F L E X I B I L I S M
LIAM SLEVIN | MARK BUCKERIDGE – ALL CHOIR | CLAWSON + WARD
o p e n i n g 0 2 . 0 6 . 1 6 – 2 5 . 0 6 . 1 6 c l o s i n g
This project fosters practices concerned with the conditions for production, labour, autonomism, desire and decision. FLEXIBILISM is the appraisal of four artists who have been invited to develop and reconfigure a previously made or designed work in relation to explicit, esoteric and existential aspects of Catalyst Arts and its site in Belfast as a public space. These reproductions, rehearsals and repetitions interrupt the field of perception associated with a gallery space, resisting the familiarity of selected works in a groups show and instead espouse to re-configure civic, social and cultural frameworks for considering our role in public, as artists, citizens, communities and creative labourers.
The project draws its title from post-fordist theories of flexible specialisation which propositioned that flexibility and skill in labor is more profitable than the previous mass-production, factory format which informed Henry Ford and Albert Khan’s seminal architectural designs for industrial assembly lines, famously flexible to the changing modes of production. These theories propagate ‘flexibility’ as a benefit to workers, often alluding to the potential increase in personal agency and inferred time for leisure when in reality they only serve to remove the conditions of security and increase the need for competition. The dysfunction of this proposition is explicitly evident in the current, pervasive infrastructure of visual art practice and misperceptions of the value of culture as an instrument for harvesting social or financial dividends under the guise of desire and decision. Through disparate means of production, each artists’ work engage the almost invisible yet omnipotently perceived, instructive nature of civic structures and social order, reclaiming cultural sites for their own means and offering processes which can be utilised to interrupt or subvert these systems by its users and inhabitants.
Each of the artists involved in the project have practices which further agitate conventional notions of the autonomous artist and provide a contextual framework for examining how collectives and artist-led initiatives balance creative output with sustainability, often cultivating spaces and situations for audiences and peer artists to come meet, live and practice.
C L A W S O N + W A R D
Clawson & Ward is the collaborative partnership of Anna Clawson & Nicole Ward. Working together since 2010, their current practice incorporates sculpture, photography and video. A central concern of their work is the desire to explore the ways in which individuals, groups or institutions gain influence. For their work at Catalyst Arts, Clawson and Ward have produced new upholstery foam drawings as part of their ongoing series, ‘Both alone and in packs’. This series takes the everyday acts of defacing public furniture as a starting point. An apathetic visual language is absorbed by the artists because of the connection to printing techniques. The commission for FLEXIBILISM sees Clawson and Ward focus on the evolution of politically motivated typography, resulting in the five central columns of the gallery assuming the form of an ornate, tactile and anachronistic timeline of the letter (or character) ‘R’.
L I A M S L E V I N
A multi-disciplinary artist, noise art curator and producer based between Stockton and Berlin, Slevin works predominantly in experimental sonic and noise art. The scripts, compositions and parameters for each project are informed by the full sonic spectrum and the auditory fields which we inhabit. His research is embedded in low frequency/infrasonic sound phenomenon, particularly how sound envelops our individual and collective experiences with his work exploring our relationship with sound in cultural, political, anthropological, geographical and social contexts. Liam’s FLEXIBILISM commission develops a long-term project utilising feedback loops as a disciplinary structure in live composition and how their ontological aspects are recontextualised when transitioned from noise club nights to a gallery environment. The work is situated at the intersection of sound, performance and audience participation, influenced by instrumentalisation of the built environment and its users.
M A R K B U C K E R I D G E – A L L C H O I R
Mark’s work primarily focuses on composition, performance, drawing and is heavily influenced by his background in music, with a history of producing, publishing and disseminating projects as sonic outputs such as EP ‘Ground Yourself’ (2012), Live installation ‘I could use this knife but I won’t’ (2013) and ‘Instructions for electronic station’ (2014). He has recently produced a Zine series titled ‘How to write a pop song’ charting a fictionalised chronology of music from 1950’s to modern day. The work ‘ALL CHOIR’ is predominantly a singing group formed by the artist in May of 2016 for FLEXIBILISM. The goal and ambition for this group is to use the commonality of music as a starting point for discussions, social gatherings and occasional live performances. ALL CHOIR is inclusive and open to singers of all levels of abilities and will be an active part of the project throughout June and beyond.
The project will launch at Catalyst Arts Thursday 2nd June 2016 from 6-9pm and run until Saturday 25th June. For further details on the project or interest in participating in ALL CHOIR through the month of June you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org