Art Sheffield

12 February 2008
Art Sheffield

Working hard now on the last stages of the pieces for ART SHEFFIELD 08: Yes, No & Other Options. The opening is Friday and the show runs from 16 February – 30 March 2008 in venues across the city including Bloc, End Gallery,  S1 Artspace, Site Gallery, Yorkshire ArtSpace, Sylvester Space, The Winter Garden and the Millennium Galleries where my stuff will be. I’m showing three new neon pieces alongside two works made with Vlatka – our existing video Insults & Praises (2003) and what began as a kind of mutant follow-up to it titled Threats & Promises. Sneak preview of one of the neons below, meanwhile late night video shooting to complete the Threats & Promises piece got abandoned sometime around midnight tonight when all the lights in the studio tripped out. Desultory end to the long work day which was just starting to clarify (and not before time!). Will help make tomorrow nice and pressurised.

Press release goes like this: “Taking as its foundation a specially commissioned text by art critic Jan Verwoert, this city-wide exhibition addresses the fact that in a post-industrial condition… we have entered into a service culture where we no longer just work, we perform in a perpetual mode of ‘I Can’. (Even advertising tells us that ‘Life gets more exciting when you say yes’).Verwoert asks, “What would it mean to put up resistance against a social order in which high performance and performance-related evaluation has become a growing demand, if not a norm? What would it mean to resist the need to perform?” He suggests that certain means of resisting are in themselves creative – that as well as embracing exuberant performativity, art has also used the ‘ I Can’t’, by creating moments where the flow of action is interrupted, established meanings are suspended and alternative ways to act become imaginable. He suggests that as well as yes and no, there may be other options.”

Please Come Back - Neon

The mix of both emerging and established Sheffield-based, nationally and internationally-based artists includes Tomma Abts, Michal Budny, Phil Collins, Andrew Cooke, Kerstin Kartscher, Silke Otto Knapp, Július Koller, Jiri Kovanda, Ruth Legg, Hilary Lloyd, Deimantas Narkevicius, Ines Schaber, Sean Snyder, Frances Stark, Mladen Stilinovic, Esther Stocker, Nasrin Tabatabai, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tsui Kuang-Yu, Gitte Villesen, Eveline Van Den Berg, Ryszard Wasko, Nicole Wermers and Xu Tan. As well as from Vlatka and I there are new commissions from Katie Davies, Annika Eriksson, Host Artist’s Group, Janice Kerbel, George Henry Longly, Roman Ondak, Kirsten Pieroth, Paul Rooney, Dexter Sinister, Esther Stocker, Neil Webb, Katy Woods and Kan Xuan.