Exhibitions

Constellations: Care & Resistance

November 5, 2020  -  December 31, 2024

Free Admission

An active research space supporting artist Jade Montserrat in creating new work to be acquired, exhibited and displayed by the gallery.

Jade Montserrat creates works on paper and performances exploring race, the body and language. Over the next 6 months, she will make a major new work which will enter the collection. As part of this process we have created an active research space, showcasing her previous works on paper alongside artworks from the gallery’s collection. Part gallery and part studio, we also present her notebooks, research, and art materials, giving us a unique insight into her artistic process.

Montserrat’s works are hung in conversation with pieces from the collection by Claudette Johnson, Mark Titchner and Ian Hamilton Finlay. These dialogues reveal new stories, expand existing ones, and explore multiple narratives. Montserrat is also interested in the structures of care in institutions, how works of art and people are looked after. Throughout this project we will look at artists from the collection that have empowered themselves and others through their practice. We will use this research to reflect on the importance of care within the field of activism and how care can be an act of resisting silence and oppression.

Throughout the next 12 months Jade Montserrat, with the support of Curatorial Trainee Nikita Gill and Curator of Contemporary Art Kate Jesson, will be responding to the collection. The new work will then sit within the Gallery collection redisplays.

Future Collect public engagement programme: Act I

A livestreamed writing/drawing performance: Curator Nikita Gill inscribed artist Jade Montserrat’s words directly onto the gallery wall took place on Thursday 12 November 2020, 12pm–1pm

Marking the opening of Constellations: Care & Resistance, this performance explored the symbiotic relationship of trust held between artist and curator. Standing in for the artist, who could not be present due to lockdown, Gill inscribed Montserrat’s words onto the gallery wall with charcoal. This act of live writing/drawing evoked intimacy despite the lack of physical proximity. Connecting via Zoom, Montserrat read her prepared texts aloud, while Gill fixed her words in charcoal onto the wall. The performance invited us to consider what it means to inscribe text directly onto a gallery wall.

The performance was filmed and will be available to view here shortly.

During the performance, the following quotes and texts were referenced:

HUMAN LIFE SPRANG FROM A BLACK ABYSS, AND FROM THAT DUST AND MUCK WE TRACED OUR BEGINNING. BASE ELEMENTS WERE THE SUBSTRATE OF LIFE. BLOOD AND SHIT USHERED US INTO THE WORLD

I BELIEVE IT IS WORTHWHILE TRYING TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE WORLD, EVEN IF THIS ONLY TEACHES US HOW LITTLE WE KNOW. IT MIGHT DO US GOOD TO REMEMBER FROM TIME TO TIME THAT, WHILE DIFFERING WIDELY IN THE VARIOUS LITTLE BITS WE KNOW, IN OUR INFINITE IGNORANCE WE ARE ALL EQUAL

Karl Popper, Introduction, On The Sources of Knowledge and of Ignorance, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, (1963) ISBN-13 : 978-0415285940 ISBN-10 : 9780415285940

 

TO PROFESS IS TO MAKE A PLEDGE WHILE COMMITTING TO ONE’S RESPONSIBILITY. TO MAKE PROFESSION IS TO DECLARE OUT LOUD WHAT ONE IS, WHAT ONE BELIEVES, WHAT ONE WANTS TO BE, WHILE ASKING ANOTHER TO TAKE ONE’S WORD AND BELIEVE THIS DECLARATION.

Jacques Derrida The University Without Conditions, (1988) ISBN: 9780804744119

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