In his 1955 series of lectures “How to do things with words” J. L. Austin proclaimed that certain expressions of speech are not simply descriptive or a statement of an action but have an actual “force whereby they perform the action to which they refer” (Bolt, B. 2008). Austin called these utterances “performative” because of their ability to produce effect in the world. According to Austin I do is one clear example of a performative language act. Appropriating the term I do because of its performativity and because of its reference to the act of making or doing itself, this exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists whose practices propose/explore or question the possibility that the art object itself can be performative. Each artist, whether through a photograph, an object or a painting is questioning the art objects potential to produce a direct effect in the world and in a variety of ways makes doing central.
Peggy Atherton is a London based artist working with road kill, found animals and insects in a wide variety of processes and materials. She produces objects, which are both funereal and celebratory. A complex relationship that is particularly pertinent with regards to global ecology and our impact on the environment. Recent shows consist of Unit 24 London July 2011, Kate MacGarry Gallery, London. She represented London in What’s New from London at the Orion Art Gallery Belgium. Wake, London Gallery West and Mini Museum, a touring exhibition featured at the Port Elliot Literary Festival.
Maria Bartolo’s work consists of discrete, (often missable) situation based gestures that operate somewhere between performance and life. Projects include Handbag Art at The De La Warr Pavilion, Subway Sect a 6 part Art /Music radio show (in conversation with Jim Lambie, Hayley Newman, Nathaniel Mellors, Dan Fox, Kevin Shields and Primal Scream) and work shown at Tate Britain Curatorial Symposium in association with the Liverpool Biennial.
Annie Davey uses empirical research and the story as means to re think how histories are made and re made, and to play out the continual shifts between our understanding of the past and its renewal or refurbishment. Recent exhibitions include Performance as Publishing, South London Gallery, Press Release at BolteLang, Zurich, curated by Form Content and Elastic Frames at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, curated by Corin Sworn.
Dolanbay; Via a three-fold focus on artists, art and life, dolanbay has been investigating art theories and coherent practices consecutive of the historical changes that shape contemporary art. Consequently, he has produced series of paintings and performative installations evolving a new aesthetics, negotiating the dichotomy of Performativity & Constativity, Actuality & Potentiality and Act & Acting within the mode of creation.
Dolanbay has studied 3D Design and Mixed Media Fine Art in the UK. He has exhibited and performed in numerous shows in London, Istanbul and Berlin.
Ben Joiner’s recent work has been a search for place, away from the palpable and pragmatic towards the theatre, uncertainties and specters of the psyche. Exploiting the associative relationships suggested by both the form and colour, the readings are both, suggestive, disturbing and humorous.
Exhibitions include , AVA Metropolitan Gallery Cape Town, Harry Zellweger Gallery Basel, and has work in the Arts Council and Contemporary Art Society collections.
Natasha Kidd is currently a research student (D-Phil) at the Ruskin School of Fine at the University of Oxford. Kidd’s work involves the development of machines or systems that paint. What she finds most compelling about the process of painting is the action or event. The machines come out of an ambition to make this visible.
Pete Owen utilises a variety of materials and media to make work that considers the relationships between originality, the retro and cliché, autobiography and non-fiction, the meaningful and the meaningless. He has exhibited at Tate Modern and The Institute of Contemporary Art, London and galleries in Paris, Lisbon, Turin, Vienna and Bremen. From 1988 – 2002 he was co-organiser of City Racing, the London-based artists-run gallery and project.
Raine Smith’s images Camden Floor look at order and control in space/place, but perhaps most importantly they hint at an obsessive striving for ‘finish’. He has been showing work since 1996, with shows at Camden Arts Center London, The National Glass Center, Sunderland and the ICA London.
Kerry Stewart Figurative sculptures! Animal and beast performances! Now…screenprints! Kerry Stewart has shown at Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, PS1 (New York), Scottish National Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Hayward Gallery, Berlinische Galerie, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, ICA (London) and CCA (Glasgow).