Unproductive Freedom

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Candice Jacobs


A solo exhibition of Nottingham based artist Candice Jacobs, exploring notions of the attention economy, cognitive capitalism and the happiness industry. As the title suggests, Jacobs’ installation considers our current state of freedom when our every movement, thought, feeling and emotion are used and tracked to contribute towards the increased profitability of large-scale corporations.

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Jacobs installation asks us how advertising and marketing campaigns tap into behavioural patterns and drive how people experience the concept of free time. To engage with this question, ‘Unproductive Freedom’ presents four components: an installation, a participatory audio intervention in Bermondsey Square, an outdoor performance, and a new online work, temporarily online at: unproductivefreedom.uk.

Jacobs’ site-specific installation introduces a panorama spanning the back wall of the gallery space. The scene itself is not real, instead sourced from open access computer desktop wallpaper, and provides an opportunity for the viewer to escape into a projection of an aspirational lifestyle.

This stunning placid seascape’s supposed realism is enhanced by the Zen beach Jacobs has installed throughout the space, with ‘Fortuna’, a collection of 3D-printed bronze gold-plated Fortuna cigarette butts. In addition, mirrored text spelling out ‘Unproductive Freedom’ is installed across the windows, reflecting the viewer within the installation to allow Jacobs’ semiotic language to become a form of cognitive influence on the passer-by.‘Unproductive Freedom’ also features ‘Astrological Profile II’ an Audio Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) 
in which specific sounds and whispered voices induce euphoric reactions. ‘Astrological Profile II’ includes an astrological profile of gallery Director Alys Williams, which Jacobs maps onto a series of custom-made yoga mats. By inviting viewers to lie down and relax in the square, listening to her hypnotic voice throughout the duration of the exhibition, Jacobs offers the opportunity to find fulfillment or happiness within a constructed version of the gallery’s spiritual self.

For the opening night, Jacobs collaborates with Sound Bath facilitators and Hang musicians Anna Malone and Zoot on a Mass Meditation performance led by acoustic audio shaped by the patterns and rhythms found in electronic music. The event features the 20 custom made Yoga Mats by Jacobs that form part of the new work, ‘Astrological Profile II’ and will take place during sunset.

During exhibtion dates, yoga mats and wireless headphones can be collected with a deposit from 24hour concierge at Bermondsey Square Reception located between Del’Aziz and Sainsbury.

Curator: Alys Williams.

Generously supported by Arts Council England.

Selected press

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Candice Jacobs (b. 1982) is based in Nottingham and has exhibited nationally and internationally with solo presentations: The Second Self, Material Art Fair (Cactus, Liverpool), Mexico City (2016); EXHALE, Cactus, Liverpool (2015); Trance & Tranquility, SYSON, Nottingham (2014); INHALE, Project/Number, London (2014); WORK BITCH, Standpoint Gallery, London (2013); and, Pleasure Voyage, SYSON, Nottingham (2013).Recent group exhibitions include: Postscript, Camden Arts Centre, London (2016); #following, FACT, Liverpool (2015); Alien Radio, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2015); Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf, 56th Venice Biennale (2015), New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2016) QUAD, Derby (2016); Under A Thawing Lake, Mexico City, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, Grand Century (New York) & LODOS (Mexico City) (2015); Planta: Notes on Botanical Dissidence, Acme Project Space, London (2015); Sansoussi Realty, Tank.TV, London (2014); COCKTAIL III, Karst, Plymouth (2014); This is Your New Reality, SPACE | TIME Wysing Arts Centre Arts and Music Festival, Cambridge (2013); SECONDO ANNIVERSARIO, CASA DEL DIVERTIMENTO, bubblebyte.org & Seventeen Gallery, London (2013); Outpost Members Show, Outpost Gallery, Norwich, UK (2012); Please wait while we contact your bank, French Riviera, London (2012).Jacobs has had residencies at Nottingham Trent University in 2016, 2015 and 2014. She was a resident at Standpoint Gallery, London (2013); Hotel Mariakapel, Hoorn, Netherlands (2012); and PilotProject Gropiusstadt, Berlin (2009). Jacobs’ practice explores modes of exhibition making, which encompasses curatorial projects. She is the co-founder of One Thoresby Street (a collective of artists, art spaces and studios); a co-founder of Moot and most recently a member of the Near Now Studio (www.nearnow.org.uk). She was a consultant and co-founder of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015 in Nottingham and her recent project Sunscreen was commissioned for the 56th Venice Biennale.

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