These Rotten Words: Artist Films
Cara Tolmie, Pley, 2013 (19 mins)
Abri de Swardt, Ridder Thirst, 2015-17, (14 mins)
Anna Bunting-Branch, The Linguists, 2017 (8 mins)
Rob Crosse, Clear as a Bell, 2015 (8 mins)
and three films by Steve Roggenbuck, MY LIFE IS GOING TO BE OVER (2016), DON'T QUIT (2016) and I Am Not Responsible For Anything The Moon Does This Month (2016).
Full programme here: www.experimentica.org
'These Rotten Words’ is commissioned by Chapter to coincide with Experimentica, Chapter’s annual festival of live art. This year Experimentica is exploring ‘Secret Language’ and features the work of Getinthebackofthevan, Katy Baird, Jonny Cotsen, Tim Bromage, Dustin Scott Harvey & Adrienne Wong, Heike Roms and Gareth Llŷr Evans, Gareth Chambers, Rachel Helena Walsh, Thomas Goddard, Yoanna Blikman and Dan Robert Lahiani, Rose Biggin and Keir Cooper, Julie and Robbie, Clayton Lee, A.S. (Rosa Casado/Ffion Jones/John Rowley/Richard Huw Morgan), Anti-Cool and Sheree Naqvi. The Festival runs from 29 March to 2 April.
Rebecca Ackroyd, David Austen, Johann Arens, Anna Barham, Marie-Michelle Deschamps, Foundation Press, Anneke Kampman, Joanna Piotrowska and Devlin Shea. Curated by George Vasey
Encompassing photography, painting, sculpture, sound and moving image works, ‘These Rotten Words’ focuses on the physicality of textual, gestural and vocal forms of communication. Rottenness is defined as both bad and decayed and, in a world where public discourse has become increasingly dominated by divisive polemics, the exhibition embraces language that is more contingent and intimate. The artists call attention to the physical properties of communication: the mouth and the hand are inextricably linked and while the hand enables us to shape materials, the voice — and our use of language — offers a further tool to manipulate the world around us.
Words become disentangled from the author’s intention. Limbs float freely. Bodies are scaled up and down. The familiar and at hand becomes estranged and unknown. To rot is to decompose, offering an opportunity for reassembly. The artists in the exhibition suggest a form of renewal, probing the possibilities and limits of the body and its voice. Text can be a vehicle for melody as much as meaning. We may talk before we know exactly what we want to say. Speech is slippery, and intention is as much about inflection as content — all languages carry inefficiencies and lacuna.
‘These Rotten Words’ continues on from a number of exhibitions curated by Vasey exploring ideas around intimacy, language and gesture including ‘A Small Hiccup,’ at Grand Union, Birmingham (2013) and ‘Emotional Resources’ at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2014).
Image: Abri de Swardt, Ridder Thirst (2015-17), 13:27min, HD video