Liliane Lijn, Simon Martin, Nashashibi/Skaer, Susan Philipsz and Elizabeth Price
PV 10th October. Continues 11 October – 17 November. Open Friday-Saturday or by appointment, 12-5pm.
The Royal Standard presents The Narrators, an exhibition of film, video and sound work selected from the Arts Council Collection. The exhibition looks at the ways in which these works generate and weave alternate narratives and histories around existing objects, archives and collections. It considers the shifting materiality, value and meaning of an object when it is experienced aurally and as a moving image.
A room divider designed in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis becomes the object of close scrutiny in Simon Martin’s video ‘Carlton’ (2006). One of the questions that ‘Carlton’ (2006) poses is how we can decipher the meaning and value of an inanimate object through its composite material. As the camera pans across the laminate surface, a female narrator informs us that Memphis sourced materials anywhere ‘from a cocktail bar in Liverpool …to a showroom in Cape Town’.
Nashashibi/Skaer’s ‘Ambassador’ (2005) is a study of the British ambassador in his Hong Kong residence. The monochrome film presents an intimate and domestic portrait of an individual usually associated with power and authority. Shown over two separate monitor screens, the mirrored imagery challenges our initial perception of the narrative scene.
In ‘Choir (Part 1 & 2)’ (2011), Elizabeth Price draws on existing archives of digital film and photography. Her video plays on the multiple meaning of the word ‘choir’ that describes an ensemble of singers, but also an area of a church and the term ‘quire’ within bookbinding. The edit combines archival photographs, clicks and choral fragments, virtual 3D renderings and on-screen text to establish a verbal repertoire for a fictional ecclesiastical auditorium. The twisted wrist of a figurative sarcophagus is a constant hand gesture that is carried through each narrative episode.
‘What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?’ by Liliane Lijn was one of the first acquisitions of film works made by the Arts Council Collection. The film portrays a series of Lijn’s sculptural works made between 1965-1972. The title of the film is taken from a Japanese Koan, a meditation exercise used to empty the mind. Lijn describes the Koan in relation to her own sculptures that attempt to transform matter into energy, volume into vibration. Some of the sculptural works within the film do this with words. Words are printed onto the surface of sculptural cones, which are then spun in a circular motion at great speed. Through this process, they loose their meaning and exist as vibrating, elliptical lines of energy.
During the Liverpool General Transport Strike of 1911, thousands marched along Vauxhall Road towards St Georges Plateau and William Brown Street. Accentuating the sculptural potential of the human voice and its means to address people both individually and as a collective, ‘The Internationale’ (1999) by Susan Philipsz brings an old socialist anthem back into dialogue with the material remnants of Liverpool’s industrial history.
Liliane Lijn in-conversation, Saturday 16th November, 2pm.
The Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool) will show further works from the Arts Council Collection alongside key works from their collection. These will include works by; Andrea Alessi, Anna Barriball, Becky Beasley, John Cage, Kenelm Cox, Chris Evans, Louise Hopkins, Mauricio Kagel, E’wao Kagoshima, Joseph Mayer manuscripts, Walter de Maria, George du Maurier, Bernard Meadows, Francois Morellet, Aiko Miyawaki, Auguste Rodin, Lucy Skaer, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan,
To coincide with this partnership project, The Royal Standard will host an Art-Writing Residency, accompanied by a programme of workshops, discussion groups and presentations. Details on how to apply will be announced soon.
Curated by Lucy MacDonald with The Royal Standard.
To make an appointment to view the exhibition outside of opening hours or to request more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Unit 3, Vauxhall Business Centre , 131 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool L3 6BN UK
This exhibition was made possible with the support from the Walker Art Gallery and the Arts Council Collection partnership supported by Christies.