Anna Barham, Graham Gussin and Tai Shani
Revolver Part 2
3 – 21 October 2012
Anna Barham, Arena, 2011
Arena is a modular amphitheatre structure made from MDF and wood that houses a recording of the artist reading her book Return To Leptis Magna (45 minutes). The book is written entirely from anagrams of its title, exploring the sculptural correspondence between the fragmented architecture of the ruined Roman city and letters as the basic units of written language, each capable of constructing multiplicities of new forms. The resulting text reveals streams and webs of words, associations and meanings embedded within the phrase. The physical structure of Arena acts as sculpture, seating, plinth and stage – its shifting status highlighting the position that 'meaning' is neither singular nor fixed, but operates as a field of potential with the viewer being an active participant within its construction.
Anna Barham is represented by Arcade, London.
Graham Gussin, Lens, 2012
Consisting of 22 sepia toned photographs taken on location at a hotel on the Atlantic coast in Portugal.
The hotel is set close to the furthest western point of Europe, a one-time geographic end of the world.
The hotel was used as the main location by Wim Wenders in 1982 when he shot 'The State of Things'. At that time it was run down and in ill repair. The first ten minutes of the film is shot in sepia tone and depicts an end of the world scenario set in an undesignated future. What we see is supposedly a remaking of Roger Corman's 1955 film 'Day The World Ended'.
The series of photographs revisit the hotel and its surroundings. Shot on 35mm film and printed in sepia, they extend and play on the temporal aspects of the subject. The past and the future, prophecy and reality become confused through a kind of distorting lens, the photographs acting as a time machine which looks back and forward simultaneously. The deserted images have an apocalyptic nature to them, the hotel and environs becoming ruins in a projected time.
Tai Shani, Headless/Senseless, 2011
Fantastical and cinematic, Shani's performances and films contain multilayered and self-reflexive narratives that are abstracted adaptations of films, plays and books or fictional historical dramatisations.
Deploying diverse fictional strategies, and operating in multiple temporal structures both in the real and the mediated, Shani's work revolves around scripts and texts which alternate between familiar narrative styles and structures and theoretical prose that research the agency of the simulated self and the "real" self; the immaterial lives of fictional characters beyond spectatorship, over-identification and death in the fictional space. These intricate narratives are played out by elaborately costumed large casts of archetypal and pseudo-historical characters drawn from diverse cultural mythologies in Neo-Baroque settings that reference early science fiction, Greek tragedy and various traditions of theatrical spectacle.
Headless/Senseless is a sound-tracked installation of 13 lenticular prints, the lives and fictions of two actresses Annie Paradise and Jean Heller overflow and haemorrhage into each other creating a spiralling narrative told through fractured recollections, dreams and desires.