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All posts in Exhibitions

Shahidul Alam: Kalpana’s Warriors exhibition at Bamburgh House

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 Shahidul 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 is presented by NEPN and Breeze Creatives with the kind support of Autograph ABP, Shahidul Alam, Arts Council England, DRIK Picture Library Bangladesh and the Northern Centre of Photography at the University of Sunderland. Original exhibition produced by Autograph ABP.

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

        

 

 

 

The Social wraps up, well, nearly! Please tell us what you thought

Well, that was exhausting!   Although most of the installations have now disappeared you can still catch the following:

Paul Alexander Knox and Ciara Leeming at Side Gallery until 21 December 2013.
Michele Allen ‘Forgotten Fruit’ at Arts Centre Washington until 4 January 2014.
Louise Taylor  at Durham Art Gallery until 12 January 2014.
Sarah Pickering at Durham Art Gallery until 12 January 2014.
Damien Wootten ‘Coastal Retreats’ at Woodhorn Museum until 2 February 2014.
John Kippin ‘Ships that Pass’ at National Glass Centre until 23 February 2014.
‘You are the company in which you keep’ at Sunderland Museum until 23 February 2014.
Brenda Burrell ‘Fern Street Postcards’ at Sunderland Museum until 23 February 2014.

YOUR FEEDBACK PLEASE! 

If you attended we’d be really grateful for your feedback. Please complete this (very short) questionnaire here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JRTB6G5

 

Image:  Juliet Chenery-Robson installation at the Old Fire Station, photographed by Michael Daglish.

 

 

 

Sigune Hamann – ‘In the name of’

Image: Sigune Hamann: ‘In the name of’, reproduced courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition Preview:
Sigune Hamann – ‘In the name of’
DLI Museum & Durham Art Gallery

Preview: Friday 12 July - 6.00pm
Exhibition open: Saturday 13 July to Sunday 6 October 2013

In the Name Of’ by Sigune Hamann opens with a preview on Friday 12 July at 6.00pm. The exhibition is in response to the showing of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Durham Cathedral and the process of the manuscript’s creation.  The project is commissioned in partnership with NEPN.

‘In the name of’ will encompass work that relates to journeys and transitions and the way we experience and interpret them. The exhibition of photographs and videos will include a 56 metre panoramic photograph taken at a street demonstration and a new series of portraits of pedestrians with the inscription ‘In the name of’ as posters and billboards installed in Durham City.

Sigune Hamann is an artist who deals with still and moving images. In photographs, videos, installations and online environments she explores the effects time and perception have on the construction of mental images. Her projects operate in the space between the still and the moving image: she experiments with images created through movement and explores narrative structures through panoramic film-strips.

 

 

 

Therblig – Wideyed Exhibition

Therblig

Exhibition preview July 13th 2013 2-4pm
Opening 13-19 July 2013
Free Admission

Opening times

Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm

 

Transvision. Opens 15 June

Linna Borgesen

Linna Borgesen

University of Sunderland BA (Hons) Photography, Video & Digital Imaging Degree Show opens Friday 15 June 2012, from 5-8pm and runs until 22 June 2012.
This is the last degree show at the historic Ashburne House, all welcome to celebrate with those graduating.

Where:
Ashburne House, Ryhope Road, Sunderland, SR2 7EF

More information at: http://transvisionexhibition.co.uk/

Sam O'Neill

Sam O’Neill