Friday, October 16, 2009

PLUS ART EXHIBITION preview on Dazed Digital

PLUS and curator Declan McMullan present 70+ Artists + 100+ Hours
Text by David Hellqvist | Published 16 October 2009

In our culture-inflated society, art entrepreneurs have to be cunning. Many of them are constantly asking themselves ‘How do we get noticed and when’s the best time to show our work? We need somewhere exciting to exhibit, as well'! And that's just a few of the factors that need to click when the time has come to invite the public.

It seems like PLUS and curator Declan McMullan has managed to satisfy all of the above requirements when they launch their 70+Artists+100+Hours. In the midst of Frieze Art Fair, the Volume sponsored art event has pulled together an impressive rooster of artists – Tracy Emin, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas etc – and will take over an empty warehouse in Southwark for almost five full days, or a 100 hours, as the title indicates.

Like Frieze, PLUS is about networking and collaborations, but not just in the art world. Sharing the space with the art are bands, DJs and filmmakers, making the event truly interdisciplinary. On the opening Friday evening, Glasgow four-piece Isosceles will perform, but true to the ideals of PLUS, the gig will be used in a documentary made by Central Station, which will “explore where art and music meet, giving us a chance to plunge into the evolving, sometimes chaotic spaces in between”. Other bands playing throughout the weekend include The Mutlings and The Cyclones.

The mixture of artists exhibiting at PLUS is exciting in its diversity. Not often are such established names sharing a creative platform with the UK’s underground scene. Since PLUS is working in close partnership with east London sign maker Kerry Ryan, the choice of material was easily picked - even for Tracey Emin, who shows two neon art pieces, and Sarah Lucas, with her neon coffin. Gavin Turk, though, is sticking to metal.

Bur the less famous exhibitors are, of course, equally exciting. Duo Jon Glazier and James Fisher are making waves around their native east London, and were last seen making facemasks at the Hackney Wicked Festival during the summer. The pair is still working with performance pieces – or “live action art making”, as Fisher calls it – but instead of creating masks they have constructed a 2.5 square metre cube frame, in which Fisher and Glazier will attach colourful strings. Almost competing against each other, the pair will be making a sculpture there and then. “It’s about decision-making and, hopefully, about shapes”, Fisher says. With a nod towards surrealism they will let the strings be part of their stream of consciousness and, once they’ve cut their way out of the cube, the threads will be “left as a residue of our decisions at the time”, James Fisher explains.

So there you have it. Frieze isn’t the end of it, perhaps only the beginning. Why go to Regents Park when you can visit a cold warehouse in Southwark and experience the underground art scene cavorting with the first defence line of Brit Art.

From October 16th (5pm) – 20th (9pm) at 120 - 122 Webber Street, between Blackfriars Rd and Southwark Bridge Rd.

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