Tuesday 08 April 2014
7pm, Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow

£3.50 / £2 concessions

A performance featuring: Ed Atkins, Nina Beier, Juliette Bonneviot, David Raymond Conroy, Hollis Frampton, David Horvitz, Leslie Kulesh, Katja Novitskova, Heather Phillipson, Cally Spooner and Kate Steciw.

Conceived by: Laura McLean Ferris
Produced by: Glasgow Sculpture Studios
As part of: Glasgow International 2014

Glasgow Sculpture Studios collaborated with curator and writer Laura McLean-Ferris to produce #nostalgia, a performance featuring contributions by ten artists, which lifted its structure from Hollis Frampton’s (1936-84) seminal 1971 film (nostalgia). In Frampton’s work, the artist selected pictures from his early career as a commercial photographer, and filmed them burning on a hotplate one by one, while a flatly delivered voiceover (read by Michael Snow) delivered ruminative, personal texts about the burning images. Text and image are temporally misaligned, however, so that viewers hear about the photograph, and Frampton’s reflections on them – satisfactions, misgivings, amusing anecdotes, memories and other contextual pieces of information – whilst they are looking at the preceding image in the series, and thus experience the memories around the images before they see them burn.

For this new performance, each artist was asked to select an original stock image and create a personal text in response to it, which was read (by the artist or a stand-in), at the performance using an autocue/PowerPoint device, with the (misaligned) stock image projected behind them, as though they were singing karaoke. The stock image as a form has been explored by several artists over the last decade or so, for their strangely attractive, blank qualities. Like a vessel for holding water they are open and empty enough to be filled with up with content – imagined, constructed, or associative. The borrowing of Frampton’s structure, in which text and image are seen out of time, means that the audience must hold the artist’s subjective relationship with the empty image in their own memory, in order to enjoy witnessing the ‘filling up’ of the empty image when it finally appears. The artists were asked to contribute a form of false nostalgia, in a sense, which reveals how readily we are able to identify ourselves with still images, and perform them as part of our own identities – desires, emotions, memories and other types of thought.

In light of the way that original stock photographers must speculatively attempt to gauge which types of images will be successful or lucrative to them in the future in order to be economically successful, the performance enacted the ability of images to interact with the use of memory and prediction, image creation and imagination. The karaoke format  showed readers hymning or ‘singing’ an image, whilst also gesturing to the proliferation of the artwork ‘redux’ as form, and digital versioning of analogue processes, a type of nostalgia in itself.

This performance was generously supported by Bilge and Haro Cumbusyan.

Programmed as part of Glasgow International 2014.

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