works at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, Irish Museum of Modern Art and at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

In 2009 John has worked on bodies of writing which have explored urban green space (The Architecture Centre Bristol), the significance and value of thinking in contemporary society (National Review of Live Art) and how shared codes of behaviour mark public space (Limerick City Gallery). He is currently undertaking a 6 month research programme supported by Longhouse in Birmingham.

Matthew Hearne ‘Notes on an Index’
Whilst accepting the subjectivity of our individual response to an event, action or intervention, as we process our thoughts, polish our vocabulary and perfect our grammar the indexical link between first impression and written response both diminishes and collapses.

Within this fulcrum, this margin, this middle ground however there exists the potential to develop and rekindle this connection. Exploring the process, connection and the immediacy of the writing with the aid of type-writer – formally used by Rob le Frenais in Anne Beans 1997 performance at the Laing – and a sheet of carbon paper, the medium, like the live work itself, will become the message.

Matthew Hearn is a writer, curator and sometime artist. He is currently undertaking an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with University of Sunderland and The Locus+ Archive. Having worked with Locus+ since 2002 this current body of research led to his involvement in researching and curating the Locus+ Archive exhibition This Will Not Happen Without You and has also fed into the development of Notes on a Return.

Thinking, talking and writing about archives and the need, means and process of documenting ephemeral practices he has fed into a number of recent initiatives including, Per-Forming the Archive and Arkive City in collaboration with University of Ulster, Belfast, and Rethinking Archives, Arnolfini and UWE, Bristol.

Notes on a Return is supported by Arts Council England

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