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CAUGHT IN THE ACT


RICHARD BUTLER IAN GILES KARL-OSKAR OLSSON JOSEPH POPPER

CAUGHT IN THE ACT C h e l s e a  F u t u r e s p a c e 17th February – 28th March 2009

Lift Off, Joseph Popper 2007


Foreword | Dan Smith

The artists showing together in Caught in the Act have cited an alignment to, or a relationship with, the term Conceptual Romanticism1. Such a gesture is suggestive of a movement, as in the tradition of modernist avant-gardes. The idea of a movement, in what is a very post-movement age, is one that might rely on different modes of cynical distance. The first, most objectionable, is of a shallow branding exercise, as demonstrated so horrifically by Charles Saatchi and Martin Maloney in the late 90s with the grotesque revelation of what they pronounced as ‘New Neurotic Realism’, which at best failed to identify any unifying characteristics, at worst promoted reactionary anti-intellectualism. It is easier to find sympathy for the loose tendencies that may emerge and recur, such as the ironic inversion of ‘Bad Painting’, or Ralph Ruggof’s popularizing of an ‘Aesthetics of the Pathetic’. However, when artists work, show, talk and plan together, the attempt to describe and rationalize common ground and overlapping terrain may lead to terms that may, even in the most joking and informal terms, constitute something that might be an encompassing category. Richard Butler, Ian Giles, Karl-Oskar Olsson and Joseph Popper have taken temporary shelter under such an emergent category: Conceptual Romanticism. It is not the task of this short text to affirm or refute the validity of the term, but rather to act as a reminder of why however useful such terms appear, it is important that we reflect on our relationships to them. Yet while it is imperative that these young artists maintain a healthy scepticism for the motives that drive the generation of such terms - struggles for dominance, curatorial ambition, global recognition - it is reassuring to see such acts of shared engagement and recognition bringing individual practices together. Perhaps there can be a counter force in such artist-led alignments that can help to stand against the pull of the force of the institutional desire to stand at the centre of a movement. In the case of Saatchi and Maloney, this could be read as a combination of empty posturing and the leverage of limitless wealth. Other forms of pomposity might include a curator and the apparent invention of a category of participatory engagements.

Conceptual Romanticism is a strand of Conceptual Art which seeks to place emotion and a sense of ‘the hand of the author’ over cold intellectualism. It is rooted in age-old ideals of romanticism.

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Such attempts lead to nothing but the creation of hot air and waffle (show me an aesthetics that is not relational). Rather than attempt an overblown thematic grouping, the artists here allow themselves to share a spirit of play, and in doing so make possible the construction of emergent possibilities. They recognize absurdity and silliness as hopeful and emotionally resonant possibilities. There is also a shared fascination with an ontology of documentation, of the event as constituted in the act of looking, not at the body itself, but its traces and representations. The artists in Caught in the Act are certainly making use of playful methods and associations, but are at the same time performing a renegotiation of personal and institutional power relations. They create spaces of cynicism and humour, and in occupying a zone between sincerity and absurdity, I’d like to think that these practices are ultimately concerned with the possibility of an ethical engagement between artist and audience. Dan Smith is a writer and lecturer, based in London; he regularly contributes to Art Monthly.


The Measure of Failure | Ellie Rees There is a Heath Robinson-esque quality that sits at the heart of much of the work by the artists presented in Caught in the Act. There’s a sort of: ‘what’s going on in the shed at the bottom of the garden?’ feel. Implausible contraptions, eccentric gizmos and sinking boats, pranks and practical joking prevail. Performative in their nature, all the of artists deal with humour, absurdity and a ‘boyishness’ which comes with equal amounts of youthful charm and juvenile messing around. In their work we see a lo-fi, domestic approach of taking the ordinary and creating the extraordinary. Failure is a strand that runs through this exhibition. Exposing one’s own failure can be endearing and has been a constant source of inspiration to many artists. When written about, failure is almost always contextualised by reference to Samuel Beckett and the ubiquitously but necessarily used quote: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. It forces one to think about the difference between a genuine attempt at trying to complete a task and the western artist’s prerogative of knowingly striving to do something that will inevitably fail. As Lisa Le Feuvre outlines in her essay published 2008 (for Art Monthly) on Art Failure: The paradox of failure is that one cannot set out to fail as the evaluation process of success, measured by failure, becomes irrelevant. Le Feuvre continues … Of course, it is possible to engage in activities that one knows will not work. It is this knowingness of things not working and the area between expectation and reality which is revealed by and links these four artists. The British artists Matt Calderwood and Nathanial Mellors have similar concerns. Their ‘performative’ practices explore purposelessness; remind us of the inadequacy of technology, and present actions so absurd at times, that we are forced to ask ourselves why these idiosyncratic performances are so fascinating and familiar? This collection of work might remind us of a British comic sensibility. It is peculiar and eccentric. This bright boyishness and all the associated stereotypes that go with it (charming, gibberish chitter-chatter, ludicrous dressing up, ‘make-do-and-mend’ cardboard and sellotape sculptures) manifest themselves in a non-narrative-based performance style. This, however, is not without some pathos.

The Search For William Wegman, Richard Butler, 2008

Comparisons with popular culture have been taken as criticisms in the past, but when considered, stand as a valid observation of these artists’ work. The democratic culture of setting up a pointless and even dangerous set of tasks with your friends and posting the often-hilarious outcomes on YouTube is perhaps not so different from the work seen here.


To interpret the television series Jackass as a purely immature display of machismo or testosterone-fuelled physical one-up-manship is to do the phenomenon an injustice. It is, of course, all these things, but not only these things. Knoxville pays homage to the ‘Nobody can eat fifty eggs’ scene from Cool Hand Luke where Paul Newman’s character makes a wager that he can eat fifty hard-boiled eggs in under an hour. The results of this stunt are visceral, compelling, hilarious and really not so different from the ‘what happens if I do this …’ mentality employed by many fine artists. Chris Burden’s Shoot (1971) has become a benchmark of risk-taking performance art. He had a friend shoot him in a gallery from fifteen feet away. “How do you know what it’s like to be shot if you have never been shot?” he asked. Heavily influenced by William Wegman’s pioneering show reels of the 1970s, the perspective presented to the audience by these young artists is the one that they choose. All of the work here owes something, consciously or otherwise, to Wegman’s early body of work: his self-deprecating humour and relentless sense of ‘play’ as well as his scattershot approach to making recorded performance. The performances in this exhibition are no accident. They are carefully constructed and realised and will probably never happen again. Perhaps nobody even saw them in the first place. The only audience for Wegman and the performers in this exhibition is the camera lens. This type of work has become loosely known as ‘Video Performance’, a sub-genre which poses explicit questions about the difference between live and recorded spectacle. What constitutes a performance? What constitutes audience? How does recorded performance differ from live performance art, live theatre, and so on? The artists in Caught in the Act revel in the idea of making something difficult for the sake of it, dramatic absurdity and endearing boyishness. It presents us with an abundance of knowing winks, art references and performances we will never experience live. It does all this whilst doggedly clinging to the idea of a Sisyphean task and a sense of artistic and personal identity forged through self-perpetuating and constructed failure. Perhaps these performances serve as rites of passage for the artists. There is a conscious willingness to do something that won’t work and a full-on embrace of disappointment and failure as aspects of the human condition - an acceptance of our own limitations. Is this nothing more than funny, idiosyncratic performance, or nothing less than an acceptance of our own mortality? Ellie Rees is an artist and lecturer based in London.

Heat Feet, Ian Giles, 2008


work lies in an empirical and quantitative line of thinking. Initially wishing to travel to Smithson’s Spiral Jetty producing work around the journey, Butler stripped away the mythology of this pilsgrimage to the numbers; money, miles and the length of the jetty. This led to walking the shape and size of Spiral Jetty in Peckham, an imagined journey that takes an ultimately prosaic form, the visual stripping back of a concept akin to his earlier work. Vitally, the reduction of Spiral Jetty to a walk reiterates the relationship between body and land as present in much of Smithson’s work. Moreover, Butler’s performance reframes Spiral Jetty in a landscape that is as equally subject to change as the ‘natural’ environment. In Peckham, however, the transformations are man-made. It is up against metropolitan concerns of urban redevelopment, housing and social issues, that Butler squares his exploration of the landscape. A playful enactment of the problems of environmental and contextual change on the artwork ensues, echoing Kubler’s above quote. The acknowledgment of the context surrounding the work, and the use of appropriation as a strategy by Butler presents a challenge to questions of authorship and artistic autonomy. Not as a relinquishment of responsibility, but as a direct acknowledgment to the bonds and boundaries of history in the present, and of artist to audience. In terms of this exhibition’s focus on performance art and the document, Butler’s process, unlike Smithson’s, leaves no trace behind on the land, and instead through his documentation, a relic of the performance is produced.

How To Transform Yourself Into A Mondrian, Richard Butler, 2008

RICHARD BUTLER “... The artist is not a free agent obeying only his own will. His situation is rigidly bound by a chain of prior events ...”

George Kubler 1 Richard Butler’s mapping out and walking of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, (1970), follows on from pieces in which he has appropriated works by Charles Ray, William Wegman and Ed Ruscha. Drawing on and interrogating the implications of art historical landmarks as ideas within different contexts, here he has transposed a work situated on a salt lake in Utah, to a walked performance on a strip of wasteland in Peckham. The development and culmination of this Kubler, George. The Shape of Time, Remarks on the History of Things, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1962. 1

Although Butler seems to refute the associations of the artist with the shamanic, through his humorous demystifying of concept, there is an inherent sense of romantic, transcendental value in the act of documenting performance. The performance document as relic refers us to a place in which we find innate value and power in the art object. Yet in avoiding the mystification of the artistic persona through the engagement with the idiom of play and failure, Butler’s mode of enchantment falls into line with Fischli and Weiss’s spectacular mundane, or Georges Perec’s Infra-Ordinaire. The document as a relic of performance through photography, video or actual leftover materials, also enters the question of the real to the equation. Documentation as evidence of an autonomous performed act bristles against the appropriative elements, subsequently leading the artwork into a heteronomous space. Butler’s appearance in How to Transform Yourself into a Mondrian, reminds the viewer of both Joseph Beuys’ suit and Yves Klein’s famously dapper appearance when directing/performing his Anthropometries. The centrality of Beuys and Klein to Butler’s work lies not only in his sartorial choice and subsequent exhibiting of the coat-hangered suit, but in the mythologizing of these artists. Beuys’ rescue by the Tartars and subsequent alchemical use of felt and fat, alongside Klein’s faked Leap into the Void are conjured up by the suit, and titling of the work. Transforming oneself into a Mondrian, bastion of early modernism thus places the artist as ‘artwork’, key to Beuys’ aims, alluding to the notion of artist as shaman. In nodding to these artists, a key theme in Butler’s work solidifies.


By materialising mythology around art history, he binds himself to it, albeit with tongue firmly in cheek. The enjoyment of myths here links to a pleasure in anecdotal story telling as transformed into significant myth or archetype; through employing humour, failure and a sense of plebeian banality, Butler again recalls Perec’s sentiments, and Fischli and Weiss’ aesthetics. The ‘boyishness’ of Butler’s works emerges from this revelry in the stripping back of lofty concepts to simplified actions and documentation. The obstinate refusal to bow down to the concept of the untouchable, heroic artist, specifically in terms of performed works, places Butler’s strategies as contrary, playful and verging on adolescent. However, it is the hopeful sensitivity to landscape, environment and history in his walking of Spiral Jetty, which brings the viewer into a position of identification. Butler’s work produces a crystallisation of the desire to preserve contact with the land and local environment through adapting Smithson’s paradigmatic Spiral Jetty into the physical space of Peckham where it sheds new light. His appropriative strategy, alongside the theme of play as central to the artwork draws his performative acts into a productive discourse with the viewer. It is the document, or relic that serves as vital testimony to the fundamental process of the performed artwork from conception and action to public life in the gallery.

Larne Abse Gogarty is a writer based in London.

After Cravan, Ian Giles, 2008

IAN GILES In the film After Cravan, Ian Giles takes an axe to his own boat at sea. The boat drowns and Giles washes up sodden and freezing. The title refers to Arthur Cravan, a boxer, poet and con-man, admired by members of the Dada and Surrealist movements. According to legend, Cravan faked his own death by hacking up his sailing boat, after he had run out of money. This, says Giles, is seen by some as Cravan’s ‘last performance.’ Against the bare backdrop of an empty horizon, Giles’ act of sabotage seems both dangerous and compulsive. His axe swings gather momentum as the boat gets closer to sinking; but when he finally goes down, the silhouette of Giles’ head bobbing around in the water is almost indistinguishable from the boat itself. Giles is tied to the thing he destroys, and to the act of destruction. In this way, he reimagines Cravan’s last performance as a deliberate act, a heroic battle against the elements, and a romantic endeavour.


But he also reimagines it as a spectacle. There was no audience at Cravan’s ‘last performance’ (a title that must have been added by an idealising biographer), unlike Giles’, which was filmed for posterity. As well as a boat being destroyed, the film shows a glittering and beautiful seascape, which stages the performance as an aesthetic act. In this way, the film acknowledges the paradox of performance art: it feasts on the authenticity of the live, but survives almost exclusively in documentation. Thinking ahead to how it will be seen in the future, Giles transforms the physical finality of Cravan’s act into a symbol, served with a kind of courtesy to the viewer. Combined, the symbolism and physicality of Giles’ work present a kind of double perspective. In Heat Feet (2008) Giles danced on a raised stage to the accompaniment of an opera singer. He stood on a metal table that was heated from below by a gas flame; as the surface grew unbearably hot, his feet began to ‘dance’, and the singer vocally responded to his movements. From one perspective (the viewer’s), Heat Feet was a conventional artistic presentation conceived for an audience. But from another perspective (the performer’s, perhaps), it was an act of physical endurance, a compulsion derived from circumstance. The work was driven by both physical and aesthetic imperatives, just like After Cravan is both a dangerous stunt and a piece of filmcraft. This double perspective means Giles’ work defers to two kinds of authority: the heroism of the artist-creator and the interpretive power of the viewer. Perhaps this attitude stems from his experience as a student of performance art, which is to say a student of performance art documentation. The canon of performance art history is littered with artworks renowned for their real physical effect – such as Chris Burden’s 1971 piece Shoot, in which the artist was shot in the arm – which have been fragmented through documentation into grainy photographs, film and description. Piecing these ‘seminal’ works back together is a lesson in the powerful specificity of experience, delivered through experiences the student cannot have. In many ways, this work is no longer accessible. In contrast, Giles embraces the idea of legacy – of making his work accessible to people who weren’t there. Working with photographers and filmmakers, he is sensitive to the craft of documentary techniques, and the ways that audiences can understand work in the future. Giles commissions other people – to massage his performances into shape for the viewer to understand; in other words, into a shape that includes a kind of platform for the viewer. In this way, Giles does not only build on the history of performance, but also the history of art forms like film and photography, as well as the history of (art) history itself. Despite Giles’ awareness of how his performances will be seen, the physical act is still at the heart of his work. Giles’ artworks put him in situations with real and sometimes dangerous consequences – capsizing at sea, burning his feet, falling down. Each situation is constructed by Giles himself, but once it begins he has no easy escape: he really is compelled to survive a shipwreck, a heated table, a fall.

Giles describes ‘art’ as a ‘necessary act’ that lies outside normal experience – his feats are like physical rituals, tests that force a kind of transcendence (or at least an avoidance) of the everyday. And yet, like an equal but opposing force, Giles is also compelled to represent himself to an audience. The incompatibility of these two compulsions results in work that oscillates between monkish absorption and a clownish desire to please, between pathos and humour, between loneliness and community. In each case, the aesthetic experience of the documentation of Giles’ work depends on a disavowal of its method, while the symbolic effect of the physical act depends on a disavowal of Giles’ artistic independence. We pretend there was no photographer on the stairs to make the fall seem real, for example, and we pretend there was no filmmaker on the beach to make the shipwreck seem dangerous; at the same time, we don’t see Ian Giles capsize, but an everyman performing a universal and symbolic act of self-destruction. Giles describes his work as ‘romantic conceptualism’, which conveys both its romantic transformation of lived experience, and its pragmatic understanding of the value of the idea, realised in the most appropriate medium. The term ‘romantic conceptualism’ also suggests a cerebral outsider, which is perhaps the ultimate source of Giles’ double perspective. His work embodies two outsiders – the artist and the audience – both of whom are locked in a relationship of mutual compulsion and disavowal. The result is a relationship vibrating with potential and desire, which reflects the paradox of performance art itself; valued for being real, performance is the slave to interpretation. There is in fact only one source that says that Giles’ inspiration, Arthur Cravan, faked his own death – other stories say he died at sea. Here, the ‘truth’ is what you make it: one man’s death, indeed, is another man’s performance. Mary Paterson is a writer and producer and co-director of Open Dialogues.www. opendialogues.com


spectre presents the past to suggest almost an Oedipal relationship to ideas. Some hundred and fifty years later, after the fall of the Berlin wall, Derrida uses the sentence to reassert Communism’s haunting, its political demise, as a memorial to ideals of progressive thinking. Armed with a copy of Marx, Olsson while a student at Chelsea began an exchange at the art school in Budapest. When translated the spectre in Swedish became a ghost. The different etymologies between ghost and spectre are subtle. In Epicurean thinking a spectre is an image emanating from a corporeal being. It is also a resembling figure. This implies a doubling or shadowing of substance and could be thought of as an echo. The Latin word specere is to look. Science refers to the spectral index as the means to quantify data through light or another oscillating system. It is an apparition and usually scary. The spoof ghost mocks its namesake. A ghost is not material so properly it should be invisible. It’s contradictory, defies logic in a way between looking at the spectacle and the invisible spirit. These doubled differences are present in the humorous way Olsson responds to and works with the situation. Overlapped combinations of meaning denote differences between the communism of Marx and the communism of the former Eastern Block – many layers of ghosts psychological, historical, good and bad.

Ghost Jumping, Karl-Oskar Olsson, 2008

KARL-OSKAR OLSSON Bullshit and conversations The site of a former drill ground is fertile space for the fluid exchange of ideas. How congenial art school can be. This privileged space for projective testing and investigation is metaphoric as much as literal. For Karl-Oskar Olsson it becomes central to the focus of the work. And he takes a wager on it, the pain as well as pleasure, exposure and artifice. ‘A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of Communism.’ Opening the communist manifesto, this sentence proposes locations and habitations where Communism’s haunting indicates different kinds of temporality. It implies backward motion connecting past to present, after the event. But what is the event to which the spectre of communism goes backwards as Europe at the time Marx wrote was potentially at the edge of radicalism, waiting for change. Pending, but still in the future the residual

The video work Ghost Jumping shows a figure wrapped in a white sheet, performing a repeated action, a precise jump into a cardboard box. Single view each scene is like a photograph reminiscent of Ed Ruscha with a twist. Below you see the smart black trousers and shoes. Architectural banalities viewed with grace, fragments of modernist buildings, dereliction, a city square, a market mostly devoid of people other than their sounds and the suggestion in places of music – light, half heard perhaps a little heroic tune, its hard to make it out. Insert the ghost and you have the rub, it’s a plot. The force of the jump makes the boxes wobble back and forward. Straight into the box, the figure is no longer visible but the motion is, like a brief after-shock. It is ridiculous and banal but fun. A scene change, another jump and a different wobble. The sound is distinct; it jars slightly to perform the artifice of the real. It’s ironic that the real sound, the actual recording as it comes out appears unreal and the edit into artificiality of sound is plausible. There’s a gap in delayed synchronisation. It points to another double shift, and it’s slight, you could miss it, that’s the point. It is almost not there. How absurd. There is bullshit all around us, using the expression, an attitude or simply to denote the proliferation of stuff. To say bullshit can be aggressive, assertive or plain arrogant. It is a catch all for anything on the edge of being problematic. Aesthetics, freedom, responsibility these subjects defy the humorous they’re the terms of serious discourse. The profound though can’t be captured or fixed. Better to give lightness language for discussion. Olsson plays the fool, a doubting bullshiter, and through using bullshit gives bare face the chance of its embarrassment.


The spoof ghost is a bit cack, ridiculous. It’s close to stand up comedy, between exposure and posture. This is the surprise; the joke can be closer to real experience than what is often considered serious. Jokes like games have rules of exchange – transactions between the players. This involves anticipation; you have to wait for the punch line. Ghost Jumping plays on this apprehension to point out the edginess that separates worry from wonder. Watching Youtube is quite different from the gallery, less clever so the emphasis shifts to concerns without pressure from the immediate aesthetic decision to the realisation of ethical responsibility. The project of making work is an echo that won’t go away. Shadowy differences of meaning and definitions, where does the purpose of making art now in today’s economically bankrupt society reside and what is its value are questions that don’t go away. On the one hand there’s self-conscious play on return to the optimism predicated on the critique of value in the sixties disavowal of materiality. And the smart attire, surely a nod at Gilbert and George and the performance of privileged politeness extend this. On the other there’s a loss that can’t be placated.

Jo Melvin is a curator and writer based in London.

Shooting Star, Joseph Popper, 2009

JOSEPH POPPER Not afraid to fail, not too worried about success If it was not for our dreams and aspirations we would find it hard to override the mundane. Joseph Popper takes up these flights of fancy and puts into action and performance something that could be, but in fact rarely is. Deliberate irrationality, immediacy and playful humour are consistent and central elements in Popper’s work. Victor Hugo’s words, “to entrust is sometimes to abandon”, appropriately describe Popper’s approach [Les Miserables, 1862]. He is an emerging artist working on the theme of ‘pure possibility’, a term coined by Husserl’s writings on imagination, ‘the realm of as-if’, [Husserl, Ideas 1913]. Elementary to Popper’s work is his interest in the universal ambitions based upon human mobility through machinery. Recent work ��������������������������� has taken the form of flying machines and other contraptions designed to achieve the improbable


and launch himself off the ground. His actions and experiments are based on his imaginative designs and storyboards for situations, which he then performs to camera in one take - giving himself one chance only to directly confront the physical and practical limitations of those initial sketches. Joseph Popper [JP]: “There is a great history of grand aspirations and also great failures, with a rich source of fantastic imagery to be inspired by … Looking through documentation I realised that the most exciting part for me is the spark in the idea and the image rather than the actual realisation of the object itself. Appreciating the work of artists like Panamarenko, Michael Sailstorfer and Roman Signer helped me locate my own practise. The desire of performing to camera or photographically constructing and realising the image relates to those early experiences.” Popper explores the pursuit of possibility not actually intending to make a working contraption. He works in the manner of a conceptual bricoleur using lo-tech inventions as a prop for realising imagery that sparks excitement. He achieves this with a sense of irrationality and complete abandon into absurd situations devised and orchestrated to camera. Notions of the pathetic and the mad inventor combine with an open admission that the objects he makes are fallible and not foolproof. JP: “There is a significant relationship in my practice between that which is thoroughly composed, and what is left open to chance in a ‘doodly squat’ manner. The interplay between these aspects is most prominent in my videos: where an honest and humorous fallibility emerges from a confident pose. The inherent failure of my designs is a most important admission – for the shift in tone lends the un-realised idea and aspiration a renewed sense of buoyancy.” Consistent in his doodly squat manner, Popper continues to push for grand aspirations within futile and irrational situations. The video A Rolling Start witnesses Popper taking to the streets of South London in a red cardboard car. In this latest piece we see him side step away from a pseudo-scientific pose, towards the pose of the dreamer. While the street scene unfolds the artist quietly emerges into shot, laced up in roller skates. Closer now, he is frantic and unstable in his efforts to push himself inside the car body forwards along his route. As the real cars seemingly hound Popper out of shot, they also reaffirm the ridiculousness of his parody. Despite the very real struggle evident in the work, the image Popper creates is so unconvincing it becomes almost detached from reality. In Shooting Star Popper continues to explore the potential of photography to capture remarkable instants. The image arose out of an interest in the dependency of space travel on its documentation: where by default the only audience is the camera. The photograph depicts the artist posing as a lone astronaut within a lunar setting, playing golf with the ‘stars’. No one but the

camera is witness to the whimsical trajectory of the flare the golf ball leaves in its wake. The image conjures a link between wishful thinking and flashes of imagination, with infinity and the incomprehensible. A kind of reversal takes place and what is made possible may be imperfect but is all the better for it and necessarily so. The image achieved by Popper enables our imagination to expand upon the grand aspiration that his action addresses. Balancing in between the spaces of fiction and reality, Joseph Popper contrasts design with immediacy and success with failure, drawing the viewer in to take a flight of fancy and a playful journey. ������������������������������������ In his work we are also reminded of the importance of play – which may, in fact, be the highest expression of our humanity. In psychological terms, play allows our brains to maintain and even perhaps renew the neural connections that embody our human potential to adapt and to meet any possible set of environmental conditions. We play not only because we are, we play the way we are and the ways we could be. Hence play is our connection to pure possibility and the realm of as-if. Christina Eberhart is a curator based in London


Caught In The Act Images and texts Š the Artists Published to coincide with the exhibition Caught In The Act at CHELSEA FUTURESPACE between 17th February and 28th March 2009. The artists would like to thank: Larne Abse Gogarty, Ed Aves, Gill Addison, Adam Back, Jeff Dennis, Christina Eberhart, Brian Fawcett, Dennis Mariner, Jo Melvin, David Musgrave, Mary Paterson, Jasmine Popper, Ellie Rees, Jenny Richards, Staffan Sandberg, Agnese Sanvito, Andrew Steggall, Alan Siegal, Dan Smith, Donald Smith, Joshua Whyles, Gerard Wilson, Nao Yamamoto and friends and family for their continuing support. www.iangiles.net www.josephpopper.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVqNOWgYhAg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLtTHIhEo1o www.opendialogues.com ISBN 978-1-906203-26-9 Published by CHELSEA space No reproduction or republication in any form whatever is allowed without the express consent of the publishers. Publication design: the Artists Layout and additional design: Dennis Mariner Printed in London by PMS Printers Ltd, February 2009

Hepworth Court, Grosvenor Waterside, Gatliff Road (off Ebury Bridge Road), London SW1W 8QP Director: Donald Smith, d.s.smith@chelsea.arts.ac.uk www.chelseafuturespace.org

Everest, Karl-Oskar Olsson, 2008



Caught In The Act