Artificial Arcadia





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#ecology #technology #autonomy #art #sustainability #artificialarcadia

Participating artists: Freya Douglas-Morris,  Carson Fisk-Vittori, May Hands, Lucia Monge, Nicole Vinokur.

Artificial Arcadia* will serve as forum for events and workshops, it will become a performance space, and a platform for artworks that emerge from current concerns with cultivation, artificial production, collective organising, activism and arranging. The exhibition is an example of human-ecosystem collaboration, bringing together artists and a florist in residence for a series of workshops and events to create an environment where another kind of culture can flourish, together with Peckham and London communities at large. The exhibition and surrounding events aim to utilise public space to activate impulses, which stem from mobility/immobility, equipping participants with the tools to change their neighbourhoods, cities, and states.

The five artists Freya Douglas-Morris, Carson Fisk-Vittori, May Hands, Lucia Monge and Nicole Vinokur have been invited to respond to the exhibition through a range of media, and to the space through a series of site-specific projects and installations.  The Peruvian artist Lucia Monge will organise the first ever Plantón Móvil, in collaboration with the gallery, in Peckham to mark the end of the exhibition in July 2016. Plantón Móvil has occurred yearly since 2010 in different communities throughout Lima and was commissioned for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2014. In Peckham, an area which has undergone vast changes in recent years, this initiative will be a commentary on social movement and movement as a less perceptible form of inhuman mobility at large, an organic mobility that operates perhaps on different scales from people to plants.

The paintings by Freya Douglas-Morris refer to ideas of travel, of crossing thresholds into another environment. She likes to gather and collect imagery and ideas; memory, editing, pattern and design all play a part, as does the illusion of a narrative. The exhibition will include works on paper, a mixture of watercolour, gouache, collage, ink and woodcuts. The movement of the water-based paints are quick and immediate, the collaged areas are created without too much preparation, torn and cut without a lot of mapping out. There is a tactility to the paper works which will be exhibited unframed, so that the quality of the painted, collaged and printed paper is as visible and apparent.

Carson Fisk-Vittori constructs environments integrating images, artifacts and flora to analyze the complex interactions between humans and the dynamic landscape. Disturbance Ecology brings together an ecosystem of hypothetical weather machines, landscaping scenarios, and animal repellants. The arrangements feature both deliberate and casual formations that satirize advertisements and lifestyle magazines. Fisk-Vittori reveals the devices through which we experience and manipulate our environment, and analyzes our attempts to commodify the natural world.

May Hands works with organic, found and synthetic materials, her fragile work records our daily urban transits and rituals of consumption. The appropriation of everyday urban leftovers has always characterised the content of the artist’s practice. The different elements in her work are given new life and constitute an anthropological discourse on the nature of contemporary society, as environmental awareness challenges the capitalist project.

Lucia Monge’s practice draws on our assumptions about the agency of “inanimate” things. Plants, soil, stones, these we barely think of as mobile entities but Monge draws our attention to them as potential companion species. The installation in the gallery, [Nos]otros, recalls movement as both popular social movement and movement as a less perceptible form in non-human mobility, an organic mobility that operates perhaps on different scales from species to species. Monge’s practice insists on an ethics of interspecies communication and cooperation.

Monge will also be staging a workshop and a Plantón Móvil in Peckham in July, ““Plantón” is the word in Spanish for a sapling. This project takes on both: the green to be planted and the peaceful protest. It started in Lima and is about giving the plants and trees the opportunity to walk down the streets of a city that is also theirs: like a small forest peacefully claiming its place and respect. People of all ages are invited to lend their mobility to these plants and in return, momentarily borrow some of their slowness.” At the end of each walk, the plants and trees will be planted in Copeland Park, Peckham. Plantón Móvil has occurred yearly since 2010 in different communities throughout Lima and was commissioned for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2014. Last year it made its international debut in Providence, Rhode Island, and this year in London.

Nicole Vinokur’s interdisciplinary practice oscillates between the rational and the mystical exploring rearrangement, imitation, historicity, fiction and the gaze. For this exhibition the artist will rework For the Millions, previously exhibited at Camden Arts Centre, which investigates the history of orchid hunting, absurd domestic cultivation and the relationship between values of rarity and ubiquity. The artist will create a site-specific installation in the gallery, an immersive environment of concealed excess containing orchids, grow lamps, mirrors and growing paraphernalia. The audience is invited to look into this interior through peephole lenses: each view composed, the orchid is staged as an erotic or desirable object, positioning the viewer as a voyeur. Referencing methods of illusion employed during the golden age of plant hunting where collectors would have a single specimen surrounded by mirrors to multiply their collection, the work considers an obsession with ‘taming’ plants, cloning, mass farming and artificial hybridization of ornamental crops as consumer’s taste change. Based upon today’s breeding efforts, the cultivars of the future will have a compact growth habit, variegated foliage, fragrance, and be ever flowering.

Biographies:

Freya Douglas-Morris is a British artist living and working in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art, with an MA Painting in 2013. Her work has been included in 100 Painters of Tomorrow and The Catlin Guide in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Light For Company, Lychee One, London (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Paper, Publication, Performance, Lychee One, London (2016); Carnival Glass, Block 336, London; A Crazed Flowering, Frameless Gallery, London; Tales and Passions, Galerie Placido, Paris (2015); Studiolo #11 One place or another, Spazio Cabinet, Milan; Elsewhere, (r)isse gallery & Transition Gallery, Varese; East End Painting Prize, Bow Arts Trust, London; Freya Douglas-Morris & Marita Fraser, Peter Von Kant Gallery, London; Re-Define, Dallas Contemporary Museum; Paper & Colour, Griffin Gallery, London (2014); Atomic, Transition Gallery (off-site) London; New Sensations 2013, Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4, London; Paper, Saatchi Gallery, London; Big Rock Candy Mountain, MOT International Projects, London  (2013); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA, London (2012).  The artist has an upcoming exhibition titled Freya Douglas-Morris & Kate Lyddon, Marcelle Joseph Projects, London in September 2016.

Carson Fisk-Vittori (b. 1987) is an American artist living and working in New York. She graduated from the The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Her solo exhibitions include Disturbance Ecology, Mon Cheri, Brussels; Honeydew, with Contemporary Floral Arrangement, Princess, New York (2016); Hard Weather, with Anna Sagström, Et al., San Francisco; Better Climate Options, with Débora Delmar Corp, Downtown Photoroom, Los Angeles (2014); Women Weed & Weather, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago (2013). Group exhibitions include Radical Plastics, CUE Foundation, New York; Body Holes, New Scenario, newscenario.net (2016); The Lorax Poems, Good Work Gallery, New York; Data Scent, Johannes Vogt, New York; The Garden, Galerie Valentine, Paris; WEC, Composing Rooms, Berlin; Rock Steady, Future Gallery, Berlin; Towards Excomposition, Skylab, Columbus  (2015); Got tortilla with butter on phone, Rod Barton Gallery, London; Seasonal Extension, Vanity Projects, New York; Genuine Articles, Jupiter Woods, London; Late capitalism, it’s like, almost over, The Luminary, St. Louis; It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information, Stamford; Bathymetry, Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles; Screen Play, Itsourplayground at SWG3 Gallery, Glasgow (2014); Because We Can, NO Space, Mexico D.F; BLOG RE-BLOG, Signal Gallery, New York (2013); The wind GAP, The Perfect Nothing Catalog, Miami; Variable Control, Third Party Gallery, Cincinnati; Show Room, Threewalls, Chicago (2012); Blowing on a Hairy Shoulder/Grief Hunters, ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia (2011).

May Hands (b.1990) is a British artist living and working in London. Since graduating from Camberwell College of Arts (UAL) she has exhibited widely in solo and group shows in the UK and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include Freschissimi at T293, Rome; I have an Addiction at BACO, Bergamo; Bleach, Roman Road, London (2015). Recent groups shows include Women’s Art Society II at MOSTYN, Wales; I Never Lied to You at Camberwell College of Arts, London; Cookie Gate, Ellis King, Dublin; Adventures in Bronze, Clay and Stone, Icastica, Arrezo; Back to the Things Themselves, Assembly Point, London; Do I Want an Old Fashioned, Boetzelaer Nispen, Amsterdam (2015); The Go Between, Museum Nazionale de Capodimonte, Naples; De Generation of Painting, Fondazione 107, Turin; Heathers, Rowing, London; May Hands / Emanuel Rohss, T293, Naples (2014). Using a painting language and approach she employs both conventional and unconventional materials and methods, her work reflects our modern visual and material environment. May Hands has an upcoming group exhibition at DKUK Salon, London from 29 June to the 13 of August 2016.

Lucia Monge (b. 1983) is a Peruvian artist with a background in education and art – science collaborations. Her work explores the way humans position ourselves within the natural world; the way we relate to other living beings and lately extended to what we even consider as such. Beyond an aesthetic search, her artistic process represents an attempt to probe proximity and distance between humans and plants through material and movement exploration. She holds a BFA degree from Universidad Católica del Peru, an MFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design and is a certified Art Educator. She has an upcoming solo show in Lima and has participated in group shows in Lima, Providence, New York, Austin, Buenos Aires, Oaxaca and Mexico City. For six years now she has been dedicated to the organization and realization of walking forest performances that lead to the creation of public green areas. Her Plantón Móvil project has been included in publications and group shows in Germany, the United States, Brazil and Peru. She currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. Lucia Monge is leading a workshop at Performance Climates in Melbourne, Australia and collaborating with Biome Arts on Eco Hack 2016 at Swale, in July 2016.

Nicole Vinokur (b.1978) is a South African artist living and working in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art, with an MA Sculpture in 2015. She is the recipient of the Red Mansion Prize (2015), Artist/Curator Fellowship with Grizedale Arts (2014), Young Vision Award (2005) and support by National Arts Council South Africa. Recent exhibitions include Gardeners and Astronomers, Caustic Coastal, Manchester (2016), Red Mansion Art Prize, Triangle Space, London (2016), Act Natural, Dyson Gallery, London (2016). Her work has been shown internationally including Camden Arts Centre (UK), 50th Venice Biennale (IT), Modern Art Projects (ZA), Favela Pavilion (MX), Museum of Africa (ZA), Godart Gallery (ZA), London Print Studio (UK), Henry Moore Gallery (UK). Vinokur is currently working on a long term project with Grizedale Arts recreating Ruskin’s Road in the village of Coniston, Cumbria. Upcoming shows in 2016 include Paridayda a solo presentation at Tintype Gallery, London from 27 June until 23 July 2016 and Shucky, Hintut? at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral from 03 August until 01 September 2016.

*title courtesy of Jorge Villacorta, Lima

Events:

Plantón Móvil Workshop on 23 July 2016, Bosse & Baum, Peckham

Plantón Móvil on 30 July 2016, Peckham