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.
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 live performance by Damien Roach, under his cross-media project, patten, will be presented at a special off-site event at Peckham Audio on Tuesday 5 July from 7pm. On Edge By Aim has been created in response to and alongside documentation of Boyle Family’s liquid light projections, and will be accompanied by live sets by musicians Silvia Kastel and Flora Yin Wong and a DJ set by Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey.
A single screen version of On Edge By Aim is presented as part of Gone Fishing, combining Boyle Family’s 1969 film ‘Beyond Image’ with patten’s original score. Roach’s interpretation draws upon the instability of Boyle Family’s light projection processes and also seeks to echo the present-ness of the original materials by creating an open, constantly shifting score. Sequences of melodic figures and physically affecting sounds are dialled through at speed to perform a forensic investigation into transitional states using a near-encyclopaedic set of aesthetic modes excavated from the history of avant-garde composition, from musique concrète to psych, American minimalism, ambient, microsound, and glitch.
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.
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
PHYLLIDA BARLOW, BRAM BOGART, JOHN LATHAM, GRACE NDIRITU AND ANTONI TÀPIES
10 March–10 April 2022
RED, GREEN AND YELLOW
TIM HEAD, JULIUS HEINEMANN, JOHN LATHAM, BOB LAW, LILIANE LIJN AND WOLFGANG TILLMANS
28 April–29 May 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
Boyle Family, Concrete Pavement Study with Tarmac and Manhole Cover, 2003–04 Mixed media, resin and fiberglass. © Boyle Family. All rights reserved, DACS 2022. Courtesy the Roberts Institute of Art and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection and Damien Roach, Nature Sounds 1, 2022. Audio, dimensions variable. Photo: Plastiques/Melanie Issaka
Marlie Mul, Puddle (Daub), 2013. Sand, stones, resin, plastic bag. Courtesy the Roberts Institute of Art and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection (left) and Damien Roach, Nature Sounds 1, 2022. Audio, dimensions variable. Photo: Plastiques/Melanie Issaka
Boyle Family, Beyond Image, 1969. 16mm without sound transferred to video. 33’32’’. First exhibited as part of a circular screen environment as part of Boyle Family's 1969 ICA exhibition Journey to the Surface of the Earth and Damien Roach, On Edge By Aim, 2022. Audio 45’55’’. Photo: Plastiques/Melanie Issaka
Boyle Family, Study of Shattered Red Tiles with Old Bricks and Decaying Wood, 1973–74. Mixed media, resin and fibreglass. ©Boyle Family. All rights reserved, DACS 2022. Courtesy the Roberts Institute of Art and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. Photo: Plastiques/Melanie Issaka
John Latham, Gone Fishing, 1959. Books, plaster and wires on canvas. © The John Latham Foundation. Courtesy The John Latham Foundation, the Roberts Institute of Art and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection (left) and Marlie Mul, Puddle (Chipped Bits), 2013. sand, stones, resin, plastic. Courtesy the Roberts Institute of Art and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. Photo: Plastiques/Melanie Issaka