Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Freek Summit

As part of Destroy All Monsters: Hungry For Death, on Saturday January 23rd SPACE hosted FREEK SUMMIT. A gathering and discussion, the event featured poet and radical John Sinclair (manager of the MC5 / leader of the White Panther Party), Savage Pencil (Edwin Pouncey) and Cary Loren (Destroy All Monsters).

FREEK SUMMIT was moderated by
Stewart Home and included a image presentation by Cary Loren.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


Preview: Thursday 21st Jan 6pm - 9pm (with afterparty)
Exhibitions run from the 22nd Jan - 20th Feb 2010



Formed at a house party in 1973, Destroy All Monsters played their first gig at a comic book convention (they were asked to leave after ten minutes) using prepared guitars, a drum machine, tape loops, and various other instruments to create an unorthodox sound of suburban dystopian psyche music that was equal parts Stooges, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Velvet Underground, and Sci-Fi B-movie shtick.

Operating in this capacity until 1976, the band's music was accompanied by performances and films as well as a magazine of the same name (which Loren edited up until 1979), consisting mostly of collages and prints inspired by sci-fi movies, underground music, political subcultures, and iconic elements of 60s counterculture as it had filtered through to the collective's hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. After the departure of Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw in 1976, Ron Asheton (The Stooges) and Michael Davis (MC5) joined the band and Destroy All Monsters entered a second, punk phase that met with popular success with singles such as “Bored / You’re Gonna Die.”

Hungry For Death celebrates the vision of Destroy All Monsters through an exhibition that showcases posters, flyers, photographs, blueprints, drawings, banners, magazines, records, and various other ephemera culled from the collective's archive. Hungry for Death emphasizes material produced in the 70s and following the original collective's reunion in 1996.

As an accompaniment to Hungry For Death, on Saturday January 23rd, SPACE will host “FREEK SUMMIT”: a gathering and discussion featuring poet and radical John Sinclair, Savage Pencil, Cary Loren and other guests.

Destroy All Monsters: Hungry for Death is curated by James Hoff and Cary Loren

A series of events accompanies the exhibition:

“FREEK SUMMIT” - Saturday January 23rd (1-4pm)

A gathering and discussion featuring poet and radical John Sinclair, Savage Pencil, Cary Loren and other guests. Places are limited so please contact me ( to make a reservation.

Hype Williams – White Powder Truth Session

Friday 12th and Saturday 13th February (all day)
London based group Hype Williams will stage a two day residency in the main gallery including open invitation improvisation sessions, performances, screenings and motivational talks.


Thursday, 14 January 2010

REAL TALK - Seth Price / Aleksandra Domanovic / Marjolijn Dijkman / Samuel Beckett


A riff on the themes explored in his solo exhibition Versions, as much as a show of 'influences', Oliver Laric presents REAL TALK - a basement space group show featuring works by Seth Price, Aleksandra Domanovic, Marjolijn Dijkman and Samuel Beckett.


Seth Price's Rejected or Unused Clips, Arranged in Order of Importance (2003) is a composition of visual and audio elements purportedly abandoned by the artist during the production of other works. Sound and voice-over are interlaced with images culled from advertising, corporate reels, amateur home pages and video games. Via this method Price explores a concatenation of themes ranging from the history of experimental cinema to the social naturalisation of violence. Rejected or Unused Clips, Arranged in Order of Importance operates as an indexical challenge to artistic discrimination (where the difference between that which is cut and that which is used in a work is temporarily inversed). Equally, by centralising the idea of 'importance', Price raises the question of coherence between the disparate elements that make up his film.

In Aleksandra Domanovic's Anhedonia* the audio content from Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977) (a film with next to no incidental music) is superimposed onto stock still and moving images from the Getty Images archive. On a semantic level, the fixed score or code of Annie Hall (as a well known and appreciated movie) is reordered. Using the original soundtrack of the film as a script, Domanovic swaps one layer of visual information with another. In doing so she produces a new object, one that oscillates between literal sense and allegory (while on occasions also being totally obtuse). In essence the possibility of Domanovic's re-ordering is facilitated by the existence of such a thing as the Getty archive; an imposing glut of information (with over 70 million still images and 30,000 hours of stock footage) that is indicative not only of an ultimate excess at the level of the contemporary image, but also of the capacity of those such images to stand in as 'over-interpretations' of any given situation (here Annie Hall).

Marjolijn Dijkman's Wandering through the Future (2007) is an hour-long compilation of cinematic depictions of the future. On route through time we encounter a multitude of projected scenarios involving natural disasters, utopian/dystopian cities, viruses and clones. The result is a film that is as much a confrontation with the possible destiny of the human race as it is a derive through the apocryphal imagination of science-fiction cinema.
Quad (1981) is a movement play described simply by its author Samuel Beckett as 'a piece for four players, light and percussion'. Quad follows a strict geometric code - four individuals shifting around a defined area according to a set pattern and accompanied by percussion. A sort of geometrical mime, Quad evokes a world of emotionless ritual and repetition where people go through prescribed movements that are, in effect, meaningless.

*In psychoanalysis, anhedonia is determined as an inability to experience satisfaction from normally pleasurable life events. Allen had intended it to be the original title of Annie Hall, before realising how difficult marketing a film with that title would be.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Oliver Laric at SEVENTEEN

Oliver Laric's long awaited second show:

Wednesday 13th Jan - Saturday 13th Feb 2010

At the level of the image, the determinations of the Protestant Reformation (1517-1648), as in so many other incidents of iconoclastic 'image-breaking' leading up to the present day, were predicated on a clear-cut Manichean sense of difference. During this period, statues and images of a religious order were subjected to sustained physical attack. Those that did not square with the heterodox self-understanding of the Reformation (as an exemplary monotheistic motion) were deemed false - in other words 'idolatrous' and worthy of destruction.

Versions, Oliver Laric's second solo show at Seventeen, circulates around both historical and contemporary ideas relating to image hierarchies. Central to the exhibition is a suite of polyurethane sculptures. In collaboration with 3D modellers, Laric has translated a reformation damaged icon from St Martin's Cathedral, Utrecht, into a silicone mould from which a number of casts have been made. Each is identical in size and form, distinction coming only from their varied pigmentation. For Laric, these sculptures, their multiplicity, reflects a viable productive principle in iconoclasm. After the conceptual event of iconoclasm, after the physical inscription of that event as damage on the very surface of these icons, the formal hierarchy between the original and its modification is fundamentally undermined. Instead there is equipoise; no single truth, no original; no derivative; just versions...*

In related speculation framed by a documentary video installation that forms the second and final element of the exhibition (also titled 'Versions'), Laric suggests that in the contemporary age certain creative protocols are, in a more general sense, similarly challenging the hierarchy between 'auratic original' images and those determined to be derivative (and therefore of secondary importance).

Commencing with a digitally doctored image released by the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 2008, the documentary suggests a new mandate for image making, one which Laric identifies as finding its zenith in our networked internet age where bootlegs, copies and remixes increasingly take precedent over 'originals' in cultural production. Emphasising this plurality, Laric presents four equivalent 'versions' of the film in total. In each version, the same cycle of images is re-authored by a different narrator - respectively Momus, Guthrie Lonergan, Dani Admiss and Laric himself.

* That is, 'versions' amongst other possible 'versions'.

Text: Paul Pieroni

Complementing Versions, Laric curates a group show of influences in the basement space at Seventeen. Participating artists include Seth Price, Marjolijn Dijkman, Samuel Beckett and Aleksandra Domanovic.