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Gary Stevens: Wake Up and Hide 24 January–18 March 2007 | Slow Life 15 January–2 March 2002 | Publications



Gary Stevens | Wake Up and Hide, 2007
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Gary Stevens Wake Up and Hide, 2007 (installation view)
Click to enlarge
Gary Stevens Wake Up and Hide, 2007 (installation view)
Click to enlarge
Gary Stevens Wake Up and Hide, 2007 (installation view)

Press Information
Wake Up and Hide is Gary Stevens’ second exhibition at Matt’s Gallery. It has developed from Slow Life - a five screen video installation commissioned by Matt’s Gallery in 2003. This time the slow relentless action, impervious to the spectators, has been replaced by fitful unstable images that seem uncomfortable with the thought of being seen. There is a symbiosis between the image and the performer; the action on screen is disturbed by the presence of the spectator in the gallery space.

In Wake Up and Hide, two wide static shots show almost identical interiors. In Hide people emerge from hiding places and begin to occupy the room. In Wake Up the performers are tense and self-conscious but begin to relax, sag and collapse, unless a sound disrupts this process and then they run for cover. Wake Up and Hide draws on Stevens’ experience with live performance. It is a deliberately clunky simulation of life, where repetition has variations and occasional surprises.

This new video work was partly inspired by early silent screen comdeians, the Keystone Cops. In particular, by two production photographs showing their predominant states - in one, they are alert and ready to run, and in the other, asleep in the office. They are an unlikely source for a pre-conscious model of behaviour, but their condition offers something between an animal and a machine.

Wake Up and Hide is commissioned by Matt’s Gallery in association with Artsadmin. It is accompanied by the 12th in the series of white booklets published by Matt’s Gallery, with an essay by Sally O’ Reilly, which is free to visitors.

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Biography
Gary Stevens born London, 1953. Lives and works in London. Education: Goldsmiths College, 1973 76; Slade School of Art, 1981 83. Awards: Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (New York),1996 The Paul Hamlyn Award (Visual Arts),1998 One to One bursary, Live Art Development Agency 2006. Solo exhibitions and projects include: Slow Life, commissioned by and presented at Matt’s Gallery, London in 2003 Since then it has been shown as part of Tales of the City, Artefiera, Bologna; Melbourne Festival, Australia, 2004 to be continued…/ jatkuu, Helsinki Photography Festival, Finland 2005 Kettles Yard, Cambridge, 2006 and Southampton City Art Gallery, 2006 Robin Hood: the Stuff, written and performed for radio, Nottingham 1998 and Talking Still Life, 1999-2000 for a website. Solo performances include: Simple, 1993 Stuff, 1993 Thread, 1997 – 2005 Five-Minute Objects, 1999 La Maison / House, 1999 – 2005 and Not Tony, 2004 - 2005. Selected group exhibitions and ensemble performance pieces include: Sydney Biennale, 1988. The British Art Show, 1990. Invisible Work, 1984-86, If the Cap Fits, 1985-88, Different Ghosts, 1987-88, Animal, 1989-90, Name, 1991-1993 and Sampler, 1995 And, a continuous live installation for ten performers, first shown at the South London Gallery, 1997 and subsequently at MOMA, Oxford, 1998 Desviaciones, Madrid, 2000 Theatre Asenic tour of Switzerland, 2002 and PanoramaRioArte, 2002, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Reflection, 2000 Here and There, 2002 and Pieces of People, an outside performance for the Henry Moore Foundation at the sculpture park in Perry Green, England, June 2003 Possum, CAPITALS Centro de Arte Moderna, Portugal, 2003 and Flock, developed for In-Presentable, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain 2005 PRO ARTE Institute, Peter & Paul Fortress, St Petersburg, Russia September 2005 and at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, November 2005.


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