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Arts Council Collection New Acquisitions 2006—07

Arts Council Collection New Acquisitions 2006—07

Chair of the Acquisitions Committee Susan May / Caroline Douglas The external members of the Acquisitions Committee for 2005–07: Willie Doherty Mustafa Hulusi Polly Staple

David Batchelor

In September 2006, as part of the Christ­mas Lights commission, and while the Royal Festival Hall was undergoing major restoration, David Batchelor was asked to propose works for the areas around the Festival Hall. Working with the building site that the restoration had created, Batchelor “selected a number of objects – two concrete mixers, a wheelie bin, two steel barrels and a number of old pallets ... Each object was modified to house differ­ent forms of coloured light and then put back on site among the other machinery, materials and debris. As a result a number of objects that we might normally over­look, in a place that we might also usually overlook, became vibrant, glowing, colour­ful and highly visible, at least for a short while.”

↖ Pink Pimp Mix, 2006 found concrete mixer, neon, 161 × 124 × 72 cm ← Festdella, 2006 plastic bottles, low energy electric lights, festoon cable, dimensions variable Pimp Pallets,2006 three found pallets, fluorescent lights, polycarbonate sleeves, waterproof containers, dimensions variable Festival, 2006 wheelie bin, fluorescent lights, inspection lamps, fairy lights, cable, steel objects, 155 × 210 × 85 cm All of the above works are gift of the artist and Hayward Gallery; commissioned by the Hayward Gallery as the inaugural Christmas Lights project, 2006.

Mark Boulos In this work, Mark Boulos follows the events during an Easter weekend when Myrna Nazzour, a Syrian housewife claims to bear the stigmata wounds of Christ’s crucifixion as well as having ecstatic visions of Jesus and Mary. Her home is turned into a holy place as a large number of pilgrims, doctors and journalists visit her to witness the miracle. Mixing traditional documentary film with the supernatural qualities of a horror movie, Boulos depicts the frenzy of the film crews and pilgrims, all clamouring for evidence of her revelations. The film was first shown in Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition in 2005. The Gates of Damascus, 2005 DVD projection, 24 minutes 18 seconds

Common Culture (David campbell, mark Durden)

Local Comic is an ironic take on the lofti­ness allotted to artwork using psycho­analysis. Unconnected to any audience response, the comic delivers his/her act to an empty room, accompanied only by the microphone, lights and the video camera recording their performance. Trawling through the complexities of everyday life, finding temporary solace and accommodation in the joke. As their carefully timed routine spills into the void of the club, we witness the struggle to balance the rehearsed control of the professional, with the panic of someone who knows all too well the fragile nature of their entertainment. Common Culture

Local Comics – Crewe (Simon, Lou, Mike), 2006 Three screen DVD projection

Garth Evans St. Mary’s No.1 comes towards the end of a series of works that began in 1969-70 when I found I wanted to make something that came within my definition of ‘sculp­ ture’, yet which did not, somehow, offer itself to the viewer as an object. St. Mary’s No.1 represents, in many ways, the culmination of this effort – to produce a ‘sculpture’ that was not an ‘object’. While there is much order within it, it offers itself as almost completely random. While it has a peculiar presence, it does not seem to exist (quite) in space. It is visually complex but conceptually simple. It appears weightless. St. Mary’s No. 1, 1978 polytherene, 3.2 × 307 × 314 cm Gift of the artist

Luke Fowler

What You See Is Where You’re At, 2001 DVD projection, 24 minutes 40 seconds Commissioned and funded by DCA, Dundee for the group show ‘Beyond’ . © the artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster ltd. Footage taken from the documentaries ‘Asylum’ and ‘R.D. Laing in the USA’ produced and directed by Peter Robinson.

Garth Evans

What You See is Where You’re At takes advantage of the vast repositories of moving image archives that are available to artists today, where everything from classic movies to homemade clips jostle for our attention. Here archives have been raided to present a portrait of the 1960s Scottish anti-psychiatrist and guru, R. D. Laing (1927–1989), who famously per­ceived a kind of wisdom in schizophrenia, giving it value as more than an ‘illness’. Fowler pulls clips from various sources that contradict each other, presenting them with equal weight. In building a series of opposing views, he resists conventional hierarchies, allowing the presentational mode of the film to embody the principles of its subject, the psychiatrist.

Mauricio Guillen Mauricio Guillen’s practice investigates the sensorial and political demarcation of places and contexts. His light and witty interventions in a range of media, renegotiate accepted boundaries, wheth­er physical, mental or spatial. Extended party line was a site-specific work made for the exhibition ‘Right On Write Off’ at the David Adjaye-renovated former re­sidence of artist Jake Chapman in Fashion Street, London in 2006. Us­ing common household paint, Guillen ex­tended the patchwork of colour de­corat­ing the back of the house next door onto the sleekly painted black façade of its distin­guished neighbour. With this intervention, Guillen visibly shifts the property line between the two terrace houses and subtly subverts the

in­creasing gentrification of Fashion Street in London’s Brick Lane area.

Extended party line, 2006 c-type photographic prints, 2 parts, total: 63.8 × 94.5 cm

Gareth Jones My work evolves by experimenting with specific materials in improvised struc­tures. Out of this speculative process a form emerges which becomes the basis for a work, and then I decide how best to realise it. Sometimes the answer to this is in front of me, at other times it will involve a new way of working. The things that I make are records of my behaviour. They deal with presentation (the language of materials) but are underscored by re­ferences and personal memories. I’m interested in achieving a strong physical identity for my work through ephemeral Cork box plus ingredients, 1998 cork, polystyrene, Fablon, cassette tape, 30 × 30 × 30 cm Cape, 1995 cardboard, string, paper, 75 × 68 × 34 cm

or fragile means. The process by which a given structure is made often remains visible in the finished work, so that mentally you can take it apart and put it back together and think about it the way it was made. Gareth Jones

Janice Kerbel Home Climate Gardens – Indoor Island Garden, 2004 digital inkjet print, 84 × 59.4 cm Home Climate Gardens: Loft – Mobile gardens, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm Home Climate Gardens: Gym – Respiration garden, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm Home Climate Gardens: Launderette – Suspended garden, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm Home Climate Gardens: Revolving Restaurant – Windowbox garden, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm Home Climate Gardens: Victorian Terrace – Seasonal bedding garden, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 118.8 × 84 cm Home Climate Gardens: Council flat – Wall mounted gardens, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm

Home Climate Gardens: Open Plan Office – Modular wall gardens, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm Home Climate Gardens: Student housing – Bookshelf garden, 2004 digital inkjet on paper, 84 × 118.8 cm All 2004, digital inkjet on paper, Commissioned by Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Nick Silver Can’t Sleep, 2006 audio recording, 15 minutes 40seconds Commissioned by Artangel, produced by BBC Radio 3 – The Verb

Home Climate Gardens is a series of nine digital drawings which was a com­mission and collaborative project with Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Re­search, University East Anglia and the Norwich Gallery. In 2002 I joined Tyndall’s collab­o­ra­tive research effort as artistin-resi­dence. Out of this grew a com­mis­sion to develop a new body of work – Home Climate Gardens – making Tyndall’s first artist-scientist collaboration. Each garden is determined by the climatic, architectural and functional conditions of a range of indoor environments (i.e. ‘Council Flat: Wall-mounted gardens’, ‘Gym: Respiration garden’. While Home Climate Gardens take the form of detailed and perfectly plausible plans, each garden remains unrealised. Janice Kerbel

Idris Khan Concerned with repetition and memory, A Memory… After Bach’s Cello Suites is a layered film, in which the cellist, Gabriella Swallow, plays excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for the Cello Solo. Superimposed together, the work creates a ghost-like multiple image of the soloist playing all six pieces at the same time. Khan’s fascination with the cello suites is rooted in the fact that a number of different versions have been published and no one knows precisely how they were intended to be played. He comments: “When we look at images or listen to a piece of music it can trigger memories, which often become blurred in our minds and mixed with all sorts of emotions. When I first began to listen to

Rising Series… After Eadweard Muybridge Human and Animal Locomotion, 2005 five platinum photographic prints, each 12.7 × 10.2 cm A Memory... After Bach’s Cello Suites, 2006 16 mm film transferred to DVD, projection, 6 minutes 40 seconds Commissioned by the Victoria Miro Gallery and Iniva.

Bach’s cello suites, I would play it so often that my experience of the music would become hazy and indistinct. A Memory... After Bach’s Cello Suites is a film installation that evokes the effect of memory where one can’t quite ‘see’ but the experience is still vivid and intense.”

Michael Landy

H.2.N.Y. Three Piano Notes, 2006 correction fluid on paper, 59.8 × 84 cm H.2.N.Y. Mechanical Suicide, 2006 correction fluid on paper, 59.8 × 84 cm Both works acquired with funds from the McLaren Art Foundation, in association with Outset Contemporary Art Fund

These works are part of a series of draw­ings, made with correction fluid, based on photographic records of a performance by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely (1925– 1991). The performance, Homage to New York, was staged in 1960 in the garden of MOMA, New York.Tinguely’s construc­tion self-destructed as part of the perfor­mance, and now exists only through some fragments and photo­gra­phic rec­ords. Having first encountered Tinguely’s work at the Tate retrospective in 1982 while still a student, Michael Landy has been intrigued by his work for many years, and investigated the possibility of re-stag­ing the Homage to New York event. He undertook research at the Tinguely Museum in Basel and MOMA, New York, and studied the possibility through his drawings.

Mark Lewis

Children’s Games, Heygate Estate, 2002 35 mm film transferred to DVD, projection, 6 minutes 21 seconds, A Film and Video Umbrella Commission in collaboration with Rooseum, Malmö and Salamanca Art Centre

Edwin Li

Ed’s Spiral Piece, 2006 DVD on monitor, 4 minutes 24 seconds

In this work Mark Lewis highlights the gap between utopian visions and everyday realities. The camera glides around a complex network of empty walkways in South London’s soon-to-be-demolished Heygate Estate, with the seamless move­ment of a computer game. Every detail is precisely planned and produced, from the perfect spring weather to the child actors playing in communal spaces. We are forcefully drawn into the image as the camera glides through the estate’s narrow paths, creating a metaphor for the linear nature of film itself, always moving on. Through this travelling motion, the architecture of the Heygate Estate is animated as a constant stream of images and information, highlighting how we, as viewers, understand the world around us, and what impact it can have on us

Edwin Li made this work while exper­i­ment­ing with filming techniques. Li pointed a camera at a monitor which was receiving the video signal from the camera, at the same time creating a video feedback loop, similar to the one created with an audio feedback when a microphone is placed near its own speaker. Intrigued by the imagery and in­terested in the possibility of creating images “that seize the imagination… that stimulate and entertain”, Li edited the footage to emphasise the kaleido­scopic effects of the geometrical patterns. Depending on the pace, the spirals appear to be staircases, keyboards or totally abstract patterns and seem to reference Busby Berkeley musicals and as well as Constructivism.

Ralph Macartney Bannana came about when I was sitting in my studio space at college questioning how a drawing is made: the link between eye, brain, arm and hand. Attempting to replicate something that exists in the world onto paper seemed somewhat of a meaningless task, given that no amount of realism seemed to account for seeing the object in its true physical state. In order to investigate this further, I set up an environment to test my ability as a human to recreate through drawing what I could see, and used the camera to record the experiment. Ralph Macartney

Bannana, 2006 DVD on monitor, 4 minutes 49 seconds

Mary McIntyre Taken in various locations in Northern Ireland, Mary McIntyre’s series of photo­graphs evoke feelings of longing and melancholy. The engulfing mists and twilight scenes show the influence of German Romanticism, and in particular the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. The works also reference the atmosphere and painterly qualities of Jacob van Ruisdael and Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. In this body of work, McIntyre examines the role of landscape as subject by ex­ploring elements of natural phenomena and our interpretation of them in order to explore the relationship between the individual and nature.

Veil I, 2006 light-jet photographic print on di-bond, 80 × 100 cm Veil II, 2006 light-jet photographic print on di-bond, 80 × 100 cm The Lough V, 2006 light-jet photographic print on di-bond, 80 × 100 cm

Alan Michael One part of my work tries to make refer­ence to backward glances from the pres­ent, as embodied in various examples from the spectrum of art, design and personal experience. Here I took a peren­nial standard – English Oxford and brogues, parameters set decades ago and returning in successive waves. I thought about constant manufacture, at times in and out of sync with contem­porary styles, but always in stock. I was also thinking of people undergoing analysis, reactivating and re-enacting events, compulsion to repeat. Alan Michael

Untitled, 2006 oil on canvas, 82 × 57 cm

Katy Moran

Freddy’s Friends, 2006 acrylic on canvas, 3 parts, total: 46 × 117.2 cm

Katy Moran’s intriguing canvases have been likened to 18th-century French floral paintings, and her loaded brush-marks are reminiscent of such voluptuous ex­cess. In Freddy’s Friends patches of in­tensely layered colour bloom like flowers where the swiftly applied paint feathers and merges together. However this belies the myriad of images at Moran’s finger­tips: trawling the inter­net for pictures to paint from, she collects and chooses her

subject matter intuitively. She then turns the found images up­side down, so that they lose their original, figurative sense, before lavishly render­ing them in acrylic paint. Moran explains that this process leads her “to create a new fig­ur­ative image through the paint, and get to the essence of the colours and con­trasts that interested me about the original image”.

Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer

Ambassador, 2005 16 mm film transferred to DVD, on two monitors, 5 minutes 30 seconds

Janet Nathan

Fairway, 2004 mixed media on wood, 120 × 89 × 10 cm Gift of the artist

Janet Nathan’s works are con­struct­ed from a variety of materials –pieces of old boats, driftwood, discarded parts of implements, crates and furniture. Many have been salvaged from the Thames, and

Ambassador is the first collaborative film by Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer. The two artists have cre­ated a film por­trait of the British Consul General to Hong Kong in his residence on Hong Kong Island. Two monitors, one above the other, display small scenes of the Consul’s day as he moves about the house. Nashashibi and Skaer play subtle formal tricks, switching the orientation of images playing on the lower monitor, so that at times it appears to mirror its coun­terpart. As the artists explain, the film’s dual display creates a multi-layered and exotic portrait of a man who is “a go-between of two cultural worlds: Hong Kong and the British overseas. Like a shaman, he offers access to another reality. Stephen Bradley is an individual man, but his individuality is sublimated to his post.”

all show the natural erosion that occurs to abandoned objects. However, this is often deceptive, as some of the wood has been carefully painted and reworked in her studio to imitate a weathered ap­pearance, so playfully manipulating what we can see and what we assume we can see. As one writer noted, her work is a series of ‘constructed fictions rather than assemblages of facts’. Certain shapes recur in Nathan’s works, in particular those which suggest the natural world: the elliptical shape of the sun, the sea horizon, the swell of an ox-bow lake and the curve of a river bank. However, the abstract qualities of colour, shape and texture in Fairway concern her as much as the associations conveyed by the forms.

David Noonan

Through the lens of found photographs, David Noonan dissolves, repeats, and resituates images to explore memory, nostalgia and association. His multi-panel silk-screens intensely overlap images to create dreamlike scenes where narrative or formal meanings are elusive. By pre­sen­t­ing the most stylised of images loos­ed from their original context, he explores the workings of remembrance, con­no­t­a­tion and sentiment. Noonan con­fronts nostalgia for the real, not through didactic deconstruction, but rather though the pleasure and pain of the imag­inary: his highly mediated images rever­berate with undetermined narratives that excite, disquiet, or charm.

Untitled, 2007 silkscreen on linen, 213.5 × 306 × 4.5 cm Acquired with funds from the McLaren Art Foundation, in association with Outset Contemporary Art Fund

The Otolith Group (Anjalika Sagar, Kodwo Eshun, Richard Couzins)

Otolith, 2003 digi-beta transferred to DVD, projection, 23 minutes 20 seconds. Commissioned by MIR Consortium/The Arts Catalyst

Otolith is made up of multiple archival sources. Found or historical material is spliced with new footage to create an amalgam of fact and fiction. The film’s narrator, a fictional descendant of Anjalika Sagar living in space in 2103, proclaims: “Earth is out of bounds for us now; it remains a planet accessible only through media.” She looks back at several generations of women from the Sagar family, linking her own (fictional) experi­ences with those of Sagar’s actual grand­mother. Taking its name from otoliths, the minute particles found in the inner ear, the film reorients our per­ceptions of the world by weaving personal and public histories together. In doing so it creates a complex sci-fi story that points to a potential future while com­menting on the current war in Iraq and issues of global feminism, race and cultural history.

John Smith The Girl Chewing Gum came about after I saw François Truffaut’s ‘Day for Night’, a film about the making of a film in 1975. Although I had been making films myself for almost three years, it had never occurred to me that every detail of the action in almost all feature films, even the incidental background action in street scene, is planned and directed. Like many other film works made by British artists in the 1970s, The Girl Chew­ing Gum was made in ideological opposition to mainstream cinema. A pri­mary aim of the film was to undermine its inherent illusionism, drawing attention to its own artifice (rather than conven­tion­al practice of attempting to disguise it). The film draws attention to the cinematic apparatus by denying its existence,

treating representation as an absolute reality in its own right. It achieves this by using a voice-over to subvert the reading of the image, marking the beginnings of my ongoing love/hate relationship with the power of the word. John Smith

The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976 16 mm transferred to DVD, 12 minutes

Joanne Tatham AND Tom O’Sullivan HK Marble (Absolute Black Zimbabwe) is one of a series of pieces within the project ‘HK’. The work is a 1:20 scale remaking of the first HK at Tramway, Glasgow where the words HEROIN KILLS were emblazoned across the gallery space, standing tall in six metre high black letters. Accompanying this first permutation of the artists’ motif were a series of transcribed interviews conducted by the artists with people involved in heroin abuse. The project continued with HK-necklace, a hand-cut 18-carat necklace, worn by a selection of art dealers, artists and curators at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Adept at exploiting time, place and atmosphere the artists’ ‘slogan’ flickers between meaning and meaninglessness. It is at

once a monument to the drug’s countless Glaswegian victims, and a desirably cool emblem gracing the necks of artworld elite in Venice.

HK Marble (Absolute Black Zimbabwe), 2004 granite (Absolute Black Zimbabwe), 30 × 208 × 6 cm

Mark Titchner The Invisible Republic, an eight metrehigh fibreglass banner, epitomises the hopes and ideals of today’s culturally aware society. Extracted from corporate mission statements, each slogan is prefixed by the words ‘We Want’, taken from the ten-point plan of an anti-Capitalist revolutionary group. The banner is relentless in its demanding of improvement, potential, and collective contribution towards a better cultural future. Titchner makes a wry com­ment on the current state of art, and its position within today’s commercial society; as he explains, “I use titles that I find rather than create so, like each work’s aesthetic, they are always embroiled in an historical moment.”

The Invisible Republic, 2006 inkjet on vinyl, 850 × 180 cm

Armando Andrade Tudela These photographs are part of a series taken by Peruvian artist Armando Andrade Tudela of giant advertising struc­tures alongside highways in Peru. Com­mercials on the billboards once caught drivers’ attention with bright colours, memorable slogans and easily absorbed concepts. Now, however, they are found empty and redundant. Confronted with these images the viewer is trans­ported to a site of isolation and solitude. They stand like ruins, offering an insight into an abandoned world. Tudela’s pho­to­graphs are not a simple record of reality. His works incite deeper reflections on what surrounds, and some­times encap­sulates us. The works could be seen as a comment on the changing cultural

landscape of South America and the effect of Western influence. Ewa Bielecka

CAMION, 2003 slide projection Billboard 9, 2003 c-type photograph, 42.4 × 58cm Billboard 12, 2003 c-type photograph, 42.4 × 58cm Billboard 14, 2003 c-type photograph, 42.4 × 58cm

Toby Ziegler Toby Ziegler’s sculptures combine the hi-tech with the handmade, as in Portrait of C.L. – an oversized sculpture of a pine­ap­ple, made using computer aided drawings which were worked up by the artist into a three dimensional form of interlocking planes of plywood.

Portrait of C.L. (third version), 2006 plywood, gesso, resin, 227 × 200 × 230 cm Je t’adore, baby, 2003–2004 acrylic on Scotchlite, 215 × 252 cm

The title of Toby Ziegler’s painting Je t’adore, baby bears no relation to its subject matter, but rather acts as a signpost to the artist’s thought processes at the time. There is a conflict running through the artist’s work, between the technical or mechanical and a more ges­tural or emotional impulse. Each of Ziegler’s paintings begin their life in a computer software programme; the ex­treme, central perspective, mathemat­ical­ly precise as a Canaletto, is also the familiar terrain of computer games. The Scotchlite material used as a support is the highly reflective fabric nor­mally employed for safety wear by the emergen­cy services. As a canvas it glows in direct light like a computer screen and images painted on this support are unstable: as the viewer moves from one side of the work across to the other a structure emerges and perspective reveals itself. The subject

matter reveals itself reluc­tantly as a series of tall, slender columns that are reminiscent of some of the more elaborate Moorish architecture of Seville or Cordoba, in south­ern Spain.

All images Š the artist except Mark Boulos image Š the National Film and Television School

Cover: David Batchelor Festival, 2006

Design: Catherine Nippe,

The Arts Council Collection is based at Southbank Centre, London and at Longside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield. For further information about the Arts Council Collection please visit Loans from the Collection are generally free of charge. Where exceptional curatorial or technical support is required a small fee may be charged to cover administration, preparation and installation costs. To enquire about borrowing work from the Arts Council Collection, email

New Acquisitions 2006-2007  

New Acquisitions 2006-2007

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