CHOREOGRAPHY*, is an exhibition with a series of accompanying texts and events, organised and compiled by Paul Becker. The exhibition takes as its starting point the work of the French writer/director Marguerite Duras and in particular, two of her films: India Song (1975) and Baxter, Vera Baxter (1977). In both films, as in many of the novels, a central figure, herself inert, acts as the epicentre. In one film, she lies in bed all day, never leaves her house while the rest of the characters constellate around her story. In the other, she moves ‘alone, queen like’ through various ambassadorial parties and stilted, stylised and detached entanglements with a series of beautiful young men. Both films trace the choreography of these central lacunae who delineate and encrypt desire but are themselves disconnected from any emotional life. These ‘lovers without love’ act as the critical centre point in much of Duras’ work. The space will be activated by the works of the artists and by a series of talks, readings and post facto discussion with Ghislaine Leung, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Sophie Macpherson, Natasha Soobramanien and Paul Becker.
Paul Becker is an artist and writer and his work occupies a space between these two semi-independent lines of work: some form of literary fiction and painting. His most recent work Choreography/Coreografia – a short fiction set within RW Fassbinder’s 1976 film Chinese Roulette – is published by Juan de la Cosa / John of the Thing, Mexico.
Chris Fite-Wassilak is a writer and critic, and a regular contributor to Art Monthly, Art Papers, Art Review and frieze. His short book of essays Ha-Ha Crystal is published by Copy Press.
Nadia Hebson studied at Central St. Martins and the Royal Academy Schools. Recent exhibitions and talks include We (Not I), Artists Space, NYC; Smarginature, Lydgalleriet, Bergen; So, Mauve, Vienna; MODA WK, Lokaal 01, Antwerp and Christina Ramberg, 42 Carlton Place, GI Festival, Glasgow. She recently co-convened the conference ‘Making Women’s Art Matter’ at the Paul Mellon Centre, London. Hebson is a lecturer at Newcastle University, UK.
Ghislaine Leung lives and works in London and Brussels. Recent solo projects include The Moves at Cell Project Space, London, 078746844 at WIELS, Brussels, Soft Open Shut at Studio Voltaire, London, YOUR WORDS IN MY MOUTH /MY VOICE ON YOUR TONGUE at Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart and Hollis & Money at the ICA, London. Her collection of writings Partners is forthcoming in 2017.
Sophie Macpherson lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow. She regularly collaborates with other artists, musicians and performers. A current activity is a weekly class exploring movement and language. Her video, A Series of Movements was shown at Drop City, Newcastle in 2015.
Francesco Pedraglio works with writing, performance, film and installation. Recent exhibitions include: P///AKT, Amsterdam (2017); CRAC Alsace (2017); Instituto Svizzero, Milan (2016); Kunsthalle Wien (2015). 99 Battles and 1 War (an extract) was published by Piano Nobile (CH) in 2016. His novel A man in a room spray painting a fly was published by Book Works in 2014. Together with Tania Pérez Córdova, Pedraglio runs the publishing house Juan de la Cosa / John of the Thing.
Natasha Soobramanien is a writer. She is currently working on a novel-in-installments, Diego Garcia, with Luke Williams. Her first novel, Genie and Paul (Myriad Editions, 2012), is being translated into French by Nathacha Appanah for Gallimard/Continents Noirs.
Exhibition maker and designer Sam Watson lives in Düsseldorf . Working with a collaborative and intermedia approach, he is preoccupied with the possibilities of working together with artists, often over extended periods of time. His projects span subjects related to modes of production that lead to the creation and disintegration of culture and issues around artists’ autonomy and mobility. In 2017 he will produce The Studio for Arousing Tools at MHKA, Antwerp in parallel to a new programme of commissions at Drop City, Düsseldorf.
Eleanor Wright lives and works between Düsseldorf and Newcastle. Recent exhibitions include ARCOmadrid 2017, Catcher Pressure Pusher, commissioned by CIRCA Projects; So, Mauve, Vienna; Roßstraße 68 (learning from Ella Steigleman), Drop City, Düsseldorf and artist residencies at the British School at Athens and Cove Park, Scotland. In 2017, Wright will show new work at MHKA, Antwerp alongside the launch of the artists’ publication An Athens City Reader.
Drop City is a collaborative gallery model working between Newcastle upon Tyne and Düsseldorf: www.drop-city.net
* ‘(Futura) Mon Amour’: During the length of Choreography, Arcade’s printed material will undergo a typographical adjustment. Influenced by Marguerite Duras’ use of sensuous narratives, shifts of power and her own life experiences, exhibition maker and designer Sam Watson will employ altered versions of Paul Renner’s Futura, used by the gallery in all of its communications. Like much of Duras’ writings, the subtle intervention results in a recasting, an iteration that culminates in a new and intimate reading.