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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 | SCHOOL OF CHANGE | 20 June–29 July 2012 | Private View: 17 June 2–5pm

Jennet Thomas SCHOOL OF CHANGE, 2012 (production still). Video still courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Jennet Thomas SCHOOL OF CHANGE, 2012 (production still). Video still courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Jennet Thomas SCHOOL OF CHANGE, 2012 (production still). Video still courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.
Press Information
SCHOOL OF CHANGE comprises narrative film, sculptural installation and continuous live performance. To see the film the viewer walks through an expansive sculptural installation, in which motifs from the film are played out; giant diagrammatic stick figures in the warning colours of yellow and black tower over a school girl inhabiting the world of SCHOOL OF CHANGE.

The 40 minute sci-fi musical film is an endless loop based in a distorted reality that satirically reflects on our own. Like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, we are led through a School day in the life of the New Girl — kidnapped into this alternate world in which changes — mutations in the workings of reason itself — are threatening the viability of humanity. As the new girl joins her class, an exact replica of her joins parallel sets of identical classes.

Students learn a New Mathematics to cope with the increasing difficulty to measure or calculate objectively (now that mathematical laws only work for the very old). They learn about Hard Weather, the terrifying new phenomenon hurled at them from the sky. Each student’s learning is bio-technically monitored through an implant and high-scoring pupils perform their learning through a rhythmic song and action practise, The Production. This trance-like group activity produces small solids — Units of Knowing — the currency through which the new economy tries to function.

The School appears to be part of a franchise of SCHOOLS OF CHANGE — attempting to shore up against the breakdown, to educate and prepare a new generation to adapt. Whilst behind everything, the all-pervasive power of The Sponsor is constantly enforced...

SCHOOL OF CHANGE, Thomas’ second exhibition for Matt’s Gallery, is a celebratory, complex critique of fears and desires for radical change, speculating on the future effects of technology, the marketisation of education, the weirdness of Physics and financial crisis. Inspired by traditions of absurd British satire, and with original music by composer Leo Chadburn, the film’s playful strangeness delights in disruptive editing rhythms, choreographed movements, unusual special effects and songs, colliding the everyday location of the artist’s former school, with an extraordinary, skewed logic.

Cast
Catherine Thomas – First
Selena Comeskey – Tenth
John Wagland – Mr Maths
Sebastian Baczkiewicz – Head of Change
Leo Chadburn – Mr New Structures
Angus Lindsey – The Technician
Frances Scott – Ms Geography
Rachel Withers – Ms Language
Clara Wells – Ninth
Natasha Glickman – Eighth
Bethany Kendle – Seventh
Victoria Burrough – Fifth
India Hammond – Fourth
Siobhan Cloutt – Third
Alice Calvert – Second
Thanks to James Kench and staff at Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School

Credits
Music – Leo Chadburn
Cinematography and Lighting – Paul Tarragó
Costume Design – Hilary Baxter
Sound Design – Leo Chadburn + Jennet Thomas
Production Manager – Frances Scott
Movement Consultant – Nikki Tomlinson
Costume Assistant – Jenna McGowan
Production Assistants – Brian Llinares, Tanya Malachovskaja
Written/Directed/Edited – Jennet Thomas

Generously supported by Arts Council England, CCW Graduate School, University of the Arts, London with production assistance from Film London Artists' Moving Image Network advisory service (FLAMIN).
Arts Council England

For further information and images please contact: Judith Carlton, General Manager judith.carlton@mattsgallery.org


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Biography
Born Hertfordshire, UK, 1963, Lives and works in London. Selected Solo Exhibitions 2011 SCHOOL OF CHANGE - the Recruitment, performance at Camden Arts Centre 2010 THE ADVICE SHAPE, OUTPOST Gallery, Norwich THE BROKEN SHAPE, The Pleasure Dome, Toronto and Available Light, Ottawa Canada; ALL SUFFERING SOON TO END!, Matt’s Gallery, London 2007 RETURN OF THE BLACK TOWER, [after John Smith] video installation at PEER, Hoxton St, London 2006 FLATSCAPE VIDEO Baton Rouge Center for Contemporary Art, USA 2004 JENNET THOMAS – Fresh Film, RETROSPECTIVE at Anthology Film Archives, Manhattan, New York; ON THE SCHAPE OF THE SCAB, Video installation, Anthology Film Archives. New York 2003 7 PIECES FROM MY HEAD retrospective at Wharf Centre D’Art Contemporain de Basse Normandie; CONVERSATIONS AT THE EDGE at The Gene Siskel Film Centre, Chicago USA 2001 6 PIECES FROM MY HEAD, DUMBO, New York 2000 THE FILM COUCH – JENNET THOMAS at The LUX Centre, for Film Video and Digital Arts, London Selected Recent Screenings/Performances and Group Shows 2011 THIS IS NOT A PERFORMANCE OR A LECTURE – ‘ECHO VS. GOWN’ commissioned by RADAR at Loughborough University New Art Gallery Walsall; THE LIFE OF THE MIND, Curated by Bob and Roberta Smith 2010 (((RECALL))) screening various works, Fast Times Cinema, Brooklyn New York; Wasp Factory, Nottingham; SIDESHOW screening of various works; Visual Mischief, THE FRONT Gallery, New Orleans various works 2009 Light Industry, Brooklyn New York. ‘Natural Selections’- two person screening of various works with Jim Trainor Mead Gallery, Warwick; Hijack Reality - Let 100,000 Kunstvereine Bloom ‘with Bob and Roberta Smith, Phillida Barlow, Ron Haselden; 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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