l’étrangère is pleased to present I dance for you my edifice, a solo exhibition by London-based artist Evy Jokhova. The site-specific, multimedia installation, comprised of interactive sound sculptures, photographs, paintings and performance, investigates our relationship to stone — a historical constant’ whose significance is simultaneously entwined with ancient mythology and contemporary obsessions with materiality and synthesis.
Drawing on references to antiquity and Greek mythology, Jokhova examines our longstanding relationship with stone in a series of interactive sculptures imbued with sound — elongated, stone-like pillars and stone stacks — that inhabit the gallery space. Despite their weighty demeanour, the sculptures are made from synthetic, light- weight materials, manipulated by Jokhova to mimic stone.
The relationship we hold with stone goes far beyond its material qualities of longevity, endurance, stability and weight. Since the beginning of civilisation, stone has been used to construct homes, monuments and places of worship. In an attempt to “excavate” this natural inclination we hold towards stone, Jokhova’s edifices take on an Anthropomorphic stature — responding to and interacting with their audience. This insertion of the anthropos ‘human’ into the stone not only highlights the personal nature of our relationship to the material, but it follows a long history of casting man into stone through first of cairns and later carved stone renditions of the figure.
Interactive and performative, Jokhova has created a range of sounds and compositions, in collaboration with programmer Hannah Cross and composer Oliver Price, that see some of the sculptures function as motion-activated instruments. Hidden within their surfaces, Jokhova has imbedded motion sensors that detect the speed and proximity of the audience, allowing the sculptures to respond to their audience — transcribing their motions into sounds. Others will silently find their place, between ruins and mock artefacts, on a raised museum-style platform.
For the closing event of the exhibition, Jokhova has invited a choreographer to treat one of her sound sculptures as a dance partner , to form a dance sequence together.
Born in Switzerland, Evy Jokhova has lived in Austria, Estonia, the USSR and Russia. She is currently based in London, UK. A graduate of MA Political Communications, Goldsmiths College (2013) and MA Fine Art, Royal College of Art (2011). Jokhova is the recipient of the RBS Bursary Award (2016), Royal Academy Schools Fellowship (2016-ongoing) and Arts Council Individual Grants Award (2012). Residencies include Hogchester Art Residency, Devon, UK; Belvedere Museum, Vienna, Austria; BijlmAIR, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Villa Lena, Tuscany, Italy; Nida, Lithuania (all 2017); das weisse haus, Vienna (2016) and Florence Trust, London (2008-09).
Solo exhibitions include: The Shape of Ritual, 21er Haus | Wotruba Church, Vienna, AT | performance (supported by Belvedere Museum, sound:frame, Wien Kultur) (2017); The Manicured Wild (with Jonny Briggs), Kristin Hjelegjerde Gallery, London, UK (2017); Towering in the conditions of fragments, Passen-gers, London, UK (2017); Staccato, site-specific installation in the chapel at House of St Barnabas, with Marcelle Joseph Projects, London (2016); Mimesis (with Amelia Critchlow), site-specific installation in the Westminster Reference Library, London (2015). Recent group shows include: Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer, William Bennington Gallery, UK (2018); New Relics, Thames-Side Studios Gallery, London, UK (curated by Kate Terry & Tim Ellis)(2018); Radical Residency, Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, London, UK (2017) Multiplex, Passen-gers: The Brunswick Centre, London, UK (cur. Julie Hill | supported by Arts Council England) (2017); Air in Zuidoost, CBK Zuidoost, Amsterdam, NL (2017); Architecture as Metaphor, Griffin Gallery, London, UK (2017); Telling Tales, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, UK (2016); Shapeshifters, Arthouse1, London, UK (2016). Jokhova’s work is held in the public collections of the British Government Art Collection, UK; Lafayette College Library, USA; Royal College of Art, UK and Royal Shakespeare Company, UK.