Erasure, Hanmi Gallery 30/08-19/10/18

Exhibition by Birgitta Hosea at Hanmi Gallery Seoul
608-12 Sinsadong Gangnamgu, Seoul, South Korea
http://www.hanmigallery.co.uk

Private View: Thursday 30th August 2018
Artist’s Talk: 6 – 6.30 pm
Performance: 6.30 – 7 pm
Reception: 7 – 8 pm

Erasure brings together a body of work from the last three years that addresses the erasure of women’s voices in society and visualises the invisibility of labour. The exhibition is named after my short film in which dirt, ink, bleach and other cleaning products are animated. It includes sequential drawings, performance and animated installation. Here are some of the plans that I have done in Sketchup.

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Information in Korean on Art & Tok

I have many people to thank – Heashin Kwak and Soo Yeon Kim from Hanmi Gallery have done so much to make this happen; Sandra Nutmeg, Anne Pietsch and Maryclare Foa have given me so much support; very grateful to Calum F. Kerr for allowing me to share his studio; thanks to Lilly Husbands for writing the catalogue essay; a number of curators included pieces from this series in group shows or screenings which allowed me to develop the ideas further – Vanya Balogh, Tianran Duan, Rebecca Feiner, Lu Tingting, Gerben Schermer, Zhang Xiaotao; I was also supported by going on a number of residencies that enabled me space to progress at a time when I had no studio thanks to Susan Allen, Regine Bartsch, Rose Bond and Rekha Sameer; and finally I am so thankful to my employer, the University for the Creative Arts, for supporting the exhibition catalogue and my trip to Korea.

Some images from the show:

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A video overview of the final exhibition filmed by Soo Yeon Kim:

Tallinn Art Week

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EMPIRE II opened on the 12th June in Estonia for Tallin Arts Week. The latest version of this touring show of artists’ films, that has travelled from Brussels Art week to the Venice Biennale as well as as Berlin, London and Madrid, features a new installation Playing God – stills from imaginary films dreamt up by 100 artists. Curated by Vanya Balogh and on till 30th June at Haus Gallery, Tallin, this exhibition will also go to Zagreb, Paris and Hastings.

The exhibition features Erasure (2017, mixed media animation, 3 mins) and Untitled Hitchcock Still#1 (2018) by Birgitta Hosea.Bird4_flattened_webClick here to download the PRESS RELEASE.

‘Medium'(2012) in Karachi Biennale

Thrilled that a video of my 2012 performance Medium was selected for the Karachi Biennale in Pakistan this year. Curated by Amin Gulgee, this is the first ever Biennale to take place in Karachi and had the theme of ‘Witness’. My work was installed in a building that formerly housed a branch of the Theosophical Society.

The Biennale launch:

Thanks to Sandra Louison for all her assistance in installing and promoting this work for me. Here are some of her photos of my work and where it was situated:

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Here is a snippet from the first dress rehearsal of Medium in the cells of a former workshouse underneath Shoreditch Town. Curated by Jane Webb for Illumini.

Links to previous posts about this project: Medium and ‘Medium’ mark II.

More about the Karachi Biennale:

Karachi Biennale 2017 from Karachi Biennale on Vimeo.

Boundary Crossings: Performing Identity

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Boundary Crossings is a biennial institute for contemporary animated arts that was established in 2009 by artist, Rose Bond, at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, USA. The two-week studio programme includes a hands-on exploration of experimental animation as spatial experience, interdisciplinary moving image practice, kinetic sculpture and expanded cinema. This is complimented by readings of related critical theory, a programme of artists talks and screenings and culminates in an exhibition. Participants include working professionals as well as graduate and upper-level undergraduate students with an interest in time-based arts and a desire for an immersive studio experience on the cutting edge of animation and fine art.

Professor and Department Chair of Animated Arts at PNCA, Rose Bond‘s personal practice builds on her experience of frame-by-frame direct animation to create spectacular, site-specific, architectural animation projections in public spaces. Each Boundary Crossings is also co-curated and co-taught by a different international practitioner, who defines the theme and conceptual direction. This year’s theme, Performing Identity was chosen by visiting artist, Birgitta Hosea (myself), Head of Animation at the Royal College of Art in London. In addition, it was supported by guest artist, Carl Diehl, with Studio Manager, Maxwell Brown, and assisted by Sarah Hickey.

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The work produced during Boundary Crossings goes beyond the short film format in investigating in what ways the concepts behind the films can expand out of the screen and be presented to others in an exhibition context. All of these works were conceived of and produced in their entirety over a period of two weeks. Each artist has considered the context of the way in which their animation is displayed to create a unique experience in sound, image and space.

Exhibition:

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PNCA, Portland, Oregon, USA. Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Entrance Hall. Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Overview. Photo: Ali Gradisher, 2017

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Individual Works

Ran Sheng: From My Family Album
Double projection on sculpture. Soundtrack: appropriated Chinese pop music.

“A mixed-media memoir generated by childhood memories through the lens of current circumstances. Using the family photo as a carrier, I explore how childhood experiences have affected the development of my personality – who made me what I am?”

IMG_0413Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017.

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Nicole Baker: The Width of a Circle
Black card, sequential prints on acetate, motor, stroboscope. Silent.

“A magic machine made of light and myth, this kinetic sculpture emits visions of a creation tale eminating from primordial history. Contemporary visual storytelling technologies contrast with early animation mechanics to highlight how the power of myth perforates the human mind.”

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Terese Cuff: Complains and Concerns
Extended animation split between two projectors on papier mȃché relief. Soundtrack: recreated voice recordings inspired by complaints made by children in the classroom.

“Exploring the disconnect between conflicted internal and external voices, from the petty to the disturbing.”

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Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017.

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Jacob Houseman: A Very, Very Exclusive Performance
Live performance with interactive database of animation. Silent.

“All the fair ladies and gentlemen of polite society have tonight in their planners for this very, very exclusive performance, which is a very, very anticipated one. If you mean to secure your place among the rich and famous, you absolutely must view the very, very exclusive performance.”

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Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Sol Fantasma: Shapeshifter
Rear projection of metamorphosing animals on tissue paper. Silent.

“You aren’t the same person twice. Who you’re with influences how you act. Who are you really?”

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Briar Parks: The Eyes of Izangi
Interactive animation with sculptural objects as controllers. Silent.

“This interactive installation is inspired by animal mimicry, exploring how imitation blurs the line between Self and Other.”

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Amy Love: Shalom
Cut out animation on TV monitor with associated objects. Soundtrack: unaccompanied personal recording of traditional song

“The Artist shares her lived experience of trauma and recovery.”

IMG_0417Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Ari Gabriel: Summer of the Yellow-Dry End
Stop motion video, associated objects, cabinet. Soundtrack: Spoken word poetry.

“Memories were left as dreams and fled into folklore, leaving something like an afterimage on the other side of an eyelid. The dry trees calling fire, the smell of hot stone, the dust stirred by crows, dreams of a gleam of a knife or scissors on a distant hill. In the hush of the summer night, the changeling was born of the Grain Mother.”

IMG_0419Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Mike Nixon: Ocean – Sea of Faith
Animations on three monitors. Soundtrack: various foley recordings of water and rowing,

“Water can give or take away, as it is in life or death. The cycles of nature, day and night, season to season. The swimmer moves through water, clearing space and releasing it as they progress. There is the possibility of transformation through the most traumatic of experiences by the rhythms of life. We are water and water is us.”

IMG_0407Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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T.J. Orlowski: KINET-X
Pre-recorded and user-generated animation. Silent.

“This work explores the kinetic signature of an individual person’s specific motion through active participation.”

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The Process

At this year’s Boundary Crossings we started with the idea of how to convey subjective experience. Can animation can be used to express private, inner worlds? Can our personal identities be expressed without using verbal language? And if so, what makes an audience interested in another’s personal experience? The very notion of how personal identity is constituted and expressed was examined through Judith Butler’s idea that our identities are so fragile that they need to be constantly reaffirmed through repetitive personal rituals that confirm who we are. For example, in order to be a man, you make sure that you walk like a man. Animation is the perfect art to look at the personal and the subjective, because it is not limited to what can be photographed and can express thoughts direct from the imagination. Through animation, gesture and ritual can be analysed and reflected upon. This was further developed by discussions around glitch feminism – that gender may in itself be a faulty machine.

The workshops included Isadora and physical computing by Carl Diehl, animated installation: expressing ideas through spatial context by Rose Bond and myself, projection techniques by Rose Bond and practice-based research and development of concepts by myself. I also gave a talk on my own practice that had been informed by extensive research into Victorian spirit mediums and screened a programme of experimental animations from the Royal College of Art. Participants were encouraged to be mutually supportive through peer review and connected reading sessions. To develop the theme of performing identity as well as to serve as a warm-up and possible starting point, I conducted a drawing workshop inspired by performance theory in which the choreographic principles of Rudolph Laban were used to build a vocabulary of emotional mark making and Method acting techniques were used to engage with affective and muscle memories.

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Photos: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

Patrick Tresset’s ‘Machine Studies’

I recently had a fascinating evening with Maryclare Foa getting our portraits drawn by Patrick Tresset‘s robots at Platform Southwark, part of the Merge Festival.

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A camera looks at you then down at the drawing.

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The programming is based on Patrick Tresset’s own left-handed drawing style. Interesting to see the variations. The angle of the pen makes a difference, so do light levels. The lines are gestural because of being drawn by robot arms. The signatures are taken from a random, unintended mark that one of his robots once made.

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Me and Maryclare Foa drawn by the same robot. We both look very suspicious!

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Maryclare Foa confronts the robot and draws it back!

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In the installation upstairs, Human Study #4, there is a classroom of performing robots. A camera at the front desk seems to communicate to the robot arms at the desks in morse code.

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The robot arms mark time along with the instructions on the video blackboard.

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Finally, all but two start scribbling over their previous marks. The sound of the servo motors and the bleeps of morse code sound incredible. The whole set up brought back uncanny memories of my primary school.

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Beyond Noumenon

Here is the text of the presentation I gave at the Edges Animation seminar, Whitechapel gallery, organised by Edge of Frame on 9/12/2016.

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In this presentation, Gary asked us all to come up with a provocation and to talk about the work of 3 artists. My provocation is: Not all experimental animation comes from Europe or English speaking countries!

In particular, today I am going to talk about experimental animators from China. We only have 12 minutes each, so I don’t have time to talk about the China Independent Animated Film Forum (although I am planning to show a screening of films from them at RCA next year) and I don’t have time to talk about the Chinese experimental animator who is perhaps best known outside China, LeiLei (although I hope to also bring him over to speak at RCA next year).

I thought I would focus on three artists from the recent experimental animation exhibition and forum, Beyond Noumenon, at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China in October of this year.

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Here are some general shots of the exhibition.

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Beyond Noumenon aimed to question the ontology of animation with a series of speakers and artists showing work that troubled at the edges of animation as a practice and an idea, exploring the possibility of a new language beyond the single screen, exploring how animation might be experienced by an audience.

In her closing speech, Beyond Noumenon’s Director and Head Curator, Tingting Lu, argued for a dematerialisation of the concepts behind animation, for animation as an adjective or adverb instead of a verb or a noun, for anti-animation, for post-animation.

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Tingting Lu was originally trained in animation at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Painting is very central to her practice and her films are painstakingly animated by hand, straight-ahead using traditional media like oil pastel and oil paint.

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The Person in the Gap, her piece for Beyond Noumenon, features a series of monitors located on the ceiling. In doing this, she wants to express the idea that people are in the gaps of time, that its people who make time happen.

This calls to mind Norman McLaren’s famous definition of animation that says:

“Animation is not the art of drawings that move, but rather the art of movements that are drawn. What happens between each frame is more important than what happens on each frame.”

Through walking underneath the images to experience them all, the viewer is made to do the work of animating the sequence of stills through their physical act of walking and this brings into question traditional ways of experiencing animation. As we gaze upwards with an almost religious awe, dwarfed by the images above, this action also references the God-like power of the animator to create their very own time and spaces that transgress the rules of nature.

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Based in Beijing, Mi Chai’s fine art practice involves a range of media, including painting, installation, video and performance. She graduated from the MA in Animation at Academy of Art and Design, Tsinghua University.

She now experiments with different kinds of media, such as painting, drawing, paper cut, animation and visual performances. She is currently working in collaboration with various sound artists and dancers to extend her time-based visual language into live performance.

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For Beyond Noumenon, she showed part of a series of work called Bird’s Dream, which includes paintings, sculpture and an animated film using paper cutouts.

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The film is inspired by a live animation performance that she did called The Sparrow and The Raven.

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For Chai, this series of painting, sculpture and film is all one work.

Birds Dream | trailer from Chai Mi on Vimeo.

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Tianran Duan, who was one of the curators,  is a new media artist working on experimental animation, video art and installation. He received his MFA degree in Animation from the University of Southern California and now works in the art department of Renmin University. For his animation work, he has been a finalist in the Student Academy Awards on two occasions. By experimenting with various materials, techniques and aesthetics, he pushes the boundaries of what defines animation. He is interested in drawing parallels between the post-modern collapse of meaning in philosophy and our current understanding of animation.

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Lonely Player
Kinetic Installation
Stainless Steel,Steel Balls,Motor, Infrared sensor
2016

This is an interactive installation in which participants could put the steel balls into the Lonely Player, but it takes the movements of other people to trigger the Infrared and release a few steel balls. For Tianran, the intention is that like the Tower of Babel, the tower of the Lonely Player stores up messages which are released to others who do not understand them.

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Another installation piece he made for the show – the Maze of Noumenon

The starting point for this work is Kant’s definition of noumena – potential things in the work – as opposed to phenomena – which are those things in the world as we experience them. The difference between these two concepts is what we ourselves contribute to the meaning of something that we experience. How much does our own act of interpretation bring to the act of perception? Where is the boundary between the physical world and our imaginary space?

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Rather than creating a single screen short film, Tianran is interested in working in gallery spaces to create a “field” that crosses the boundary of the virtual world and reality. This three channel video installation is trying to explore the limitation of our perceiving system in terms of symbols, motion, consciousness and space.

The cuboids and sphere represent abstract thought and the horses bring the physical world into the scenario.The spinning globe represents the limitation of our rationality. When the globe spins with an abnormally fast speed, it makes us to realize we are thinking about that.

MAZE OF NOUMENON in Jinji Lake art museum from Tianran Duan on Vimeo.

To conclude, what interests me is that each of these artists – Tingting Lu, Mi Cai and Tianran Duan – have in common is that they were trained in animation, but now work in a post-medium context embracing a number of different artforms. The form that their work takes cannot be contained by a single screen and explores different ways in which an audience can encounter animation. At the core of each piece is a conceptual investigation of movement through space and time, but this is expressed through a number of media such as painting, sculpture, installation, performance and kinetics as well as animation.