WITNESS MATTER Leah Capaldi | Stéphanie Saadé

22 January 2014 - 22 February 2014
VITRINE Bermondsey Street

A two-person exhibition from British artist Leah Capaldi and Lebanese artist Stéphanie Saadé, whose practices explore the performativity of objects and display.

Using the gallery space as a platform to question the role of the individual, as ‘the watcher’ and ‘the watched’, and the object, as ‘prop’ and ‘sculpture’, the gallery will house a new installation by Capaldi and new wall-based object works by Saadé.

Capaldi will present a new installation, continuing her exploration into the pivotal relationship between object and subject. The crossover area between the disciplines of sculpture and performance is ever present in this new work, alongside the development of video and video surveillance, which has been introduced into much of her recent practice.

Capaldi’s new video work considers gym machinery, poised gym enthusiasts and fish in glass bowls; A combination of found and recorded material, collected and utilised in a voyeuristic manner.

A series of flatscreen televisions mounted on wooden supports throughout the gallery – supported between ceiling and floor – occupy and alter the space in which the viewer moves through the exhibition; The structures taking up a similar space to that which the body occupies. The screens present her new video material together with live material, containing close ups of the bodies of visitors / viewers. Capaldi encourages the audience to question themselves in relation to the art object and plays with notions of surveillance and spectatorship.

Saadé will present a series of new and existing object works made in Beriut and London. Using the walls of the gallery to present this body of work, the artist questions the role of display and found material in sculpture.

The works resemble readymades but are reproduced or Re-Enacted, as Saadé’s series ‘Re-Enactments’ is so titled. In ‘Scarred Object’ a metal bar is cut into equal parts. The parts then welded together to reconstitute the original shape of the bar, but the object never completely returns to its original form; Marks and deformations inevitably appear. In ‘Re-Enactment LB/ Taxi’ a dispositif used by taxi drivers in Lebanon to ornate their cars, is reproduced.

In Saadé’s ‘Stolen Material’, a sculpture is made entirely from stolen materials, alluding to the condition of artists and toying with the viewers reading of the object as it is provocatively displayed in the gallery window in a similar manner to jewellery or clothing in high-end designer retail display cabinets.

Capaldi and Saadé present the viewer with conditions of display and pose enquiries into the act of encountering object, body, performer, artist or artwork. The exhibition experience itself is brought into question and manipulated inquisitively.

Leah Capaldi, Ab Rider, Power Pro (video still), 2014 (From 'Chorus' Installation)

Leah Capaldi, Chorus, 2014 ('Chorus' Installation)

Stéphanie Saadé, Underlines, 2014 and Leah Capaldi, Tank, 2014 ('Chorus' Installation)

Leah Capaldi, Ab Rider, Power Pro, 2014 ('Chorus' Installation)

Leah Capaldi, Surveilance, 2014 ('Chorus' Installation) and Stéphanie Saadé, Strange Parts, 2014

Stéphanie Saadé, Stolen Material, 2014

Stéphanie Saadé, Scared Object, 2014

Leah Capaldi, Surveilance (video still), 2014 (From 'Chorus' Installation)