All posts in Exhibitions

Observe, Experiment, Archive EVENTS

Alongside the exhibition at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Observe, Experiment, Archive has a series of events investigating the themes raised within the exhibited works. During November 2019, you will have an opportunity to attend artist-led talks, a family based workshop day around the theme of space and more informal gallery walk and talks.

Artists Talk: Observing the Changing Natural World
15 November, 1pm – 3pm – Special Exhibitions Gallery, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: Management/Polled, Doon just the job (CH2305) from Sire, Maria McKinney 2016.

Photographer talk and discussion with renowned photographers Robert Zhao Renhui and Maria McKinney.

Maria McKinney is a visual artist based in Dublin. Her work explores the impact of human intervention on the natural world, often bringing together unusual contemporary materials and traditional craft techniques. She was awarded a Wellcome Arts Award in 2015 to produce Sire which she further developed during a residency at University College Dublin in 2016. A selection of works from Sire are presented within the Observe Experiment Archive exhibition.

Robert Zhao Renhui is a Singaporean artist, whose practice intersects with and is closely informed by science, in particular, zoology. His work addresses man’s relationship with nature, and related issues of morality and ethics, paying close attention to how our attitudes assumptions about the natural world are often shaped by institutions of authority and the media. Robert’s photographic project of 2013, A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World is presented within the Observe Experiment Archive exhibition.

Supported by Arts Council England and Culture Ireland.

 

Exhibition Walk and Talk: Observe, Experiment, Archive
16 November, 11am – 12pm – Special Exhibitions Gallery, Level 2, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: World Goldfish Queen from the series A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, Robert Zhao Renhui 2013.

*This talk has BSL interpretation*

Exhibiting artists from Observe, Experiment, Archive will give a guided walk and talk in the exhibition space.

 

Exhibition Walk and Talk: This is What I See – Marjolaine Ryley
16 November, 2-2.45pm – Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Free/No booking required


Image: The Bud, from A Gardener’s Daughter, Marjolaine Ryley 2018.  

*This talk has BSL interpretation*

Marjolaine Ryley will give a guided walk and talk in the exhibition space.

 

Talk: Joseph Swan: A New Vision
22 November, 2pm – Pottery Gallery, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: LM.3 from Light Matter, Liza Dracup 2019.

A free public talk about Sunderland born chemist and inventor Joseph Swan, in relation to light and photography by photographic historian Dr Carol McKay and photographic artist Dr Liza Dracup.

Most people know Joseph Swan as the inventor of the incandescent light bulb. Few know he was also a photographic pioneer, an entrepreneur and businessman, with connections far and wide. We’re celebrating this story in Sunderland, the place where he was born and grew up and where he encountered photography for the first time.

Liza Dracup is a photographer based in the north of England.  Making work by unconventional photographic means, her experimental practice extends beyond the hours of daylight, drawing her into a world lit by artificial light. She is in pursuit of an alternative vision, one that de-familiarizes the once familiar. Her photographs reveal details, sensations and simplified forms, which were once invisible or concealed.  Placing emphasis on the extraordinary properties of the ordinary, her work creates an enriched idea of the northern landscape and its natural history.
Dracup’s wider research extends to re-positioning a wide-range of historical collections-based research material across photographic, artistic and scientific disciplines, which also underpinned her PhD at the University of Sunderland (2017).

Dracup is best known for Sharpe’s’ Wood (Impressions Gallery, 2007), an innovative series of large-scale colour landscape photographs made between dusk and dawn. Major recent commissions including Chasing the Gloaming (2011), Re:Collections (2013) and Landmarks (2016).  Dracup’s work was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2012) and the Prix Pictet (Earth) Photography Award (2009).

This event is part of the Being Human Festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 14–23 November and programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Observe Experiment Archive and Canny Sunderland talks series organised by the University of Sunderland. 

 

Space Rocks! Art and Astronomy Family Day
23 November, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Do you love stars and space?

Get inspired at our Space Rocks family event with a day of hands-on art and science talks and activities.

Work with visual artist Helen McGhie in an astronomy art workshop to make space rock photograms and clay meteorites with potter David Partington. Helen will give a talk about the inspiration behind her photographic work with Dan Monk from Kielder Observatory.  Find out about different types of light in an interactive workshop with the experts from Kielder Observatory. Participate in hands-on demonstrations of lasers and lenses, diffraction glasses, infra-red cameras and ultra violet sensitive beads.

This event has been funded by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Tickets for the science and art workshops are FREE but must be booked in advance.

For more information, timings and bookings please visit the Museum website HERE.

Please note some sessions have minimum age guidelines.

Helen McGhie is a visual artist based in Salford (UK).  Her practice explores the empirical nature of darkness through photography and the moving image.  She is currently investigating the act of astronomical observation at Kielder Observatory in Northumberland for her practice-led PhD, Stargazing at the ‘Invisible’: Photography and the Power of Obscured Light,’ which she is undertaking at the University of Sunderland.

 

Talk: The Polluted Seas and the Transformative Power of Photography
26 November, 6pm – 8pm – Holmeside Coffee, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: SOUP: Bird’s Nest by Mandy Barker 2011.

Join us for talks with Mandy Barker, photographic artist and Matt Barnes from the Marine Conservation Society. *Please note date change*
Meet at Holmeside Coffee for refreshments from 6.00pm. The talk will commence at 6.30pm.
Mandy Barker is an international award-winning photographer whose work involving marine plastic debris over the past 10 years has received global recognition. Working with scientists she aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans whilst highlighting the harmful affect on marine life

and ultimately ourselves. Barker’s work has been published in over 40 countries as she seeks to engage broader audiences in the environmental movement. She is a recipient of the 2018 National Geographic Society Grant for Research and Exploration, was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Award SPACE 2017, nominated for The Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize 2018, and nominated for the Magnum Foundation Fund.

Matt Barnes is Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager (NE) for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The MCS is the UK’s leading marine charity, working to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. Our seas are under immense pressure: too many fish are being taken out, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too little is being done to protect our precious wildlife. MCS’ vision is for seas full of life where nature flourishes and people thrive.

            

       

Wear Experimenting Workshop and Exhibition Programme

Wear Experimenting opens at Mackie’s Corner, High Street, Sunderland on Thursday 8 November and will run to 1 December, opening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 3-7pm.  Artist Jo Howell will also present works from the project in The Bridges Shopping Centre and on digital billboards across the city.

Jo Howell and associate artists will be offering a range of workshops throughout the workshop period.  See below for taste of available sessions or visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NEPhotoNetwork/events/

Thursday 15 November, 4-6pm and Friday 16 November, 4-6pm, Mackie’s Corner, High Street:
Cyanotype Book Making with Jo Howell

Using a combination of objects, acetate negatives and writing, participants will create a unique folded cyanotype book about the exhibition. Paper for the booklets will be pre-prepared with design focussing on the content and arrangement of the booklets. A UV exposure lamp will be used to expose the books, which will be washed in cold water and dried for participants to take home the next day.
To book your place please email: booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

 

Saturday 17 November, 12.45-3pm, Hendon, Sunderland:
Wear Experimenting Associate Artists - Nicola Maxwell and Michael Davidson -
Nature / Industry Photo Walk


Join Nicola Maxwell and Michael Davidson for a photo-walk on which you will take photographs, collect specimens and help build a collective survey of a post-industrial area.

Maxwell and Davidson are artists who specialise in photography with a particular interest in maps and the stories that can be told about an area through found objects and by exploring nature’s intervention.

Please note this is a walking event over hilly terrain and is not suitable for those with mobility issues. Sensible shoes, waterproofs and long trousers advised. Over 16s only.

Please bring a digital camera (camera phone can be used).

This event will take place in Hendon, exact meeting point address provided upon booking.
To book your place please email: booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

A follow-up workshop will take place on 24 November, 1pm – 3pm to share images and experiment with post-production.

Saturday 17 November, 4-6pm, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland:
Wear Experimenting Associate Artist – Graham Patterson
‘Zine making – Accumulation Part 2.

Definition of zine. : magazine especially : a noncommercial homemade publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter.

During the workshop participants can create folded – stapled zines using printed photograms of sea-plastics, that were collected form a shoreline in Roker with participants during last months ‘accumulation’ workshop.

An experimental approach is encouraged to create simple pamphlets and concertina booklets. Large scale inkjet prints of the sea-plastic photograms can be cut into, folded, glued and collaged together – drawn over or written on. All materials to make the booklets will be provided, artist book examples and book making guides will be brought to help with ideas.

There will be an opportunity to display the zines, both at Mackie’s Corner and in an A5 perspex leaflet dispenser, within the coastal site where the plastic material was collected. Participants can add factual information to the zines, where they see fit, to highlight the detrimental impact that plastics have on the marine environment. For example, ‘8 Million Tonnes Of Plastic Is Dumped In the Sea Every Year’.

To book please email:
booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

Friday 23 November 2018, 2-5pm, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland:
Wear Experimenting Associate Artist -  Ben Freeth, ‘Scan Paths’

‘Scan Paths’ is exciting project which redefines the boundaries of photography by creating an instant camera capable of performing eye-tracking on the user. When ‘eye tracked’ what you look at reveals both what is important psychologically to you, and the science involved in seeing. It’s a ‘selfie-cam’ that takes a picture of you while simultaneously revealing something about yourself!

Join digital artist Ben Freeth for a workshop in which you will help to create a ‘Yarbus Cam’ and use it on Friday 23 November from 2-5pm at Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland.

To book your place please email: booking@theculturalspring.org.uk or call 0191 427 8197.

Ben Freeth has a background in photography, documentary practice and workshop delivery. His current work expands on this extending into digital media practice and incorporating data as a medium for artistic expression. Ben’s artworks feature scientific photography combined with multichannel sound works, custom electronics, code, instruments and data driven artworks featuring photography and data sonification. Ben has worked and exhibited across the North East, the UK and internationally.  The production of Yarbus Cams is supported by FabLab Sunderland.

A Drop-in session (no need to book) will also run on Saturday 1 December, 2-5pm at Mackie’s Corner when you will get the opportunity to create images using the Yarbus Cams.

Friday 30 November, 1-3pm, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland:
Pinhole photography with Jo Howell

In this pinhole photography workshop you can bring a container to create your own pinhole camera to photograph the City, or you can use the pre-made cameras from the project. This is one of the first photographic processes. Any container that you can make light tight can be turned into a simple camera. Using a darkroom and photographic chemicals we will develop the photographs you take. Participants will be expected to take photographs outside, so wrap up warm!

*Drop-in session, no need to book.

 


                        
                        

A Struggle for Democracy: Exhibition at the University of Sunderland

Visiting Professor Julian Germain and Emeritus Professor John Kippin

 

A Struggle for Democracy – Shahidul Alam

Wednesday 17 October 2018, 1pm. University of Sunderland, Priestman Building (Showcase Space), SR1 3PZ.

Join us to launch an exhibition of work by visiting professor Shahidul Alam and to raise awareness of the international campaign for his release from detention in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

There will be an introduction by Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, Professor Arabella Plouviez and contributions from invited guests.  All are invited to participate in a mass photograph to communicate our collective voice which will be shared and added to the thousands internationally who are campaigning for Shahidul’s ‘immediate and unconditional release’ (https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-shahidul-alam).

The exhibition runs 16-28 October 2018, as part of the UK-wide exhibition of work by Shahidul Alam, initiated by the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland, Autograph, London and Drik, Bangladesh.

#FreeShahidulAlam

The exhibition is produced by NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography.

A Struggle for Democracy: Images by Shahidul Alam displayed across the UK


Shahidul Alam, Smriti Azad, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1994.

Dr Shahidul Alam was arrested, tortured and imprisoned in Dhaka Bangladesh at the beginning of August. Shahidul is an internationally respected photographer, journalist and activist and a good friend and colleague to many of us working in the photography and the academic worlds here in the UK.

University of Sunderland, where Shahidul has been a visiting professor for many years, Autograph and Drik have proposed a mass exhibition of Shahidul’s work in support of the campaign to free him (#FreeShahidulAlam).

Shahidul has been a significant force both in photography and in photographic education and we feel it is essential that we raise our voice in support of him.

On 28 October Shahidul is due to be awarded the Lucie Award at Carnegie Hall, New York.

We invite as many organisations as possible to participate in an exhibition (8 – 28 October 2018) across the UK, in solidarity with the works recently shown at Drik Gallery Bangladesh, under the exhibition title ‘A Struggle for Democracy’.

The ambition is for every participating institution to show a minimum of 1 image by Shahidul alongside an information panel. This will provide context and a call to action for the public, urging them to add their voice to the online #FreeShahidualAlam campaign and Amnesty International’s appeal for his release.

These can be ‘exhibited’ in a number of ways– they could be projected, on a screen or printed within buildings (foyers, entrances, social spaces, exhibition space) or could be exhibited externally in public-facing spaces with high foot-fall. All files will be provided for local printing/presentation.

Please confirm your participation in the UK wide project!

 

How it works 

1.      Email: nepn@sunderland.ac.uk to request files

2.      Select an image (or more depending on your capacity) from the image files and download

3.      Download the corresponding information panel text.

4.      Print or digitally project or screen both image and text file in your space, reception, public/social place to coincide with the exhibition timeframe

5.      Document interactions and any event you wish to programme.

6.      Share images of the installed images using the #FreeShahidulAlam on social media.

Participating cultural organisations:

Autograph, London; NEPN, Sunderland; Side Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Impressions Gallery, Bradford; The Photographers’ Gallery; Redeye: The Photography Network; Panos; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; Photo North Festival, Harrogate; FotoDocument; Nottingham Contemporary; Breeze Creatives, Newcastle upon Tyne; Pop Recs, Sunderland; Swadhinata Trust, London; Royal Photographic Society; Sunderland Culture; HOME, Manchester;  Unfold Stories and SHED London; Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland; NewBridge Project, Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead; Berwick Visual Arts; Four Corners, London; QUAD and FORMAT International Photography Festival; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Fotonow; Gallery Oldham; pic.london; Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Participating Universities:

University of Sunderland; Durham University; Ulster University; University of Lincoln; University of Wolverhampton; London School of Economics and Political Science; Nottingham Trent University; Edinburgh Napier University; Coventry University; Royal College of Art; University of South Wales; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Cumbria; University of Plymouth; Blackburn College; University of Gloucestershire Birmingham City University; University of Salford; The Northern School of Art; Anglia Ruskin University; Sheffield Hallam University; University of Derby; University for the Creative Arts, Farnham; Bury College; LCC, University of the Arts London; University of Brighton and photoworks; Newcastle University; University Centre Weston; Kings College London; Middlesex University.

International partners:

Photo Romania Festival; Galerie Lichtblick and Kolga Tbilisi Photo, Georgia;  Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia; Encontros da Imagem, International Photo Festival, Braga, Portugal; Philiyput Art Centre, Philadelphia, USA; Noorderlicht House of Photography, The Netherlands; Galeria umelcov Spiša, Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia.

 

 

 

 

Shahidul Alam: Kalpana’s Warriors 1 Dec 2017 – 11 Jan 2018

NEPN and Breeze Creatives will be presenting an exhibition by the acclaimed Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam during this Autumn’s Freedom City 2017 celebration.  In this powerful installation, Alam explores issues of racism, social injustice and civil war in his study of the disappearance of Kalpana Chakma.  The exhibition will open on 1 December 2017 running to 11 January 2018 at Level II Gallery, Bamburgh House, Newcastle upon Tyne.  There will be a talk by Shahidul Alam and reception event on 8 December from 6pm.

Kalpana Chakma was a vocal and charismatic leader who campaigned for the rights of indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area of Bangladesh. She was abducted from her home at gunpoint 20 years ago by a military officer and two members of the Village Defence Party and has never been seen again.

Kalpana, who was just 23 when she was abducted, had made it her life’s mission to campaign for the rights of the indigenous people living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), known as Jumma people. She belonged to the Chakma or Pahari community, and was a leader of the Hill Women’s Federation.
The conflict in the CHT, which has been described as “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” began around 1977, soon after the Bangladesh state came into being and continues to this day in spite of a peace treaty negotiated in 1997 between the state and the Jumma people.

There have been multiple reports of human rights violations, massacres and the razing of entire villages by Bangladeshi forces.  According to Amnesty International, allegations are met with indifference by corrupt officials, or by official reprisal. Following damning reports by Amnesty International and other human rights concerns, the Bangladesh government has placed restrictions upon the Jumma peoples speaking with outsiders (restrictions which do not apply to the Bengali population in the region)

The portraits of ‘Kalpana’s warriors’ – those who have refused to let go of her memory and legacy – were created using laser etching on straw mats. This innovative technique, developed specifically for this exhibition, is rooted in the everyday realities of the people and the sparse conditions of Kalpana’s home where she slept on the floor on a straw mat.   Alam wanted the portraits to be burnt onto the mats to remind the viewer of the fires deliberately set by the authorities who had burnt the Pahari villages – something that Kalpana was protesting about in her last confrontation with the military.

The laser device is also commonly found in Bangladesh’s garment factories, notorious for their poor working conditions after tragedies such as Rana Plaza, where more than 1,100 workers died in 2013 when a factory collapsed.

I have never met Kalpana Chakma, I only knew her in terms of her activism but I feel I know her in other ways. I have sat on her bed, read her diaries, spent time with her family, and I have looked at archival footage of her talks. But more importantly, I have felt her presence among the people who survive

Because of the situation of the workers, a laser device which is used in the garment industry being appropriated for something like this was for me very apt, because I think as artists we need to appropriate the spaces, we need to turn things around. It’s guerrilla warfare and in guerrilla warfare you have to use the enemy’s strength against them, which is what we are trying to doI wanted the process itself to deal with the politics.’ Shahidul Alam 2016.

The exhibition was curated by Rahnuma Ahmed, Shahidul Alam, Saydia Gulrukh, Sadia Marium and ASM Rezaur Rahman in partnership with Drik, Bangladesh and is presented by NEPN and Breeze Creatives in partnership with Autograph ABP.  Supported by Arts Council England, DRIK Picture Library Bangladesh and the Northern Centre of Photography at the University of Sunderland.

Part of Freedom City 2017 – a city wide programme across Newcastle marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University.  Freedom City 2017 is a partnership between Newcastle University, Northern Roots and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.  http://freedomcity2017.com/

Image credit: Kalpana’s Warriors installation at Rivington Place 2016 (c) Zoe Maxwell, Courtesy Autograph ABP.

 

                    

Photographic Residency and Exhibition: Song-Nian Ang

NEPN & Northern Centre of Photography at the University of Sunderland are delighted to welcome Singaporean artist Song-Nian Ang to Sunderland in March 2017.

Song-Nian will undertake a short residency, hosted by NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography and will have access to the full range of chemical and digital darkrooms and facilities of the centre.  Song Nian will also present a work in progress exhibition at the University’s Priestman Gallery, 1st Floor Priestman Building, Sunderland which will open with a talk from Song on Monday 27 March, 6-8pm.  The exhibition continues to 28 April.  

In Sunderland, Song-Nian will be developing an iteration of his project ‘Hanging Heavy on my Eyes’ which explores the visualisation of air pollution, using the daily average recordings of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) over a period of time to inform the production of silver gelatin prints, with each work responding to an individual day’s statistics.  In Singapore the work recalls the artist’s experience of discomfort and the unease of reduced visibility, the abstract nature of the work both referencing the hidden impact of forest fires and the ‘haze’ caused by this.

Song-Nian’s visit is supported by Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), University of Sunderland and Arts Council England.

Song-Nian Ang (b. 1983, Singapore) works with found materials and traces of human behaviour, seeking to make them visible through photographic documentations and installation. Intrigued by the representation of thoughts and ideologies through visuals, he employs a microscopic approach to concepts and narration.  His recent exhibitions include Hanging Heavy on my Eyes, presented at DECK as part of the Singapore Biennale 2016 (https://deck.sg/), Unearthed at the Singapore Art Museum, Engaging Perspectives at the Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore). He has exhibited in the Photo Espana Festival (Spain), Lianzhou International Photo Festival (China), Dali International Photo Festival (China), Gallery Jinsun (Seoul, South Korea), Hanmi Gallery (London) and the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs (Lleida, Spain).

Song-Nian’s works has been awarded the Winner for Photography in the Noise Singapore 2012, selected for the top 30 finalists in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in both 2011 and 2014, eCrea Award (Spain, 2010) and honourable mentions in Magenta Foundation Flash Forward (UK, 2010) and Association of Photographers Awards (UK, 2010). In 2012, he was awarded the International Graduate Scholarship for his graduate studies at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.  Song Nian is represented by 2902 Gallery.

Priestman Gallery, Priestman Building, University of Sunderland is open 9.00am to 9.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am to 6.30pm on a Friday.  The building will be closed Friday 14 and Monday 17 April. 

Image: Ang Song Nian, Hanging Heavy On My Eyes, installation at DECK, Singapore ©Marvin Tang

 

 

 

Aaron Guy, A Shift in Extraction

Aaron Guy’s new artwork A Shift in Extraction is to be exhibited at the Hatton Gallery as part of a curated group show ‘Unsensed.’  Directly developed from earlier works made during a residency at Newcastle’s Mining Institute which was supported by NEPN in 2011, A Shift in Extraction explores how the layers of our environment are being shaped by invisible forces, changing the way we interact with the urban landscape.

The exhibition runs from 19 September – 12 December 2015, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle.    https://hattongallery.org.uk/whats-on/unsensed

 

Image: Blue Wave from A Shift in Extraction ©Aaron Guy

 

 

Mark Curran, The Economy of Appearances

NEPN is very pleased to announce that we are collaborating with Noorderlicht Photofestival 2015 on the further development of Mark Curran’s project THE MARKET and its installation at the festival later this month in Groningen. The Economy of Appearances will be exhibited within the Data Rush exhibition at The Old Sugar Factory, Groningen, the Netherlands: http://www.noorderlicht.com/en/photofestival/photo-festival-2015/exhibitions/ 

Update! The Economy of Appearances installation will also be shown at NY Photoville. More information HERE

‘The Economy of Appearances by Mark Curran is an elaboration of his long-term ethnographically informed transnational research project, THE MARKET, focusing on the functioning and condition of the global markets. This continues a cycle of multi-media projects beginning in the late 1990s addressing the predatory context resulting from flows and migrations of global capital.

Incorporating photographs, film, sound, artifactual material and text, themes include the algorithmic machinery of the financial markets, their absorption of crises and emergencies as normalisation of deviance, and of the long range mapping and consequences of financial activity disconnected from the circumstance of citizens and everday life. Profiled testimony has included traders, bankers and financial analysts and documentation of trading floors, exchanges in London, Dublin, Frankfurt and Addis Abeba. This installation furthers the enquiry with new research, extending to Amsterdam (site of the oldest exchange in the world) and the new financial district of Zuidas, and into the heart of the highly complex nature of the international trading culture, against the evolutionary backdrop of volatile global capitalism in flux and transition.

Curran filmed in the new financial district on the southern periphery of the Dutch capital – a global centre for algorithmic trading. Adapted from a text by former trader and now financial activist, Brett Scott, which examines High Frequency Trading (HFT) and how the input of human values, are excluded, the voiceover and title of the film are inspired by Scott’s essay, ‘Algorithmic Surrealism’. The film suggests the hegemony of HFT and the extinction of human reason or intelligence – human strengths that also include traits such as empathy and ethical behaviour – in Market decisions will both perpetuate and render more extreme the power relations of minority wealth in globalised capitalist systems.

This focus on Amsterdam also arises out of the Netherlands’ pivotal role in the global Shadow Banking system, where officers play prominent and conflicting parts in current Euro Zone financial manoeuvres, for example simultaneously facilitating the flight of capital from Greece whilst scolding the Greek system for lax tax regimes. The photographs, titles and their means of presentation allude, in an allegorical sense, to such circumstance. As with previous installations, the soundscape in Groningen, also transforms data using an algorithm to identify the application of the words, ’market’ and/or ‘markets’ in the public speeches by the relevant national Minister of Finance, in this case, the Dutch Minister for Finance and President of the Eurozone Group, Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

The anthropologist and former Banker, Karen Ho, in her ethnographic research of the culture of Wall Street, uses the phrase ‘economy of appearances’ in her argument that banking culture consciously nurtures the very production of crises while simultaneously, ensuring its rescue – this culture builds on characteristics such as anxiety, exhaustion, high risk and high rewards, capitalising on humanity’s limits and weaknesses.

The installation further activates the popular graphic representation of such circumstance through the intervention of a 3D visualisation of the algorithmically-generated data of the soundscape – ‘The Economy Of Appearances’ – in summation, representing the functioning of contemporary financial capital through the conduit of the nation state, in this case, the Netherlands.’

Text by Helen Carey

Acknowledgments:
Algorithm Design & Sound Composition Ken Curran
3D Data Visualisation Damien Byrne
Film Editor Lidia Rossner
Voice Claudia Schäfer

Biography

Mark Curran is an artist researcher & educator who lives & works in Berlin & Dublin. He holds a practice-led PhD from the Dublin Institute of Technology, is Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Photography programme, Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Dublin and is Visiting Professor on the MA in Visual & Media Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin. Incorporating multi-media installation informed by ethnographic understandings, since 1998, Curran has undertaken a cycle of long-term research projects, critically addressing the predatory context resulting from the migrations and flows of global capital. These have been extensively published and exhibited, including DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2010), Encontros da Imagem, Braga (2011), PhotoIreland, Dublin (2012), Grimmuseum, Berlin (2013) & FORMAT, Derby (2013). Curran has also presented widely most recently McGill University, Montreal (2014), Royal Anthropological Institute, London (2015) & University of Ljubljana (2015). Supported by Arts Council of Ireland & curated by Helen Carey, THE MARKET continues the cycle & focuses on the functioning & condition of the global markets. It has been presented at Gallery of Photography, Dublin (2013), Belfast Exposed Gallery (2013) & Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2014). In addition to his NEPN commissioned presentation at Noorderlicht, an extensive installation will open at the Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA), Ireland in Autumn 2015. A full publication of THE MARKET is planned.

Research Blog THE MARKET: http://lockout2013.wordpress.com/

Website: www.markcurran.org

Image: Financial Surrrealism (WTC), Zuidas Financial District, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2015 ©Mark Curran

 

Julian Germain, Newborns

18 September – 16 October 2015. Opening Friday 18 September 5-10pm.
The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland

To coincide with the launch of Sunderland’s intention to bid for UK City of Culture 2021, Julian Germain has been photographing babies born on Wearside this summer.  As representatives of Sunderland’s newest residents, the photographs not only ask us to consider the mystery of being human, but also the mystery of the future, what will it hold for them?

‘I recently discovered that it is possible, with concentration, patience and some luck to make portraits of babies within only a few days of birth. I do not simply mean pictures (admittedly charming), but actual photographic portraits, where they are looking intensely and directly into the lens, despite the fact that they are virtually blind, helpless and have barely any control over their limbs. They are unformed. At that age we don’t know what colour their eyes will become.  If it can be captured, the young life behind their gaze is surely the most mysterious of all.

So many questions are raised. How can we possibly imagine what they are imagining?  How will they turn out? What does the future hold for them?

As adults, we are also presented with a serious challenge, because we are responsible for the world they will grow up in.’ Julian Germain July 2015

Newborns is commissioned by NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography at the University of Sunderland in partnership with the MAC Trust.  Supported by University of Sunderland and Arts Council England through Grants for the arts.

www.juliangermain.com

Image: Freyja Molly, 6 days ©Julian Germain

 

 

Caravan Gallery: Exhibition and Talk

   

                      

Image Credit: Shopping Fatigue (Liverpool 2008) © The Caravan Gallery

Preview and book launch:   Thursday 5 March, 6 – 8pm

Join NEPN and the Caravan Gallery for a talk and exhibition tour:  Thursday 26 March, 6-8pm. Tickets are free but spaces limited. Book here to reserve a place. 

Venue:  Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, City Library and Arts Centre, Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR1 1RE 

www.ngca.co.uk

The Caravan Gallery is a collaboration between artists and photographers Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale, who use photography to document what they call the “reality and surreality of everyday life.” Founded in 2000, The Caravan Gallery is a mobile exhibition space and itinerant social club on wheels housed in a 1969 mustard coloured caravan. The venue has travelled thousands of miles taking contemporary art to unexpected locations and tens of thousands of people. The Caravan Gallery’s images capture the ordinary and extraordinary details of the way we live today, providing an extraordinary record of social change since the millennium. For fifteen years their work has examined those practices of daily life, places or spaces, and processes of social change that the mainstream media overlook. They ask: how do we live together? What do we invest our time and energy in as a collective body of people?

Alongside this, NGCA will present an additional special display of works created during an eight-week residency in North-East England. Here, they present what are, in their view, the North-East’s most memorable, unusual, and improbable sights.

A new hardback publication designed by IDprojects and with an introduction by Ken Grant and an essay by Alistair Robinson will accompany the exhibition.

extra{ordinary} is only one of three components of a citywide project across Sunderland.

For more details see: www.thecaravangallery.photography