In 'Prize', Isha Bøhling excavates a family history to evoke both the historic and individual sense of loss that accompanies an Olympic competition. Bøhling’s grandmother Ruth Bøhling (née Lange) was the Danish Open Water Kayak Champion for the eight years leading up to the 1936 Olympics and was to represent her country. She relinquished her chance to compete in Berlin under the Nazi regime and joined the boycott. Bøhling evokes this atypical narrative by transforming her grandmother's cabinet of prizes, accrued during her competitive career as a kayak champion, into a musical instrument to create ‘Prize’. Bøhling has rung the prizes like chimes, the recorded sounds layered, reconfigured and interwoven with the artist’s voice to form a melody. This delicate gesture recalls the joy of winning, and the melancholy of loss. In the second piece ‘Moonlight’, Bohling uses her granparents magic lantern (a 19th century projector) to project an image of Ruth in her kayak. The sound piece emanating from the lantern was created by layering sounds from the prizes and music boxes. Ruth illegally kayaked the 17-mile crossing between Sweden and Denmark in total darkness. In doing so, she was liberating herself, literally using the speed and skill she had to escape the darkness to become light.
(cabinet of prizes, perspex, speakers, ipod, 2009)
(magic lantern, photograph, plywood, speakers, ipod, motion sensor, 2009)
Isha Bøhling is a London based artist and graduated with a Master of fine Arts from Central Saint Martins in London in 2002 and has exhibited extensively and internationally. Most recent projects include ‘Art below zero’ at Whitechapel Gallery, ‘Art Car Boot Fair’ in London and ‘Latitude’ Minneapolis/London/New York (for which she is also co-curator). She represented England at the Gongju International arts festival 2006, South Korea. She was a finalist at ‘Artsway’ New Hampshire in 2005, and the “Red Mansion Prize”, and shortlisted for the “Observer Student Prize”, 2002 and the John Moores Painting Prize in 2003.
The title is the score. The software takes apart the word 'olympics' and the olympics rings logo, setting them off in a never ending, never repeating conversation. The delivery is based on structure, probability and randomness. There are 5 beats in a bar. There are 5 rings. There are varying and shifting probabilities determining the occurrence of events. The tempo varies. The whole/half/quarter beat position relates to the ring appearance. The word groupings from the title change after a varying period of time.
O, L, Y, M, P, I, C, S
OL, LY, YM, MP, PI, IC, CS
OLY, LYM, YMP, MPI, PIC, ICS
OLYM, LYMP, YMPI, MPIC, PICS
O, OL, Y, YMP, IC, P, S
O, OL, L, LY, Y, YM, M, MP, P, PI, IC, C, CS, S
O, OLY, L, LYM, Y, YMP, M, MPI, P, PIC, I, ICS, C, S
O, OL, LYM, PICS
O, LY, LYMPI, YMPI, ICS
(bespoke software, vector graphics, computer, projector, 2009)
Daniel Jackson works with computer code, writing software to make gestural actions, manifested as drawings, animations, sound works and paintings. Daniel Jackson has exhibited widely, notably: 'Junge Scene', Seccession, Vienna, 1998; 'Look and Feel', Buerofriedrich, Berlin, 2000; 'A Square of Ground', Jerwood Gallery, London, 2000; 'The Royal Road to the Unconscious', Freud Museum, London, 2004, 'In Out', Apt Draschan, Vienna, 2007. He studied painting at the Slade and computing at Middlesex University.
Sheena Macrae’s work for the exhibition references Godard’s quote - ‘a story should have a beginning, middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order’- in circularity, repetition and time. ‘Beginnings, Middles and Ends’ uses Tarkovsky’s single shot at the opening of the film ‘Sacrifice’, where the main characters discuss feeling of being on hold, that - ‘all my life… I’ve felt as if I were waiting in a railway station’. This discussion ends with Nietzsche’s ‘eternal return’, the idea that the universe has been reoccurring and will continue to do so an infinite number of times, each of us to arrive once again at this moment in time. The video emulates this discussion as the circular multiples of the scene revolve, momentarily locking, and then splitting apart again into their separate realities. ‘Circle Ramp’ and ‘Arrow’ similarly echo the circularity of time and movement in a ludicrous repetition.
Beginnings, Middles and Ends (Sacrifice)
(video, 10.30 minutes, single channel, round screen, 350 cm x 350 cm, 2009)
(video, two channel, LCD screens, wood, 2009)
Sheena Macrae works with the art of compression by playing with our societies’ fascination with speed, entertainment, information and nostalgia. She manipulates the readymades of the cultural industries, takes possession and in twisting the principles of post-production, appropriating and parodying the standardized narrative of Hollywood clichés and film language, underlying the all-powerful ‘entertainment’. The work uses the inherent logic inside the original, the epic Gone With The Wind reduced to five minutes, 2001 Space Odyssey into a sci-fi, op art infinity, Pulp Fiction a super-speed trailer or Alphaville an existential language loop, each film uses the initial framework towards excessive ends, emptied of content, an impossible essence.
The piece 'Faster Higher Stronger' makes use of imaginative subversions of the Olympic rings by various groups opposed to the games. Some of these come from Vancouver, where protest against the 2010 Winter Games is more visible than in London. Here, the blue wall surrounding the Olympic site has been repainted countless times to cover the graffiti, and police have worrying powers under the London Olympic Games Act 2006 to use “reasonable force” to enter “land or premises” to remove and destroy protest materials. Booing sounds from sound effects libraries simultaneously give voice to the protests and reflect some of the aggression that seems to be an integral part of high-level sport and, at times, of its spectators. Running throughout the piece is an electronic tone that seems to rise endlessly in pitch. The tension engendered by the illusory rising tone suggests both the relentless hype of the Games and the often unchallenged assumption of the benefits of endless progress in technology, culture and physical performance.
Faster Higher Stronger
(digital prints with 5-channel sound, 2009)
Faster Higher Stronger. Close-up of installation.
(digital prints with 5-channel sound, 2009)
John Wynne’s work ranges from installations and award-winning radio works which hover on the boundaries between documentation and abstraction to large scale ‘architectural sound drawings’ and multi-channel sculptural installations using vast numbers of recycled speakers. He has a PhD in Sound Art from Goldsmiths, teaches at the London College of Communication and is currently working on an installation based on Gitxsanimaax, an endangered indigenous language in Canada.
A vinyl multiple in an edition of 300 accompanies this exhibition. The multiple consists of a 10" vinyl recording containing works by the four artists and liner notes consisting of an essay by the curator and information about the recordings and the artists. Front and back cover artwork is in full colour with a matt finish and the vinyl is yellow with full colour labels on both sides. The multiple is designed by BAR projects.
Special thanks to Arts Council of England, London College of Communication, Workspace Group, and Tara Cranswick at V22 Contemporary Art Collection.