Kristina Cranfield talks to Line about her recent film ‘Manufactured Britishness’
Manufactured Britishness is a project derived from the compulsory and very real Life in the UK test, which examines skills for integrating into British society. The project critically explores the assessment program contrived by Britain in testing for citizenship by proposing a future manifestation of the Life in the UK test. In this future, we see immigrants as an exploitable material, a living currency, compelled to sustain national identity in order to maximise capitalistic agendas.
‘Flatlands’ by David Batchelor at Spike Island
David Batchelor’s ‘Flatlands’ Curated by Andrea Schlieker will be showing at Spike Island until 26th January 2014.
David Batchelor Disco Mécanique (2008) Installation view. Photograph by Stuart Whipps
The use of synthetic colour may be David Batchelor’s striking leitmotif, but in Flatlands questions of dimension usurp even the lurid neons of Batchelor’s famous colour palette. Referenced somewhat misleadingly as the first in-depth showing of David Batchelor’s supposed ‘two-dimensional’ drawings and paintings, this show is arguably far from flat – both in volume and expectation.
Archives are becoming increasingly fetishized and (an)aestheticized in contemporary art practice and academic discourse. This conference comes out of a shared sense of frustration at this. In response, it intends to explore the present and futuristic potential embedded in the archive, moving away from practices of postmodernist deconstructionism and historical revisionism.
Archives have generally been considered as conservative institutions aimed at preserving the past in the present – and so perpetuating the traditional structures of power. In contrast, we are interested in bringing to light the generative and creative side of the archive, what Derrida has defined as its ‘institutive’ power. How can archives be used to generate the ‘new’ and to convey possible alternatives to the present status quo? How can we turn archives from historical records into instruments of future planning and agencies of radical thinking? Is it possible to build an archive which works as an open space of imagination and a mean of projection into the future? Is it possible to archive the future to come and, at the same time, to remain open to the unpredictable and the unknown?
From the Archive: A 21st Century Portrait
'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait’, a collaborative creation by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, is a recording of a full-length, average football match between Real Madrid and Villarreal in 2005. However, the cameras intently follow a single player rather than the game, providing - as the title asserts – a ‘portrait’ of the legendary footballer and iconic figure Zinédine Zidane. This ambitious ninety-minute footage blurs the boundaries of film, art and even entertainment, and pushes the genre of portraiture in a cinematic direction.
From the Archive: Interview with Artist Tamsyn Challenger on 400 Women
4th August – 4th September 2011
Canongate Venture, 5 New Street, Edinburgh
First it was the author, then art itself (tricky), then painting, and now even emotions are kicking the art-world bucket. Shame is dead - or so proclaim some recent artistic productions. The argument goes something like: the ruling discourse (consumerism) forbids us to feel shame; profanity is impossible as there has been a leveling out across culture to include the profane. We therefore accept into the sphere of culture with no religious or puritan discernment, pleasure at every opportunity.
Against this claim, however, stands 400 Women: Five years work (mostly in isolation) towards the production of 175 portraits of raped and murdered girls and women from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico by 175 different artists invited to contribute. Its creator, Tamsyn Challenger, attributes all this action to an initial feeling of intense shame which sparked the project. Travelling alone in Mexico, Challenger met Consuelo Valenzuela, a women whose daughter, Julieta, had gone missing at the age of 17: ‘When I was just about to leave her she pushed these postcards with a picture of her daughter on them into my hands. The translator was shouting, “she wants you to give these to anyone, anyone you know, so that she might be found!” It was quite a scene she created, we were in a public place, and I felt very frightened…I didn’t take the postcards. Almost immediately after that I felt a horrible sick, sick sort of a shame at the fact that I had just wanted to get away from this woman.’