27 June 2008 - 20 July 2008
Tim Brennan’s ‘manoeuvres’ are a combination of performance and guided tours which take the audience on a tangential and poignant tour of specific locations. Intertwining different histories and the circumstantial and everyday, they are both an enquiry of, and tribute to, place as an actual and cultural entity.
The artist will create a new manoeuvre/walk for R O O M. Taking as its starting point the well known local weekly flower market at Columbia Road in Bethnal Green, it will interweave potential connections and narratives from attendant discourses, ranging from local history to botany.
Several of Brennan’s ‘manoeuvres’ have resulted in publications, which are works in their own right; all of these will be included in the exhibition. During his residency at the British Museum to mark its 250th anniversary, for example, Brennan created ‘Museum of Angels’, a series of events and a book which catalogued and commented on all the ‘winged creatures’ in the institution’s vast and varied collections. The result was a Rabelaisian cross-referencing of cultures, time and place, displacing traditional museological taxonomy and categories of knowledge through the suggestion of other links and possibilities.
The exhibition at R O O M will also feature examples of enlarged mobile phone camera photographs. These were part of the main body of work in ‘The North’ - a major touring solo show initiated by Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland, in 2007. The original series of ten photographs were taken in and around the area labelled by Brennan as ‘greater Northumbria’. The works challenge our perception of industrial, rural and suburban locations by transforming them into kaleidoscopic, semi-abstracted renditions which reference both the processes of their own making as well as the Romantic landscape tradition.
On the evening of the exhibition private view, Brennan will present a performance especially created for the occasion, the material traces of which will also exist as an installation during the show. Referencing Caspar David Friedrich’s painting ‘Woman at the Window’ (1822) and taking as its cue the gallery’s long back window overlooking the urban hybrid of a small park flanked by a busy main road, the performance/installation will pivot around the motif of the window as a threshold and allegory that frames our views and perceptions.
Brennan lectures at the University of Sunderland. Recent projects include: ‘Monere Manoeuvre’ (ICA, London, 2007), ‘Performing Northumbria’ (Arnolfini, Bristol, 2007), Northern Art Prize shortlist exhibition (Leeds City Art Gallery, 2008), ‘Luddite Manoeuvre’ (ROAM, Loughborough, 2008); ‘Great Northern ‘Coalfield’ (ICIA, Bath, 2008). Brennan is currently engaged in a major commission for the Mass Observation Archive, which will culminate in a publication and exhibition in 2009 (supported by University of Sussex, Photoworks, Ffotogallery and UWN).
Curated by Sotiris Kyriacou
Opening Thursday - Sunday 12:00 - 18:00