The film below is an artistic output of the Vasl Gasworks Curatorial Knowledge Residency that was made by artist Jamie George on his return to London from a residency at Vasl undertaken as part of the programme. As an artist who uses curatorial strategies in his practice and exhibitions – often integrating other artists’ works into his solo shows, as he did in Karachi with specially made archival artworks by Seher Naveed – Jamie’s practice brought a studio based perspective to the Curatorial Knowledge Workshop. Jamie’s work as a sculptor and video-maker is particularly concerned with built space and memories of space as it disintegrates or undertakes a process of renewal. Curatorial activity within the framework of his practice allows for a deeper engagement with the spaces for art’s display and of spaces that are reflected on within his works of art.
The video was shown at the end of the Curatorial Knowledge Forum at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture on the 17th of November, and it followed the forum's discussion between Ayesha Omer, Ferwa Ibrahim, Rabbya Naseer and Abdullah Qamar on curating and performance. While the audience questioned whether the practices of these artists working in performance and public intervention could be considered curatorial, it was useful to follow this discussion with Jamie's video as Jamie's work evidenced that this question extends beyond performance, (which builds an inherently curatorial relationship with space), and into video and sculpture. Furthermore, it was useful to end this forum (which signalled the end of the wider project in many ways) with the later output of a residency which started the whole Workshop, which was Jamie's Fellowship at Vasl in the Spring of 2012.
Artists' statement on the work:
My primary interests, as an artist, are how space is produced and how memory is sustained, be this personal or collectively perceived. I have recently had to leave my home, a building, a sick building in which I had lived, in the East End of London, for about 3 and half years. The building will shortly be raised to the ground. The building is substandard, built in corrupt times. Soon a new building will be in its place. I am explicitly critical of housing policy local by government regenerations schemes indexed to the Olympic games one big expense lump.
My current project hopes to index these concerns with an orbiting physical, no, guttural relationship to memory – like those fleeting memories of a truly honest admittance or the memory of a hospitalisation … I am interested in how objects persist as frames for these phenomena or as referents to them.
The video you are about to watch is under 5 mins long and is a rough cut of the first iteration of a number of works in this new project. The work treats the camera as an object in an abandoned/empty space – a place of hasty retreat and speculative future. Perhaps imagine this camera as another object, a witness, a lumpen objects, a shaking object.
Extreme layers of artificiality –coloured filers – like a red shift augment these concerns. In physics a red shift happens when light, seen coming from an object that is moving away is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum. The work also utilises artificially generated tones, produced by simple freeware/apps – amplified to ‘test’ the sonic and experiential resonance of the space.
I am interested in beginning to present a new space – between binaries, as the projects current title presents – throwing up, pulling down. This has also been explored in recent project when thinking about other polarities: between collectivity and loneliness, forgetting and memory. My experience at Vasl was primary to the current developments of these concerns, relating to notions of my locality, personal and socio-political loss.