Untitled (1956) – Red, Green and Yellow – Gone Fishing

Launch event: Tuesday 1 November 7pm

A new publication accompanying a trilogy of exhibitions at Flat Time House in collaboration with the Roberts Institute of Art. Includes new commissioned text and selected contributions from:

Ifeanyi Awachie, Boyle Family, Paul Buck, Julius Heinemann, Grace Ndiritu, Damien Roach, Karenjit Sandhu, Dr Saskia Steinmann and David Thompson.

Publication launch readings by Paul Buck and Karenjit Sandhu, with films by Grace Ndiritu, and Boyle Family within a specially realised installation, Dig.

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Flat Time House and the Roberts Institute of Art are pleased to present Untitled (1956) – Red, Green and Yellow – Gone Fishing, a publication that explores the complex network of ideas and relationships surrounding John Latham’s work in dialogue with important works from the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. The publication is produced in response to a trilogy of exhibitions that took place at FTHo between March and July 2022. Each exhibition took its title from a canonical Latham work in the David and Indrė Roberts Collection: Untitled (1956), Red, Green and Yellow (1967) and Gone Fishing (1959).

As part of Untitled, 1956, Ifeanyi Awachie writes an essay that explores non-rationality in the work of commissioned artist, Grace Ndiritu, helping to illuminate and unsettle our preconceived notions of rationality by revealing unconventional ways of living in her shamanic practices, performances and video art. For Red, Green and Yellow, Karenjit Sandhu uses her text to think about how an investigation into light, space and duration in Julius Heinemann’s site-specific installation might make one reconsider a bodily understanding of time. Finally, Paul Buck writes in response to Gone Fishing, his text presenting the reader with a sequence of psychological shifts that, like featured artist Boyle Family’s Earth Studies, provide portals to a different perspective.

To mark the launch of the publication Flat Time House will screen a rarely seen film documenting Dig, a 1966 event organised by Boyle Family under the name ‘The Institute of Contemporary Archaeology’. Participants excavated a demolition site, which happened to be the site of an ornamental garden statue factory. Examples of the excavated statues will be exhibited alongside the film for the first time since the original happening. For Mark Boyle "the view that anything that exists is part of the contemporary environment... an object is not unworthy of our interest because it happens to be old or damaged or picturesque."

A publication launch event on Tuesday 1 November will include readings by contributors alongside this installation. Paul Buck and Karen Sandhu will recite their new texts together with a screening of Grace Ndiritu’s Event Structure: Holistic Reading Room - a new work commissioned as part of the project.

About event contributors

Boyle Family is a British collaborative group comprised of Mark Boyle (b. 1934, d. 2005), his wife Joan Hills (b. 1931), and their children, Sebastian Boyle (b. 1962) and Georgia Boyle (b. 1963). For the larger part of the last century, Boyle Family have continued making work internationally and locally in London. In addition to ICA London (1969), and the Venice Biennale (1978), solo exhibitions of their work have been held at the Hayward Gallery, London (1986), the Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand (1990), as well as a major retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (2003). In presenting reality holistically, Boyle Family developed a multi-generational and multifarious approach as a means of transcending the practical and formal limitations of art making. The inclusive and international nature of their practice offers an all-embracing way of looking at things, a prescient antecedent to the now common globalisation of visual culture.

Paul Buck has been writing and publishing since the late Sixties. His work is characterised by its sabotaging of the various forms in order to explore their overlaps and differences. Through the Seventies he also edited the seminal magazine Curtains, with its focus on threading French writing from Bataille, Blanchot, Jabès, Faye, Noël, Ronat, Collobert and a score of others into a weave with English and American writers and artists. While editing and translating are still a daily activity – in partnership with Catherine Petit, the Vauxhall&Company series of books at Cabinet Gallery is their responsibility – he also continues to cover new ground: Spread Wide (Dis Voir, 2004), a fiction generated from his letters with Kathy Acker; A Public Intimacy (BookWorks, 2011), strip-searching scrapbooks to expose autobiography; Disappearing Curtains (Slimvolume, 2016), an exhibition catalogue that collides with a ‘journal’; Library: a suitable case for treatment (Ma Bibliothèque, 2018), a collection of essays. In 2019 he helped Laure Prouvost to write her film Deep See Blue Surrounding You, around which her Venice Biennale pavilion, representing France, was based. Most recently he has published the narratives, Indiscretions (& Nakedness) (Vauxhall&Company, 2020), further essays, Street of Dreams (Ma Bibliothèque, 2020) and a novel Along the River Run (Prototype, 2020). 

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world. Works including The Ark: Center for Interdisciplinary Experimentation; COVERSLUT© fashion and economic project; and performance art series, Healing The Museum, have been shown around the world since 2012. Recently, her debut short film Black Beauty has been selected for prestigious film festivals including 72nd Berlinale in the Forum Expanded section, 2022, and 32nd FIDMarseille, 2021. Ndiritu has been featured in TIME magazine, Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art Book, BOMB magazine, Art Monthly and Elephant magazine. Her work is housed in museum collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The British Council and The Modern Art Museum (Warsaw). Her writing has been published in her critical theory book Dissent Without Modification (Bergen Kunsthall) in 2021; The Whitechapel Gallery in the Documents of Contemporary Art anthology series; Animal Shelter Journal, Semiotext(e) The MIT Press; Metropolis M; and The Oxford University Press.  

Karenjit Sandhu is a poet and artist completing her PhD in prose poetry, archives, performance and art objects at Royal Holloway, University of London, focusing on the concept of the artwork and/or poem as "irritant." Her poetry collections include young girls! (The 87 Press, 2021) and Poetic Fragments from the Irritating Archive (Guillemot Press, 2022). Her poems have previously been anthologized in Writing Utopia (Hesterglock Press, 2020) and Judith: Women Making Visual Poetry (Timglaset Editions, 2021), in addition to being published in Magma (2020), Digital Poetics (The 87 Press, 2020), DATABLEED (2019), Para-text (2019) and elsewhere. She has collaborated with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Flat Time House and Camden People’s Theatre (London), Arnolfini (Bristol) and Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris). She has also written for The Blue Notebook: Journal for Artists’ Books, and her artworks have been exhibited at The Showroom (London) and Galerie éof (Paris). She has contributed the paper ‘John Latham: The Artwork as Irritant’, to RHUL PGR Conference, and has written the essay ‘Painting with Fire and Foam: The Daring Practices of Alberto Burri and John Latham’ for exhibition catalogue, Time {τ} and Eternal Life

Flat Time House and the Roberts Institute of Art 

This 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 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 the collaboration 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.

Untitled, 1956 (10 March–10 April) features a key early piece by Latham with works by Phyllida Barlow, Bram Bogart and Antoni Tàpies, which share with Latham an experimentation with medium and an intuitive investigation into the symbolic value of material quality. Grace Ndiritu was invited to respond with new commissions and existing works. Red, Green and Yellow (28 April–29 May) features artwork by John Latham, Liliane Lijn, Tim Head, Bob Law and Wolfgang Tillmans in an installation conceived by Julius Heinemann. The minimal and conceptual works in this presentation experiment with pure form, resonating with Latham’s belief in reflective and intuitive modes of working. Gone Fishing (16 June–17 July), features work by John Latham, Boyle Family and Marlie Mul with an audio commission by Damien Roach under the umbrella of his cross-media project, patten. Latham and Boyle family were pioneers in understanding sculpture as conceptual art and central participants and in the cross-pollination of popular culture and the avant-garde.

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

'Untitled (1956) – Red, Green and Yellow – Gone Fishing' Publication – £10