The hands are scrabbling
The earth is turning
The tide is rising
Constantly forging onwards; seeking
The Sun, casting its glorious rays; disappearing
Under the Pier, a creature lives; decaying
At the end of the Land; the Sea
There is an inside and an outside, a dark interior and a light exterior. Under the skin, in the body, much is fluid. This is where the unconscious is at work, digesting and processing and merging and separating matter.
They were looking for the very beginnings of meaning and making: to connect thousands of years ago with today. They wanted to find it, but when they arrived, they still didn't know what to do.
In the depths of the sky, there were no mirrors, and in place of the sun a great bleeding hole gaped where perhaps a molar had been wrenched out. The sea had probably emptied, leaving the hollow of its basin rimmed by a dizzy precipice. The earth itself had disappeared, had ceased to be solid.
Le Clezio, J.M.G., The Book of Flights.
Eleanor Clare and Dillan Marsh live in Bergen, and have been producing works together since 2013, a collaboration which began as an investigation into how making artwork and writing can mutually influence one another in the understanding of meaning, development of form and structure. Clare received MA Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 2011, and Marsh MA Visual Art from Bergen Academy of Art and Design, 2011. They have produced collaborative work for the following organisations: Parabol Bergen, Assembly House Leeds, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, ASC Gallery London, Deuxpiece/Buro fur Problem Basel and Apis Press Bergen.
Research and development has been supported by Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Assembly House Leeds, Metal Arts, Bergen Kommune and Norwegian Arts Council.
Archipelago is a small, flexible platform for showing individual works and installations in a focused but open environment. Located on the ground floor of Hordaland kunstsenter, adjacent to a larger, more formal exhibition space, archipelago works with the constraint of limited physical space in order to explore the changing modalities of artworks in the age of virtual space. Archipelago is programmed with short lead times for each new project, with the intention of reinserting curatorial agility and real-time engagement into the institution. This initiative follows a different schedule to Hordaland kunstsenter's main exhibition programme, and is conceived as a group of 'thought islands' appearing in time.
Stadig å fortsette framover; å søke etter
Solen, som slynger sine slående stråler; som forsvinner
Under Brygga, et vesen lever; forråtner
Ved enden av Landet; Sjøen
Det finnes en innside og en utside, et mørkt indre og et lyst ytre. Under huden, inni kroppen, er mye flytende. Dette er stedet hvor det underbevisste virker, fordøyer og prosesserer og samler og skiller substanser.
De lette etter selve begynnelsene av mening og skapelse: for å sammenføye tusener av år tilbake med idag. De ville finne det, men da de ankom, visste de fortsatt ikke hva de skulle gjøre.
I dypene av himmelen fantes ingen speil, og i solens sted gapte et stort blødende hull der kanskje en jeksel hadde blitt vridd ut. Sjøen hadde sannsynligvis blitt tømt, og etterlot seg hulrommet av sin beholder omsluttet av et svimlende stup. Kloden selv hadde forsvunnet, hadde opphørt å være solid.
– Le Clezio, J.M.G., The Book of Flights.
Eleanor Clare og Dillan Marsh bor i Bergen, og har lagd arbeider sammen siden 2013, et samarbeid som begynte som en utforskning av hvordan det å lage kunstverk og å skrive gjensidig kan påvirke hverandre i å forstå mening og utviklingen av form og struktur. Clare har en mastergrad i kunst fra Central Saint Martins, London (2011), og Marsh en mastergrad fra Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen (2011). Sammen har de produsert verk for følgende aktører: Parabol Bergen, Assembly House Leeds, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, ASC Gallery London, Deuxpiece/Büro für Problem Basel og Apis Press Bergen.
Prosjektet er støttet av Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Assembly House Leeds, Metal Arts, Bergen Kommune og Norsk Kulturråd.
Archipelago er et lite, fleksibelt visningsrom for å vise enkeltverk og installasjoner i et fokusert, men åpent miljø. Siden rommet ligger i førsteetasje på Hordaland kunstsenter, like ved siden av et større, mer formelt utstillingsrom, åpner Archipelago opp for å undersøke de skiftende egenskapene ved et kunstverk med begrensningene av et lite, fysisk rom, i en tidsalder med virtuelle rom.
Programmet til Archipelago planlegges kort tid i forveien for hvert nye prosjekt, med den hensikt å gjeninnsette kuratorisk smidighet og nåtidig engasjement i institusjonen. Disse utstillingene følger en annen tidsplan enn Hordaland kunstsenters hovedprogram for utstillinger, og er tenkt som en gruppe av «tenkeøyer» som oppstår i tiden.
The Travels of The Toucher, Assembly House, Leeds 2015-12-15
The Travels of The Toucher
Dillan Marsh & Eleanor Clare
Video projection with audio played through a bass amp, 45 sec. loop
Framed digital C-print, 60x85cm
Audio, played through a mini guitar amp, 5.20min. loop
Digital photograph on 32 inch monitor
Stud wall with two poke holes cut through it
Five terracotta clay objects on different sized plinths
Framed painting, acrylic on two 21x15cm sheets of paper
Work lamp, lighting back yard
Publication, in edition of 50
Eleanor Clare & Dillan Marsh: The Travels of The Toucher
With cardboard boxes over their heads, and two holes punched out for their arms, they began with wet clay, and without any other idea than to see what came by handling it. What they arrived at was not a sculpture, but a way to begin. The forms were destroyed and remodelled – the possibility to reform them was always there. It was a way to get to the thing.
On a wet and windy day, they journeyed out to Tigh na Cailleach, home of the Old Woman of the Glen, just before she withdrew into her shelter for the winter. They were not sure what they might find, or what to do when they got there. They were walking a path that had been walked for thousands of years. They were looking for the very beginnings of meaning and making: to connect thousands of years ago with today. They wanted to find it, but when they found it, they didn’t know what to do next. Not there at the shrine, nor in the studio with the clay.
About Time is a satellite programme of contemporary art running from October 2015 – January 2016. It is curated by a consortium of Leeds-based artists and curators led by Mexico, Pavilion and SPUR with contributions from Assembly House Leeds, Basement Arts, Black Dogs, Leeds Animation Workshop, Left Bank, Pyramid of Arts, Seize, Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun and many others. Coinciding with the launch of the British Art Show 8, this city-wide initiative features commissioned artworks, texts and events which aim to highlight the work of artists, cultural producers and curatorial projects based in Leeds, alongside their international peers. The programme takes place across a diverse set of venues including artist-led spaces, museums and heritage buildings.
Dillan Marsh & Eleanor Clare
Assembly House Studios 20-29 Nov. 2015
Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm or by appointment
With cardboard boxes over their heads and two holes punched out for their arms, they began with wet clay, and without any other idea than to see what came by handling it. What they arrived at was not a sculpture, but a way to begin. The possibility to destroy and remake was always there: it was just a means of getting to the thing.
On a wet and windy day, they journeyed out to Tigh na Cailleach, home of the Old Woman of the Glen, just before she withdrew into her shelter for winter. They were not sure what they might find, or what to do when they got there. They were walking a path that had been walked for thousands of years. They were hopeful that they would make their destination on time, and fearful of regret, lest they should have to turn back. It was not that time or nature were against them; it was simply that the elements continued, and would continue interminably, before them, after them and in spite of them. The night was drawing closer with every step further into the heart of the glen. Colours were changing to soft and rusty ochres, greens and bluey-greys. The form of the land was becoming gentler and more rounded. The deep, broad loch had now tapered off into a trickling stream; yet the wind raged on, and the rain beat with a stinging patter against against their faces.
They were looking for the very beginnings of meaning and making: to connect thousands of years ago with today. They wanted to find it, but when they arrived, they still didn’t know what to do. Not there at the shrine, nor in the studio with the clay.
Comedy and Tragedy
text by Eleanor Clare, 2014, published in NEVERODDOREVEN, Deuxpiece and Buro fur Problem, Basel
I was frantic, feeling a little sick and dizzy, but determined to carry on.
What had to be done, had to be done. It was a desperate attempt.
It was a hollow action.
It was just doing for the sake of doing.
It was doing to find some momentary release from the feeling of total inertia, of being stuck.
Now I must talk of hollow laughter.
Some say it is the laughter of a psychopath: cold, hard, unfeeling.
I say it is simply laughter at the end of the tether.
They say, if you don't laugh you'll cry.
I have been laughing this way.
I cry until I laugh, and laugh until I cry.
There is not much in between, but for an empty and desolate expanse stretching out ahead.
When I am laughing, I do not know if the laughter itself feels unreal, or if I myself am unreal.
It seems like I have been caught by something I cannot quite grasp.
I am in its grip: the grip of humour.
Watching myself on a screen, I make myself laugh, for I am hysterical.
Here I am comedy.
I laugh a senseless, reasonless laughter that has no meaning, other than to shake and move in a way that is ridiculous.
It is laughter in the extreme, because it cannot end until it reaches the opposite pole: tragedy.
"Emotions exist beyond time, as the pulse of pure physical connection to the world and its music.
Like music, they are a form of movement _ the origin of the word emotion lies in the Latin, emovere, to move out, remove, agitiate."
Nothing about Trees
On October 24, 2013, Cristina Bodgan
Probably the most exciting art shows I have seen recently were those I could relate to an experience – of light, of space; of environment in general. It seems as though single artworks – or even installations – are no longer efficient in producing aesthetic experiences for the viewer. With the omnipresence of what used to be called “new media”, the necessity for an experience to come from a state of immersion has risen. Contemplation is replaced by a more physical approach, the body becoming the subject of experience as much as the mind; in fact, art environments develop an organic approach to the human subject, proposing to reunite him with the world.
For such purposes, the landscape genre is an immediate solution. The show put together by 16 artists in a forgotten factory in North London, Nothing about Trees, regroups a variety of approaches to landscape, from paintings to object-based installations, to light shows using slides and transparent surfaces. The result is an open invitation to a walk into a place of mystery. Scenography is essential: after an initial open space, in which Pallas Citroen’s massive lighted sculpture of a fold bewilders the viewer, the show spreads into all directions, with pieces hidden around corners and under arches. Some are never what they seem to be – such as Mela Yerka’s mysterious moon painting or Dillan Marsh’s assemblages of too familiar objects. Others are built in time, only to break into perfect pieces – as in Giusy Pirrotta’s work. Light has the power to wake more than just the eye, and all of the works are constantly changed by beams of all shapes and sizes.
The figure of the landscape thus appears both in the individual works and in the show as a whole. One can fragment the space ad infinitum and still find himself in a liveable place. Immersion is the product of repetition and extension. The body is engaged and freed at the same time. This is a most beautiful attempt at defining the organic.
Artists: Carolina Ambida, Pallas Citroen, Eleanor Clare, Eleni Foundoukis, Tom Harrison, John Higgins, Iyvone Khoo, Tom Mason, Dillan Marsh, Bjorn Mortensen, Olivia Notaro, Elsa Philippe, Justin Piperger, Giusy Pirrotta, Ben Turner, Mela Yerka.
Nothing about Trees is at Unit 2C, Elthorne Road Studios, Boothby Road, London N19.
Opening times: 20th, 22nd-25th, 11am-6pm, with a closing afternoon on 26th from 4-8pm.
As he rides his chariot, he shines upon men and deathless gods, and piercingly he gazes
with his eyes from his golden helmet. Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his
bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face: a rich,
fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him.
Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the
highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven to Okeanos."
I lived to dance all night. A surging energy created a new and unprecedented confidence:
that it was possible to cheat time. I felt invincible - transcendent. Life was light, without fear
of death; at least not in this state of being. I sensed in my body vibrations of sound.
The closer I got to the source, the more it enveloped me, becoming a physical entwinement with
music and space. I felt one with it. But as the years passed, inevitably my heart began to
beat out of time. The breath did not come so easily. I held it at the top for a few seconds,
afraid to exhale. In these moments, the perceived syncopation that was once such a joy had
started to become a dissonance.
I feel alive, and the world - it's turning inside out Yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now,
I'm a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger, defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go! go! go!
There's no stopping me!
I'm a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite, I'm out of control
I am a sex machine ready to reload
Like an atom bomb about to
Oh -oh-oh-oh-oh explode!
(Extracts from 'Don't Stop Me Now' lyrics by Freddie Mercury, 1978)
Through the grainy unsteady image and the sound, distorted by low quality compression, it
seems like something is trying to break through. The first few seconds sound like noise
pulled through a synthesizer, screaming and kicking as it emerges, fighting for life in its new
digital form. Something about it is alarming, frightening, tortured and angry. It is half-formed,
raw and unrefined. Streaks of red and white light flash across the screen.
It is an arena for action. Something about this situation that is chaotic; yet there is an
element of control. The driver makes tight circles around a central axis. At first this is
demarcated by a traffic cone, but as things proceed, the silhouette of a young man moves into the
centre. The car stops and revs up, creating billows of smoke in the air, obliterating vision for
a few moments. As the car skids and screeches, I feel a sense of alarm. This is coming close to
disaster for the lone, central figure, potential victim of the anonymous driver, a sacrifice for
the entertainment of onlookers. I can sense also the collusion. One figure willingly places his
trust in the other. There is a tension between these two.
A smoky, fiery object is spinning recklessly. One might say things had spun out of control.
Not quite though; for to completely lose control would mean total destruction. It would mean the
end. It all went up in flames. This is a sudden, intense and short lived burst of energy. More
like a supernova than the sun, and more akin to a meteor careering around a planet, than a planet
orbiting the sun. It was more than this, though. This scene was not simply about objects in space;
it was human. It was a game or a task, perhaps even a ritual.
Although I can identify it as a human activity, shot through with the implications of one's
relationship to another, from my vantage point it also seemed anonymous. In the dark, these
figures could be anyone, totally unrecognisable by the light of day. In this moment they had a
relationship to one another. Certainly for the two central protagonists, it was one of great
significance and trust. At any other time, on any other level, it was unclear. In this sense, the
action had become symbolic. The figures could be understood as archetypes. Ones which, for reasons
I cannot yet identify, I associate with the masculine.
In the threat of a loss of control, images had already flooded my mind. I remember as the
helicopters circled in the air above my house one evening in August. I had no idea why it was
happening, but this circling was incessant, the noise repeatedly coming close and fading away,
swelling and receding, but never quite out of my consciousness. It always gives me a slight sense
of unease, the idea of something being under surveillance, coupled with the notion that something
might be wrong. Why this surveillance from such a great height? It is a safe distance for the one
who watches. Then I remembered the destruction that had taken place, just minutes away from my home.
The aerial images of buildings and cars set alight, and rioters surging through the streets, anonymous
from this point of view. London's Burning.
Appendix 1: Extracts from C.G. Jung, Commentary on the Secret of the Golden Flower
The wise Chinese would say in the words of the I Ching: When yang has reached its
greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday
when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin.
The ‘enclosure’, or circumambulation, is expressed in our text by the idea of a ‘circulation’.
The ‘circulation is not merely motion in a circle, but means, on the one hand, the marking off
of a sacred precinct, and, on the other, fixation and concentration. The sun wheel begins to run;
that is to say, the sun is animated and begins to take its course, or in other words, the Tao begins
to work and to take over the leadership. Action is reversed into non-action; all that is peripheral is
subjected to the command of what is central. [...]
Thus the circular movement also has the moral significance of activating all the light and all
the dark forces of human nature, and with them, all the psychological opposites of whatever
kind they may be.
If viewed correctly in the psychological sense, death is not an end but a goal, and therefore
life towards death begins as soon as the meridian is passed.
In this way existence closes the circle, but it couldn’t do this without including the night
from which it proceeds only in order to enter it again. Since it moved from the unknown to the
known, it is necessary that it inverse itself at the summit and go back to the unknown.
Action introduces the known (manufactured); then understanding, which is linked to it, relates the
non-manufactured, unknown elements, one after the other, to the known. But desire, poetry and
laughter increasingly cause life to slip in the opposite direction, moving from the known to the
unknown. Existence in the end causes the blind spot of understanding and right away becomes
completely absorbed in it. It could not be otherwise, unless a possibility for rest were to present
itself at a certain point. But nothing of the kind takes place: what alone remains is circular
agitation – which does not exhaust itself in ecstasy and begins again from it.
The upper part of my body – above the solar plexus – had disappeared, or at least no longer gave
rise to sensations which could be isolated. Only my legs – which kept me standing upright,
connected what I had become to the floor – kept a link to what I had been: the rest was an enflamed
gushing forth, overpowering, even free of its own convulsion. A character of dance and of
decomposing agility (as if made of a thousand idle futilities and of life’s thousand moments of
uncontrollable laughter) situated the flame ‘outside of me’. And as everything mingles in dance,
so there was nothing which didn’t go there to become consumed.
As cosmic man or the personification of the intelligence in the tree of life, the Green Man is
the point at which the truth is manifested in creation, whether as life, light, song, words or
other figurative forms of art. He is the medium through which divine inspiration guides the works
of time in the fullness of space. He is the point of entry of eternity into time. Space is the
medium of sound, and therefore the music of praise.
W. Anderson, Green Man: The Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth.
Such circles designate, like the spirals, the paths of entry between worlds, and the pacing or
dancing of such designs in imitation of the journeys of the Gods, offers a perfect explanation of
The Avebury henge was not a sculpture in the sense of being a finite, completed object.
Instead, it was brought to completion at the right time by human participation.
M. Dames The Avebury Cycle
In the extraordinary madness which periodically invaded Europe from the fourteenth to the
seventeenth century, people danced until they dropped.
At Liege in 1374, after certain possessed folk had come dancing half naked into the town
with garlands on their heads, dancing in the name of St John, we are told that many persons
seemingly sound in mind and body were suddenly possessed by devils and joined the dancers.
These objects were something like old fashioned projection screens, and something like gondolas; not of the Venetian type, rather the wheeled display stands used in retail (even though the wheels were rather too large to be seen on the shop floor - they were more reminiscent of something that could belong in a workshop - somehow 'masculine').
One was much taller than the other, on high legs. A square frame, glossy and blue, contained an LCD screen. The smaller one was painted in red gloss, and also held an LCD screen. The larger was somewhat mesmerizing as blue letters in italic capitals glided across the screen, spelling out 'TOTAL.' As I watched, I realised that the word seemed to glitch, to come apart - severed by a horizontal line through the middle; sometimes partially slipping from vision. TOTAL: this word as an entity, as a thing, as a visual object: I felt some pathos for it. It had fallen short, it was fading, it was uncertain. Words fail me...
Upon the screen of the smaller object, to the bottom right, almost slipping out, was the word SUPER in italic capitals. It was flashing - like brand names in lights at Piccadilly Circus, or how I would imagine it to be in Las Vegas. Yet once again there was a sense of pathos pertaining to the one who is desperate to be noticed, but just seen in the peripheral vision, at the edge, about to become obsolete.
Below the screens as I looked down, I noticed that the wires and connections at the back of the DVD player were left open, hanging out, and that surrounding the glossy blue frame was grey foam, cushioning the LCD screen and protecting it from damage. The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even. Or this time perhaps we may infer that the Bachelor himself has been disrobed, robbed, even. The edifice that would give this work a sense of sheeny, hermetic closure as an object has been cast to one side. It appears to be suspended - in a state of display in its most commercial aspect (as a product/object/work of art), and also in the sense that it has been left bare: in a state that could be either not quite complete or abandoned in the process of dismantling.
Laurie Edson writes about 'The Large Glass,'
'The verbal clues provided in the title suggest that we are witnessing the ongoing process of the stripping and all that goes with it, a dynamic situation has been 'caught in the act', temporarily frozen in glass and delayed (delay, of course, promises completion at some later time).
Duchamp uses techniques that function to delay the spectator's response, and this very delay (and the subsequent heightening of the spectator's desire to comprehend, to solve, to figure out, read) produces desire in the sense which Barthes has used the term.'
It seems that in Marsh's work too, there is the undeniable sense of delay, and to use Edson's terminology, of being 'caught in the act.' In the seductive promise of a shiny, glossy exterior, and in the promise of the words 'super' & 'total' the viewer seeks at once to understand what is missing - to understand why this object is left as it is, apparently undone, to know exactly what it is, or what it is for. I (the spectator) am caught between a state of mesmerized fascination with the brightly lit words on the LCD screen, a sensuous appreciation of the physical potential of the clean, glossy structure, and a feeling of frustration in terms of knowing: I cannot name this thing before me; I cannot define it. And as such, both the physical object and meaning are left un-ended.