Our House of Common Weeds – closing event
Friday 24 November 6-11pm with performance by Carl Gent + karaoke with live link-up to The Bowling Green pub in Wigan
Exhibition open until 25 November 2017, open Wed-Sat 12-6pm or by appointment
Verity Birt (London, UK), Fourthland (London, UK), Carl Gent (London, UK), Anna FC Smith (Wigan, UK), Andrea Williamson (Montreal, Canada). Curated by Nathalie Boobis
A new performance by Carl Gent will take place on top of and around the sculptural landscape of their work, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, to conclude the life of the sculpture. During the course of Our House of Common Weeds, Gent’s auto-fictive sculpture has printed out artefacts, new writing, images and source material pertaining to the lives of Cynethryth, 8th century Queen of the Mercians; Kwenthrith, fictional Mercian queen from the History Channel’s Vikings TV series; and Kate Marsden, 19th century explorer and missionary. Alongside these printouts (many of which have become water-stained by the sculpture’s central cesspit) aluminium dinars emblazoned ‘Regina Cyneðryð’ have been scattered in and around the central pool. During the closing event, Gent will take cues from these elements, that have been altered directly by the sculpture, to perform the dramatic refictionalisation of Cynethryth’s life.
The event will conclude with karaoke hosted by Anna FC Smith, whose work in the exhibition, The Bacchae: And in their companies deep wine-jars stand, forever and anon, is inspired by the specific setting of The Bowling Green pub in Wigan and its regular karaoke nights. Having developed the work with the pub’s patrons and landlady (Nancy Jones), the closing event will incorporate a live link-up to the pub, extending the jubilant revelry, celebration, intoxication and community of The Bowling Green into the gallery for the night.
Our House of Common Weeds is a group exhibition curated by Nathalie Boobis for Res. featuring new work by artists Verity Birt, Fourthland, Carl Gent, Anna FC Smith & Andrea Williamson. It is the result of an eighteen month process of collaborative research into knowledge and ideas ravaged in the path of progress but still latent within stories, rituals, our bodies and the landscape. The artworks within Our House of Common Weeds suggest a constellation of other possible futures built with the disenfranchised wisdom from the realms of female, folk and indigenous cultures, prehistory, the ‘irrational’ and the non-human.
The forms of collaboration through which each artist has developed their ideas are directly reflective of the content of the work. Verity Birt’s sound, video and sculptural pieces exploring feminine mythologies, collectivity and prehistoric rock art have been realised through vocal workshops with Newcastle-based women’s choir, SHE, at Lordenshaw Channel and Roughting Lynn, Neolithic sites in Northumberland. Carl Gent’s folkloric well sculpture is the result of long term research into the fictions and mythologies of the Mercian Queen Cynethryth, the Victorian explorer Kate Marsden and conversations with the storytelling duo, Sheaf+Barley. Fourthland’s installation evoking a domestic scenario of matriarchal reign results from workshops with Xenia, an English language and friendship group for migrant women learning English and English-speaking women in Hackney, London. Anna FC Smith’s festive sculpture, video and sound work on the collective potential of communal intoxication, singing and revelry has been developed in collaboration with regular karaoke-goers at The Bowling Green pub in Wigan and its landlady Nancy Jones. Andrea Williamson’s large scale watercolour and pencil dreamscapes are developed in collaboration with the public archive of Canadian endangered species and the online dream-sharing community, r/Dreams.
The works in the exhibition bear traces of lived experience that the artists have identified as potent ingredients for other possible futures. Our House of Common Weeds proposes the aesthetic experience of the artworks as a set of tools for activating disenfranchised knowledge and interrupting the singular version of the future that is currently unfolding.
A limited edition zine featuring aspects of the research process, an essay by the curator and contributions by each of the exhibiting artists will be available to buy from Res. at the opening and throughout the duration of the exhibition.
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
Res., Connect Exchange, Newbridge Project, SPACE, Xenia, The Bowling Green
Image: detail from – The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House by Carl Gent, 2017 – photo by Tim Bowditch