25 November – 16 January Opening Day: Thursday 25 November 12–8pm
Now forget everything you ever k-n- ew or thought or saw, and imagine there was nothing, nothing a-t all. A blank, dark nothing.
Working between text, live event, video and installation, Anna Barham uses the written and spoken word as a source and as medium. Her artwork explores how language transforms, and what subjectivities are created as it moves between different bodies and technologies over time. Her solo exhibition for Flat Time House, produced in collaboration with partner Arcade, is the culmination of five years of engagement with John Latham’s writing and with his archive.
Barham has selected original poems and prose by Latham for a process of transformation – through repeated interpretation and vocalisation. Using collaborative reading groups recorded through speech recognition software, an original piece of writing is spoken, recorded, then re-presented. Each time, the attempts by artificial intelligence to reconstruct verbal language, from a stream of particles and phonemes, creates unanticipated outcomes. Increasingly mutated, each generation draws further from the original message, yet this unfolding of meaning begins to reveal new auto-fabricated subjects.
The title of the exhibition, /S/T/R/O/B/E////L/I/C/K////, refers to a process of production Barham employs to record video under low light. She uses a strobe light and handheld scanner at FTHo to make images from residues, surfaces and the unnoticed objects inside and outside the house that sit between the everyday and the archived. Bouncing stroboscopic light from glass surfaces captures the tiny scratches, paint flecks, dust and even snail trails over the material - a kind of ‘licking’. Barham combines this with remnants of auto-generated text to form the fabric of the works and installation, intuitively creating new connections and a dialogue between the geological passage of time and the immediacy of the present moment.
Flat Time House is delighted to work with our partner Arcade for this exhibition, as they launch a new public focus model as a Community Interest Company. As part of this process Arcade is engaging in conversations with institutions whose ideologies seek to define artistic value and legacy outside of the increasingly unsustainable commercial gallery model.
Established by Christian Mooney in 2008. Arcade offers both a programme of exhibitions and a constantly evolving platform of performances, live events, talks and publications. Through this range of formats Arcade aims to find new modes of presentation and to represent some of the complexities of the contemporary art scene today; exploring new developments in international contemporary art, across a range of practices, media and concerns.
Arcade is proud to announce that it is changing its status to become a Community Interest Company (CIC). This new arrangement will better represent Arcade’s purpose and activity. Profit generated by gallery sales will now be specifically re-directed into public programmes to serve the wider community.
As part of this process Arcade is engaging in conversations with institutions whose ideologies seek to define artistic value and legacy outside of the increasingly unsustainable commercial gallery model.
Flat Time House and the John Latham Archive is a special place, an invaluable resource and a direct link to a legacy of ideas that have transformed the way we value art practice and define the role of the artist. From mid-November to mid-January, Arcade has been invited to open a new dialogue with the organisation, facilitated by long-time colleague, FTHo Director, Gareth Bell-Jones. While Arcade relocates it will set up a temporary office at FTHo; where we will share ideas, resources and our differing experiences of the public and private cultural realms. During this time FTHo will present an exhibition by Anna Barham, building on several years of discussions between the artist and the organisation.
Arcade is seeking a more inclusive and sustainable infrastructure. While in residence at FTHo, we will work towards these goals within the spirit of Latham’s economic models and theories: a holistic approach for both the public and private cultural sectors.
Anna Barham is a London-based artist working across video, sound, print, installation and performance. Recent projects include p- ool- s o-f t- he ou- t- l- ine- s, Chelsea Space, London; To be we to be, Index, Stockholm and Quote-Unquote, Bucharest; Liquid Crystal Display, Site Gallery, Sheffield and MIMA, Middlesbrough; A sentence can be ours and ours, Playground Festival, Museum M, Leuven, BE; This is a voice, Wellcome Collection, London and MAAS, Sydney; Secret Surface, K-W, Berlin. She has published two books Poisonous Oysters (2019) and Return To Leptis Magna (2010).
HD video, 2 minutes 23 seconds