The future of Flat Time House, Peckham, the studio home of the late British artist John Latham, has been secured. The Estate of John Latham and Flat Time House Institute are delighted to announce that a purchaser for 210 Bellenden Road has come forward, generously allowing Flat Time House Institute to continue operating in its current premises. The Santarelli Family and Dino and Ernesta Santarelli Foundation will take ownership of the property that accommodates Flat Time House and the institute will continue to operate independently in the original studio and home of John Latham.
Latham transformed 210 Bellenden Road into a ‘living sculpture’ in 2003, naming it Flat Time House (FTHo) after his theory of Flat Time. A giant cantilevered book emerges through the glass facade of the building. Inside, Latham assigned the rooms with the anthropomorphic attributes of the living body, with the aim of taking visitors on a physical and metaphorical journey. Until his death in 2006, Latham opened his door to anyone interested in thinking about art. In 2008, the Latham family opened Flat Time House to the public as a gallery, museum and centre for alternative learning.
Flat Time House will reopen in April with an exhibition, Living Sculpture, and a talks and events programme to coincide with A World View: John Latham at the Serpentine Gallery (2 March - 21 May). Gareth Bell-Jones will continue in his position as FTHo curator/director and the Institute will use FTHo as a space to commission and promote the work of artists and academics inspired by or developing the legacy of John Latham. The institute will continue to house the John Latham Archive and maintain its core aims of exploring John Latham’s practice, his theoretical ideas and their continued relevance.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries states: “The news that Flat Time House is to be preserved is urgent indeed. It is the Serpentine’s huge pleasure to partner on this series of activities taking place in what John Latham himself deemed a ‘living sculpture’. It is our hope that the legacy of Flat Time House carries on and that our Serpentine exhibition can be a signal towards the significance of its future.”
The Dino and Ernesta Santarelli Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Rome with the mission to support research and promote art history and the history of Rome both in Italy and abroad, with particular reference to stone sculpture, coloured marbles and glyptic art. The Santarelli family first came across John Latham’s work in 2014 at La Triennale di Milano curated by Alessandro Rabottini, which was Latham’s first show in a public institution in Italy. Deeply touched by the exhibition, the family saw parallels in the development of Latham’s work and the history of Italian art from the 1960s.
Rome was a city of great significance for John Latham. In 1944 during the city’s liberation by the allies as part of World War II, Latham visited the Palazzo Venezia where two paintings by El Greco were like an “instant vision” for him. “When I saw them,” he said, “I knew then that I wanted to be an artist.”
Paola Santarelli, president of the Dino and Ernesta Santarelli Foundation said: “On discovering this event we followed Latham’s work and Flat Time House’s activities very closely. By stepping in to secure the property of 210 Bellenden Road, the Santarelli family and the Dino and Ernesta Santarelli Foundation would like to create a bridge between the ancient and contemporary, allowing Flat Time House to continue its programme of exhibitions, residencies and workshops so central to its ethos.”
Flat Time House: Living Sculpture
6 April - 21 May 2017
Thursday - Sunday 12-6pm
Opening Event 5 April, 6-8pm
Exhibition Tours: Saturdays 2pm
Flat Time House: Living Sculpture acts as an introduction to Flat Time House (FTHo) and John Latham’s conception of Flat Time. Latham assigned the rooms of FTHo with the anthropomorphic attributes of the living body: Face (book sculpture), Mind (gallery), Brain (office), Hand (studio) and Body (kitchen and living area). The Mind gallery will house a selection of works that Latham collected together to best explain his ideas and theory of Flat Time. Other works by Latham and material from the John Latham Archive will be presented throughout the rest of the space. A highlight of the exhibition is Latham’s large text and spray paint work ‘Twentieth Century Trajectory’. This work, which demonstrates the convergence of art and science, is on public view for the first time.
Throughout the exhibition will be newly commissioned work by artists with a relationship to Latham and FTHo. Laure Prouvost was artist in residence at FTHo in 2010 and prior to that worked for five years in the space as John Latham’s assistant. She will present a new film made at Flat Time House over the past year. Artist Giles Bailey and sound artist and longtime Latham collaborator David Toop have produced a new film together that will act as a portrait of the living sculpture. Finally, Anna Barham will present a new film work derived from Latham’s use of language in his 1976 roller canvas work ‘THE’, currently on show in A World View: John Latham at the Serpentine Gallery.
LIVING SCULPTURE EVENT PROGRAMME
All Events free, no booking required.
Introductions to Flat Time and Tours of Flat Time House
Tours of the space by FTHo curator/director Gareth Bell-Jones based on John Latham’s talks introducing his concept of Flat Time
Saturdays at 2pm in April - on the 8th / 15th / 22nd / 29th
FTHo Flat Time House will host a series of informal in-discussion events with significant figures in the development of the institution. The conversations moderated by Gareth Bell-Jones will take place over successive weeks addressing the Mind, Brain, Body Event and Hand of the living sculpture.
The mind and the hand
Sunday 9 April, 3pm
3pm The Mind: The first curator/director of FTHo Elisa Kay and artist John Hill, who developed the education programme over eight years, will discuss the original impetus for setting up FTHo as an art and educational space and how John Latham’s ideas were interpreted for their programming.
4pm The Hand: Jakob Jakobsen will discuss inhabiting FTHo as an artist and researcher and FTHo’s second curator/director Claire Louise Staunton will consider how FTHo developed as an institution. The discussion will focus on the experience and research produced by Jakobsen in his year in residence.
the Body Event
Sunday 23 April, 4pm
John Latham’s son JP Latham and granddaughter Harriet Latham will recall FTHo as a domestic environment and home, discussing how John Latham lived and worked in the space from the early 1980s up to its transformation to a living sculpture in 2003.
Sunday 30 April, 4pm
The Brain: Athanasios Velios, research fellow at the Ligatus Research Centre, UAL, was principle investigator in creating the online John Latham Archive. Art historian and FTHo archivist Katherine Jackson will join Velios to discuss the creation and use of the John Latham Archive and the application of the artist’s event structure theory as a basis for the archive’s organisation.
Louisa Martin Lossy Ecology Publication Launch
Saturday 8 April, 4-6pm
Lossy Ecology is a new publication conceived and edited by Louisa Martin and published by Flat Time House. Borrowing from Latham’s Flat Time as well as Alfred Jarry’s ‘pataphysics’, the book explores atypical experiences of embodiment, focusing on autism, and aims to outline a new time-oriented concept of the body. At this launch event, Martin will create a performative environment at FTHo containing live sound performance by Louisa Martin, an introduction to Flat Time by Gareth Bell-Jones, a talk by Sabel Gavaldon on ecologies of experience, followed by an in-conversation with the artist.
Anna Barham: We May be Ready to Have Verbal Intercourse
Saturday 22 April, 2pm
In Anna Barham’s live production reading groups, lead by the artist for a small group of participants, meaning proliferates from the physical surface of language - the sound, rhythm and cadence of the voice - recalling John Latham’s use of language in the work THE. For this reading group, Barham will use text from Latham’s Object Lectures and other writings as source material to be processed through the participants’ readings and speech recognition software. Slipping from version to version, syntax and meaning ebb and flow in the unpunctuated blocks output by the computer so that each reader must ‘re-author’ the text in order to perform it. The work extends Barham’s concerns with the subjectivities created as language passes between different bodies and technologies.
Booking required. Click here to book a place.
David Toop, Rie Nakajima and Lucie Stepankova sound performance
Saturday 29April, 4pm
David Toop is a composer/musician, author and curator who has worked in many fields of sound art and music, including improvisation, sound installations, field recordings, pop music production, music for television, theatre and dance. He was also a long-time collaborator of John Latham. For this live sound performance, Toop will collaborate with Rie Nakajima and Lucie Stepankova to respond to the space and history of Flat Time House.