Performance: Single Activity Group (S.A.G)

Tuesday 23 April 2013 | 21.00 - 22.00
VITRINE: Bermondsey Square

Jack Catling | Kate Mahony | Jordan McKenzie | Simon Raven | Holly Slingsby | Lili Spain | Daniella Valz Gen | Aaron Williamson

A performance by S.A.G occupying the public square. S.A.G is a collective of like-minded artists who make performances together on a specific premise. Each artist devises their own single, work-orientated activity to repeat alongside each other for one hour in a static position (seated or standing).

The cue for S.A.G comes from Lillian and Frank Gilbreth’s controversial ‘Time and Motion’ films from the 1910s that were designed to maximise factory production through workers performing a ‘single activity’, day in, day out.

S.A.G performances reference the economic/historical phenomenon of labour-exploitation filtered through an evergreen, aesthetically acclaimed artistic trope – of minimalist-conceptual performance art redolent of the 1950s -70s. Typically, the S.A.G’s work is low-paid and mind numbing. The duration of one hour suggests the pay-system of repetitive labour.

The ambition is to evoke, through artist’s performances, an image of a factory of operatives that doesn’t make any productive sense. To reflect the work theme, a S.A.G performance is un/paid by the hour.

‘I used to work in a factory, and I was really happy because I could daydream all day’. (Ian Curtis, Joy Division)

Image: Chronocyclegraph of an experienced handkerchief folder, ten cycles.

BIOGRAPHIES

S.A.G Founding Artist, Aaron Williamson’s work is informed by a politicised, yet humorous sensibility towards disability. He considers the situations he encounters, and represents his response to them in his work. Over the last 15 years Aaron Williamson has created more than 300 performances and video works in many countries: in Greenland, Japan, US, China, South America, Taiwan and throughout Europe.

Jack Catling’s work is mainly centered around performance and installation. It represents an intervention into the social codes of the viewer through various combinations of the ceremonial, stage illusion, and the everyday. His work is aimed at invoking mystery, and allowing the viewer a moment of wonder.

Kate Mahony’s work is about performance. Paranoia fuels her site specific and transitory work, catering to the gig at hand. Her performance responses are fuelled by research into architecture, site, duration and the event/exhibition/brief itself, presented as her given materials. Mahony’s varied use of object deployment and references to past 1960’ and 70’s performance art attempts at a minimal intervention or gesture that can in some way subvert  an expectation of what performance art is and can be.  She is also co-curator of LUPA (Lock Up Performance Art).

Jordan Mckenzie’s performances, films and installations are satirical and political explorations of class and power enacted through the adoption of alter-egos. Most recently, McKenzie has been investigating notions of localism through a series of performances and films made on the East London council estate where he lives. McKenzie has exhibited both nationally and internationally including Tate Britain, Courtauld Institute, Vitrine Gallery London, Arnolfini Bristol, Museum Serralves Portugal and Grace Space, New York. He is also co-curator of LUPA (Lock Up Performance Art).

Simon Raven produces flawed, frightening and often comedic performances, which challenge both his own and others perception of what art might be.

Holly Slingsby’s practice centres on performance and also employs drawing, objects and video. Her work plunders imagery from various religious and mythical traditions, exploring the inherited lexicon of symbols and the overlaps in different cultures. She studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University (2003-2006) and the Slade School of Art, London (2008- 2010). Her recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at SHIFT, London and performances at galleries including the Barbican, Modern Art Oxford and the ICA, London.

Starting from a sculptural sensibility Lili Spain’s artwork encompasses a diverse range of media, including installation and performance. She uses found objects and text to develop imagined, mythical histories that are obsessively collected and re-worked to form hybrid art pieces. The resulting works are both unsettling and absurd. She is currently working on a series of performances which will mark the centenary of the publication of Freud’s ‘Totem and Taboo’, taking place in the UK and Egypt.

Daniella Valz Gen’s work investigates liveness, physicality and subjectivity. Her research uses reflexive anthropology as a methodology to explore material culture, pop culture and their relationship to the collective subconscious. She’s interested in the collapse of life into art and vice versa, and in ritual as a means to generate that merge.