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Jennet Thomas: SCHOOL OF CHANGE 20 June–29 July 2012 | All Suffering SOON TO END! 14 April–6 June 2010 | Publications | T-shirts | Artist’s Website | Rachel Withers, Leo Chadburn + Jennet Thomas discuss SCHOOL OF CHANGE



Jennet Thomas | All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2010  

Jennet Thomas All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2009 (production still)


Jennet Thomas All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2009 (production still)


Jennet Thomas All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2009 (production still)
 

Press Information
Jennet Thomas’ first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery, All Suffering SOON TO END!, comprises narrative film and installation which incorporates sculpture, sound and performance.

Thomas has reconstructed the gallery into two interconnecting chambers. The first is the Dark Chamber in which a 30 minute film plays continuously. Escalating into a series of surprising and rhythmic variations, the film depicts a number of elaborate parallel worlds which become increasingly absurd and disturbing.

The second Purple Chamber entered only through the first, houses a further alternate world, theatrically enclosed in purple tickertape tinsel. Key motifs depicted in the film are exaggerated and distorted—as if by centuries of mistranslation—into sculptural and sound installations, inhabited on occasion by performative presences.

Thomas takes a contemporary evangelical pamphlet as her inspiration. The pamphlet describes the ‘the end of days,’ and is both tender and lyrical in part, then suddenly savagely violent and ridiculous.

An imagined characterisation of the pamphlet’s author acts as the film’s main protagonist. This passionate and sinister Purple Preacher is a conflation of fundamentalist preacher and cartoon super villain from 60s and 70s Marvel comics, The Purple Man, whose superpower lies in his ability to instantly convince and persuade.

Calling at the comfortable home of an elderly suburban couple the Purple Preacher uses his sinister allure on the unwitting residents. A hypnotic slide show, life-sized Adam and Eve rubber dolls, a visit from a mysterious green nun, a disconcerting trip to a miniature model village in which perfect and parallel imperfect worlds are portrayed, and an impromptu gig in the garage, are amongst the surreal tools the preacher employs to illustrate his sermon, whilst unwittingly foretelling his own destruction.

At moments sinister and disturbing whilst at others charming and enchanting, this mesmerizing world of surreal repetition bombards the senses. A speculative exploration into cultural forms of ‘belief’ and representation, this darkly comic work satirizes the persuasive rhetoric of fanaticism, and begs the question:

WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO RULE?
AND WHOSE RULE IS RIGHT?

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Biography
Selected Solo Exhibitions 2007 Return of the Black Tower [after John Smith] Peer, London 2004 On the Shape of the Scab, Anthology Film Archives, New York 2003 7 Pieces from My Head, Wharf Centre D’Art Contemporain, France; Conversations at the Edge, The Gene Siskel Film Centre, Chicago 2001 6 Pieces from My Head, DUMBO, New York Selected Group Exhibitions/Screenings 2009 Hijack Reality - Let 100,000 Kunstvereine Bloom! Invited by Bob and Roberta Smith, Mead Gallery; Natural Selections, Light Industry, New York; IMPAKT Festival Netherlands; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabreuck; Rencontres Internationales, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Pompidou centre, Paris 2008 MEDIUM COOL, Art In General Gallery, New York, Ann Arbor International Film Festival; TWO BLACK TOWERS, Anthology Film Archives, New York; Antimatter Festival, Canada 2007 CinemaTexas, Austin, Texas; Exploding Cinema, London; IMAGES 20th International Media Festival, Toronto, Canada; New York Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, New York; The Truth and the Pleasure MonkeyTown, New York; One must be so careful these days ALMA Enterprises, London 2006 WE MAKE OUR OWN TELEVISION, ALMA Enterprises, London; International Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen; Sugarcoated, ArtSway; Filthy Hatchback Basement Stack, Gallery 33, Berlin 2005 New York Premiers, MOMA, New York; European Media Arts Festival, Germany; Feminale, Cologne, Germany 2004 National Review of Live Art, Glasgow; Rotterdam International Film Festival; Exploding Cinema Tour, Nova Cinema, Brussels Awards 2007 ACE award for Return of the Black Tower 2005 Hey Ladies! Award Halloween Short Film Festival, ICA, London 2001 Gecko Award, CinemaTexas; Best of Festival Award, Thaw International Film Festival USA

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Bibliography
Selected Publications and Catalogues 2007 Videomix-Conversaciones Animadas, Jennet Thomas vs. Daniel Cuberta La Casa Encendida Centre for Contemporary Arts, Madrid, (catalogue); Return of the Black Tower Sally O’ Reilly, Jennet Thomas and John Smith, London, PEER 2006 Omskbook Tracey Warr and Helen De Witt, OMSK; 8 Artists Try Not to Talk About Art Jennet Thomas and Sally O’Reilly, [Space] catalogue; New York Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (catalogue) 2005 Cinematexas Catalogue Cauleen Smith, commentary on Double Dummy; Oberhausen International Film Festival, (catalogue) featuring ‘ Because of the War’; Pulsar Caracas, touring show catalogue; Sugarcoated, ArtSway, New Forest (DVD catalogue); New York Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (catalogue) 2004 Rotterdam International Film Festival, (catalogue); Ann Arbour Experimental Film Festival, (catalogue); Anthology Films Archives, (catalogue); New Territories, National Review of Live Art, Scotland, (catalogue); 17th Rencontres Video Art Plastique, Hervé Perdriolle, France; New York Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (catalogue) 2003 Cinematexas Catalogue, Julia Halperin, commentary on Perfect spot (catalogue); Lux Open, Royal college of Art, (catalogue); New York Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (catalogue); Lookalike, Nederlands Foto Institute, Barbie-Lolita (catalogue) 2002 Cinematexas Catalogue, Spencer Parsons and Paul Tarragó, (catalogue); New York Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (catalogue) 2001 Cinematexas Catalogue Spencer Parsons, Sharony!; Girl, New Art Gallery Walsall, Group Show (catalogue); Lux Centre, London touring NYUFF Festival, (catalogue); Something Funny in The Woodshed, Hugh Adams, Howard Gardens Gallery 2000 Cinematexas Catalogue, Eleanor Eichenbaum; Lux Centre, London, (catalogue) Selected Reviews 2007 Return of the Black Tower, JJ Charlesworth, Time Out, July 2006 Pick of the Week, Guardian, June-July; Because of the War, Jessica Lack, as part of Sugar-Coated at ArtSway Artvehicle 2003 Death Becomes You Ted Shen, Chicago Reader, August; Women in the Director's Chair Fred Camper, Chicago Reader, March 2001 Apocalypse how? Surreal Endgames, Seedy Glamour Dennis Lim, Sharony! and Maldoror, March; Review of Maldoror, 'W.H.', Guardian Guide, Jan–Feb; Tales from the Underground D.S., The Christian Science Monitor, March; NYUFF 2001, Peter Hall, New York Film and Video Monitor; Review of Maldoror; Mark Pilkington, Fortean Times, November 2000 Girl, Izi Glover, Frieze, Nov–Dec; Maldoror Nick Bradshaw, October; Maldoror Joerg Meyer, Kiel Nachrichten, April 1999 NY Underground crawls under the skin Aaron Krach, Indywire, March 1995 All smiles in the Female world, Richard Cork, The Times, Jan; Dead Monkeys Play to Gallery Arts and Books, The Daily Telegraph, March; It's a Pleasure Sue Hubbard, Time Out, Feb

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