Gone Fishing
Boyle Family, John Latham, Marlie Mul and Damien Roach

16 June–17 July 2022 Opening Thursday 16 June 6–8pm

Gone Fishing is the third in an ambitious trilogy of exhibitions produced in collaboration between Flat Time House (FTHo) and the Roberts Institute of Art (RIA). Each exhibition explores a different facet of the complex network of ideas surrounding John Latham’s work in dialogue with important works from the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. The final part of the trilogy expands from the relationship between Latham and Boyle Family, drawing on both artists’ pioneering work in understanding sculpture as conceptual art and central participation in the cross-pollination of popular culture and the avant-garde. Significant works from both artists are presented alongside sculptures by contemporary artist Marlie Mul and a newly commissioned audio installation by Damien Roach.

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The exhibition includes Boyle Family’s ‘Earth studies’, site-specific 3-D casts of randomly selected portions of the Earth’s surface constructed from real material collected on site combined with paint and resin. Hung vertically, the painstaking process of replication destabilises the viewer, questioning our relationship to environment and place. These are presented alongside Marlie Mul’s ‘Puddles’, perfect replicas of water collecting on pavement. Evading narrative, the low-lying sculptures revel in the intricacy of the everyday. John Latham’s Gone Fishing (1959) plunges beat writer Alexander Trocchi’s counter-cultural novel, ‘Cain’s Book’ into a pool of blackened canvas. Latham’s titular play on words suggests a confrontation of presence with absence.

Damien Roach’s multidisciplinary practice is concerned with creative thinking, flexible modes of being, and the unfixed nature of perception, often using various pop cultural materials as accessible sites for the exploration of these ideas. For Gone Fishing, Roach has produced a new environmental sound installation, and a performance work drawn from archival research into the Boyle Family’s liquid light projections. These light shows, performed both in gallery spaces and as visual accompaniment for Soft Machine and Jimmy Hendrix, experimented with the re-presentation of the Earth’s elements, magnifying various chemical and physical reactions using projectors. Roach’s commission draws upon the sounds of these processes alongside the commonplace sounds of daily experience, presenting them estranged from their sources like disembodied apparitions, an uncanny echo of the original material. The resulting open score cyclically re-sequences these found sounds to investigate transitional states, auratic affect, and the dematerialisation of the art object.

‘On Edge By Aim’, a new performance by Damien Roach under his cross-media project, patten, has been created in response to and alongside Boyle Family’s film ‘Beyond Image’, and will be performed live at a special off-site event at Peckham Audio on Tuesday 5 July from 7pm, as well as live sets by musicians Silvia Kastel and Flora Yin-Wong. More information to be announced.

For each exhibition we have invited a writer to produce a newly commissioned exhibition text. For Gone Fishing we have invited Paul Buck to respond to ideas provoked by the exhibition. Paul Buck has worked as a poet, writer, playwright, artist, performer, translator and teacher in the visual arts since the late 1960s, working at Better Books before editing Curtains magazine in the 1970s where he introduced many French authors to the English audience. More recently he has been published by Bookworks and co-edits the Vauxhall & Co series at Cabinet Gallery.

The accompanying publication produced by FTHo and RIA with contextual and newly commissioned texts, and exhibition documentation will be launched in July 2022.

Damien Roach is a London-based artist, researcher and lecturer. His projects span art, design & creative direction, publishing, sound/music and audiovisual. Recent projects include immersive AV performances at London’s ICA and Tate Modern, design for clients ranging from Caribou to Disney, and publishing a journal exploring non-dystopic future visions with a host of contributors including Susan Hiller, Dr Isabella Maidment, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Liam Gillick. He has exhibited internationally, including at the 51st Venice Biennale, ‘Learn to Read’ at Tate Modern, Art Now at Tate Britain, ‘Housewarming’ at Swiss Institute NYC, and solo presentations at institutions including DRAF, London, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, Arnolfini, Bristol, Gasworks, London, and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Germany.

This new collaboration between Flat Time House (FTHo) and the Roberts Institute of Art (RIA) takes as a starting point prominent John Latham works from the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. The partnership, presented at FTHo, explores ideas in Latham’s work through performance-based commissions and a selection of key works from the Collection. 2021 was the centenary year of John Latham’s birth, and this three-part presentation has developed from a conversation between RIA and FTHo around finding new perspectives on Latham’s work through a dialogue between the David and Indrė Roberts Collection and the John Latham archive.

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The Roberts Institute of Art (RIA) is a non-profit contemporary arts organisation. RIA commissions pioneering performance art, collaborates with national partners on exhibitions and works to research and share the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. David Roberts founded the organisation in 2007 and since then RIA has welcomed over 135,000 visitors, partnered with over 100 museums and organisations and collaborated with over 1,000 artists. Through an interdisciplinary approach, RIA seeks to respond and adapt to different contexts, aiming to open up new conversations about how we engage with culture.


Exhibition supported by Arts Council England, Henry Moore Foundation an­d The John Latham Foundation

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10 March–10 April 2022 


Untitled, 1956 (10 March–10 April 2022) Phyllida Barlow, Bram Bogart, John Latham and Antoni Tàpies with commission by Grace Ndiritu

Red, Green and Yellow (28 April–29 May 2022) Tim Head, John Latham, Bob Law, Liliane Lijn and Wolfgang Tillmans with commission by Julius Heinemann