ROOT1066: A New Language - The Observer BLD
art and its history are inextricably linked together which is why this strange paradox exists of the 'new' being introduced to the world while still being built on the past.
This quote from Buehler is being banded around with this exhibition at the Observer BLD, the works featured in this exhibition are driven to create a connection with 1066, the Normans and Harold being shot in the eye. This group of international artists deliberately play with the idea of language in art while referencing the language shift of the invading Normans in 1066.
When the Observer BLD was opened, it was to be championed as a community space, one for locals to live and work and interact in. There is a wide variety of exhibitions but more than that, the fact that a show about new language and the Norman invasion features international artists whose native languages are not English is a interesting one. I am not adverse to not-from-Hastings artists exhibiting (especially as someone who cannot afford to visit Berlin), Christopher Winter the curator claims Hastings as his home town; yet a show of Berlin artists invading a community space is an under-current that could spark many talking points. Hastings is currently featuring more DFL and gentrification, something many of the locals rally against and there is a fine line between enriching the culture and identity and destroying what made it in the first place.
For a show so explicitly about language and communication the show is not heavily textual, which is a relief in some ways. A New Language is a very series and very contemporary show, and of all the artists featured, Despina Stokou is most definitely one that captures my attention. Her works discuss' new language and the age of technology, the emoticon. Stokou is definitely the type of artist that excites, and interviews with her are enlightening.
Of the textual works, Robert Montgomery nails it with his neon on the front of the building. I am a sucker for poetic pieces, and especially poetic neons (see: Cerith Wyn Evans, Tracey Emin, et al). Pietro Sanguineti's piece, 'uuuhh' also stole a place in my heart, as it embodies my reaction to many artworks and I like that mirror. Can we also just admire how perfect it looks on the walls of O.B too?
A New Language features artists that have been celebrated on the international circuit, they've earned their stripes in Venice, New York, Chicago, and Mexico among others. The works range from photography and painting to sculpture and video. This show feels like it has been transplanted from Berlin, with all the nuances of learning a new language and misunderstood communication deeply imbued in the theme.
assume vivid astro focus - BORIS + NATASCHA - Thorsten Brinkmann - Marcel Buehler - Matthew Burrows - Edward Clive - Boris Eldagsen - Amir Fattal - Azin Feizabadi - GODsDOGs - Tom Hammick - Constantin Hartenstein - Michelle Jezierski - Almagul Menlibayeva - Robert Montgomery - Nicolas Provost - Römer+Römer - Pietro Sanguineti - Pola Sieverding - Despina Stokou - Peter Wilde - Christopher Winter