ANTS AND GRASSHOPPERS: reflections on the anxious object
20 May–27 June 2021 Preview Day Thursday 20 May 12–8pm Open Thursday–Sunday 12–6pm
Pavel Büchler, Eva Kot’átková, John Latham & Sarah Lucas with musical composition by John Cage
Curated by David Thorp
‘The status of art has become uncertain. At least, it is ambiguous. No one can say with assurance what a work of art is—or, more important, what is not a work of art. Where an art object is still present it is what I have called an anxious object: It does not know whether it is a masterpiece or junk.’ 
ANTS AND GRASSHOPPERS: reflections on the anxious object examines whether or not art can have the capacity to subvert, and indeed, create anxiety. Does the art object have that potential? Or is any anxiety that abounds rather an indication of its maker’s existential state? This exhibition queries whether the ‘psychophysical sculpture’ that is Flat Time House could be an example of an anxious object. Alongside the newly restored book sculpture that transects the façade of the building, is presented the work of three contemporary artists, and a musical composition by John Cage, for each of whom in different ways this condition is evident.
 Harold Rosenberg. On the De-Defininition of Art, University of Chicago Press,1983. p12
ARCHIVE OF DESTRUCTION
Launches online 3 June 2021
Archive of Destruction is a story-telling platform that brings together narratives around destruction and public art. Spanning a hundred years and many continents, it tells cumulative stories of vulnerability, interference, rage, fear, boredom and love. Flat Time House is a partner of the project which has been developed by independent curator and writer Jes Fernie. A programme of online talks will be hosted by FTH in June and July 2021, and a newspaper will be launched at the house in winter 2021.
Flat Time House (FTHo) was the studio home of John Latham (1921-2006), recognised as one of the most significant and influential British post-war artists. In 2003, Latham declared the house a living sculpture, naming it FTHo after his theory of time, ‘Flat Time’. Until his death, Latham opened his door to anyone interested in thinking about art. It is in this spirit that Flat Time House opened in 2008 as a gallery with a programme of exhibitions and events exploring the artist's practice, his theoretical ideas and their continued relevance. It also provides a centre for alternative learning, which includes the John Latham archive, and an artist's residency space.
Thursday – Saturday 12–6pm for temporary exhibitions
Open by appointment at all other times – call 0207 207 4845
Dust Jacket for an Exhibition Postponed
Wednesday 7th July 10.30am - 12.30pm
The /origin\forward/slash\ group, currently on a digital placement at Flat Time House, invite you to a live presentation by 5 of their members against the backdrop of their virtual extension to the gallery, 'The Other Hand.’ United by a shared investment in thinking through with and against Martin Heidegger’s The Origin of the Work of Art, the group have been developing, over the past year, a shared exploration into the recesses of the essay, finding provocative ground for new thinking and making. They have been working in pairs (through artistic practice and philosophical thinking) with a process of open-ended collaborative production and it is this which will be discussed and demonstrated at Dust Jacket for an Exhibition Postponed. A dust jacket promotes, promises and protects ‘the book’, and the book in turn forms an abode for the ‘work.’ Initially invited to create an exhibition at Flat Time House in 2020, the /origin\forward/slash\ group have used the hiatus of pandemic lock down as a rare opportunity to spend time online ‘inhabiting’ their interests and friendships together. This event welcomes you into discussion with their work and aims to act as a promise and promotion of their future exhibition at the gallery.
Ants and Grasshoppers Publication
20 May 2021
A publication to accompany the exhibition includes: Ants and Grasshoppers: reflections on the anxious object by the curator David Thorp; ‘Incidental Person’: John Latham and Flat Time House by cultural historian Robert Hewison, talking distinctly about John Latham’s ideas and the Bellenden Road Renewal Scheme from his forthcoming book, Passport to Peckham: Culture and Creativity in a London Village; a text In the Body of a Fish Without Water by artist Eva Kot’átková; an essay on Pavel Büchler by Nick Thurston; and lastly an essay on Sarah Lucas, A Woman’s World Is Never Done by Deborah Orr.
William Evans and Julia Crabtree with Alice Hattrick
William Evans and Julia Crabtree in collaboration with Alice Hattrick are developing a major new project for Flat Time House’s garden. Over the next 6 months the group will ‘excavate’ the John Latham archive, as well as the garden itself, to consider the conceptual and material aspects of the site. In his younger days Latham was a market gardener and his lifelong passion for gardening is demonstrated at Flat Time House by the integration of a conservatory for planting into the studio he built for himself in 1985. Alongside research into Latham and the site, their research will consider permaculture, care, community, collective action, deep time, and issues of classification. They will use Latham's thinking on making and living, and his inquiry into time and ecology, to investigate the relationship of the garden and botany to authority and power. A public event in Summer 2021 will share their research.
Kelly Lloyd RESEARCH RESIDENCY
Artist Kelly Lloyd is currently undertaking a research residency at Flat Time House focusing on John Latham’s collection of books. Latham’s library, which includes books intended for the making of artwork as well as for research purposes, has never been catalogued or the subject of sustained investigation. In addition to being interested in Latham's ideas concerning the intersection between time and value, Kelly Lloyd will explore the library with particular interest in Latham's personal books vs. books for work, marginalia and other physical interventions, and personal collections as forms of portraiture. Kelly Lloyd will present her research through a public outcome in September 2021.
/origin\forward/slash\ is the infrathin banner under which, behind which and through which a band of artists and philosophers are exploring their mutual fascinations and antagonisms with Martin Heidegger’s essay The Origin of the Work of Art (1950).
Currently on a remote placement due to Covid 19, the group have extended John Latham’s body-based floor plan of Flat Time House with an additional virtual room, ‘the other hand.’ Here they co-habit from time to time, using the web interface as a way of experimenting with formats for visual and verbal thinking together and adding victuals to their archive cabinet.
The /origin\forward/slash\ group are Steven Claydon (Independent), Marie Hay (De Montfort University), Sacha Golob (Kings College, London), Jo Malt (Kings College, London), Hester Reeve (Sheffield Hallam University), Mark Titmarsh (University of Technology, Sydney), Georgios Tsagdis (Leiden University | Erasmus University Rotterdam). This project is lead by Hester Reeve (Reader in Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University) in association with The Centre for Philosophy and Visual Arts (Kings College London).
The /origin\forward/slash\ group will host a live online event in June 2021 and launch an exhibition at Flat Time House in 2022.
WATCH NOW: EVA KOT’ÁTKOVÁ IN THE BODY OF A FISH OUT OF WATER
ONLINE 20 May–27 June 2021
Performed by Emmy Beber at Flat Time House, May 2021 on the occasion of the exhibition Ants and Grasshoppers: reflections on the anxious object curated by David Thorp with artwork by Pavel Büchler, Eva Kot’átková, John Latham & Sarah Lucas with musical composition by John Cage. Film: Holm Films.
Watch now on delta.flattimeho.org.uk
WATCH NOW: ANTS AND GRASSHOPPERS EXHIBITION TOUR JO MELVIN IN CONVERSATION WITH DAVID THORP
17 May 2021
On the occasion of the exhibition, Ants and Grasshoppers: reflections on the anxious object curated by David Thorp featuring Pavel Büchler, Eva Kot’átková, John Latham & Sarah Lucas with musical composition by John Cage.