The Fine Art Society is proud to present a major contemporary group exhibition featuring 9 artists who incorporate the act of performance in their practice including concrete poetry, dance, choreography and theatre. The exhibition which will be displayed across two floors of the Bond Street gallery will include work across a range of media including painting, sculpture, photography and video, from a line up of exceptional talent including: Andy Goldsworthy, John Giorno, Shen Wei, Ori Gersht, Michael Petry, Justin Davis Anderson, Jo Broughton, Geraldine Swayne and Rashaad Newsome.
Performance art has long been seen as an anti-market, underground form, a weapon of the dispossessed with origins born out of rebellion and an attempt to deliberately disrupt the commercialisation of creativity. With its beginnings in the avant-garde artistic movements of Futurism and Dada, the form had gained mainstream attention by the 1960’s in the wake of Abstract Expressionism and through the practice of artists such as Allan Kaprow, Chris Burden and the Happenings in New York City. The form found exponents across the world with influencers such as the ‘actions’ of German artist, Joseph Beuys and the international Fluxus movement, which had an especially strong presence in New York City.
Curator and Head of Contemporary, Lee Cavaliere commenting on the impetus behind the show said: “This exhibition examines the tension between the innately ephemeral form of the performative act and the tangible and saleable object that is produced. These ‘remnants’ of performance give permanence to the acts themselves, shifting their value, leaving a record or questioning intent.”
The exhibition will showcase new works from the British artist, Andy Goldsworthy, one of the world’s foremost site-specific artists whose work explores our connection with nature; working in remote locations, Goldsworthy creates sculpture and ephemeral land art from the materials of nature. He will present new works in photography and for the first time video, capturing the ‘shadow’ of the human body, a theme he has revisited throughout his career.
Further photographic work is presented by Israeli born photographer Ori Gersht, whose practice is concerned with storytelling, history, trauma and an interest in the physical properties of photography. In his newest work Gersht inves t igates the relat ionship between photography, technology and perception at a pivotal moment in the history of photography through the risk and potential of digital technology. Still images capture a shattering mirror, reflecting a still life floral arrangement making direct reference to the paintings of Jan Brueghel the Elder. The work explodes the genre of still life capturing the results of this event and the beauty and destruction of this moment.
Live performance will be presented by newly signed American conceptual artist Michael Petry, whose work is currently on display in a solo exhibition at Pallant House Museum until March 2016. Petry will re-enact a version of Libations to Eros, first performed to great critical acclaim at the Palm Springs Museum in March 2015. Reflecting his interest in contemporary aspects of the classical world, the performance involved Petry firing 54 arrows into a wall whilst narrating the epic story of the Greek god of love, Eros. Re-enacted at the gallery, the artist will create a shocking intrusion into the 140-year-old gallery space.
Coinciding with a major retrospective at Palais de Tokyo, acclaimed American poet and performance artist, John Giorno, will present a number of his text-based paintings, reflecting phrases drawn directly from his poems and containing at times humorous and disturbing affirmations of life and artistic endeavour. Giorno was a major figure in the underground art scene of New York City in the 1960’s and in the Beat Generation. Inspired by his contemporaries including William Burroughs and Andy Warhol, Giorno is one of the most influential poets of his generation, who developed a unique and radical approach, taking poetry off the page and presenting it as a visual medium, producing work driven by a preoccupation with love, sex and death.
Rashaad Newsome is an energetic New York City artist and choreographer, whose work draws influences from pop culture, hip-hop as well as the Baroque, questioning themes such as wealth, value and ostentation. He will present new collage pieces that consider the design formula of Heraldry, architecture, ornament consumerism, vogue fem performance, and feminism. Made in tandem with the video piece ICON, they tap into the vibrancy of contemporary dance forms such as voguing, drawing on his performance work “to create compositions that walk the tightrope between identity politics and abstraction.”
Fellow New York City artist, Justin Davis Anderson will present in his first UK exhibition. Anderson creates films and altered Polaroid photographs, drawing inspiration from musicians and performers on New York’s independent music scene. His work has taken him into collaboration with musicians such as The National and Hofferlanz.
Geraldine Swayne gallery artist and Paul Hamlyn Art Prize Nominee shares Anderson’s interest in music and film; she is a member of the group Faust, a performance art collective whose largely improvised, constructionist performances have toured internationally. Introduced through The Fine Art Society, Swayne will produce a record from a recent performance with members of Faust, which will be on sale as an edition.
Jo Broughton presents Empty Porn Sets, a series of works by the photographer. The works look at the space left behind after the filming of a porn scene. In this moment of silence after the activity, we are given time to consider its artifice, and the nature of performance and voyeurism.
Shen Wei is a world-renowned, multi-award winning choreographer and artist. His work encompasses dance and painting, where each is considered an integral and equal part of the same practice. Here he will present large-scale paintings created in direct relation to his dance work, made using sweeping gestures involving the whole body. They will be shown alongside a recording of the piece with which they were made, Untitled 12, For Bodies, which premiered at the American Summer Dance Festival in New York, in June 2015.