Tuesday, 26 May 2015

PhotoLondon, OffPrint And A Smokey Installation At The Tate Modern - All In Just One Week!

Wow! What a week this has been... As PhotoLondon 2015 debuted and succeeded, OffPrint took over the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern, SPBH curated a weird and wonderfully pleasurable Project Space, I've drunk my body weight in alcohol and danced off the rest, and finally smoked out the Turbine Hall in the performative installation, The Smoke House, it's been fantastic, but I am looking forward to relaxing now!!!

The week commenced with many openings, very notably the Whitechapel Gallery's exhibition of Christopher Williams which is an absolute must, a truly delicate show that astounds you, as you wonder through the show, dropped hang photographs are set against rough, unfinished walls with not an ounce of contrive, just perfect curation. Then onto the MaxMara Prize for Women, as Prosecco filled our glasses, the works controlled the centre stage, intermixing textiles, installation with a strong Italian essence and style. 

The week continued in the same vain, opening, after opening including of course the new Photo Fair at Somerset House. Some excellent galleries worth mentioning are of course, Rose Gallery with their stunning original Eggleston's that are truly out of this world, Flowers Gallery with their perfect positioning and collection of both emerging and established back to back, Ingleby Gallery's presentation that was utterly divine and many others like Tristan Hoare and Ravestijn Gallery. It is worth mentioning that the fair itself is rather difficult to navigate through and would benefit from some strong thematic curation, but as a first, I think it could be a good balance between the many others!

Friday saw OffPrint open at the Tate, and what an opening it was. Hundreds upon hundreds of people turned up to see, experience and purchase as well as watch and take part in the SPBH Project Space programme of events and performances. From Selfie-Stick aerobics, Hacking, Crystal Healing, Live book making to Laughter, the programme engaged and amazed many.

I was very proud and honoured to be taking part and on Sunday 24th at 16:00pm, my performance started in the Turbine Hall! As the glasshouse was wheeled through the publishers into position, a sense of intrigue built. Smoke was pumped into the glasshouse, getting thicker and thicker by the second. It bellowed up into the roof, swirling and spiralling, catching the black books as it rose, each one gently spinning. The smoke continued for a time, before being released out into the Turbine Hall, as I entered the glasshouse and for a time disappeared amongst the smoke before the doors and windows where opened. Clouds of thick white smoke, danced their way out of the glasshouse into the space, as onlookers watched intently. 

For those who missed the performance you can see it here on SPBH TV:

It was a week to remember and now I look forward to a well earned rest, a massive thank you to all that supported the performance, in front of and behind the scenes!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Performative Installation - The Smoke House At Tate Modern For OffPrint London 24th May 4-5pm

I am extremely pleased and proud to announce that my Performative Installation, The Smoke House is part of the SPBH Project Space at the Tate Modern for OffPrint London 2015. The piece will be performed in the Turbine Hall on Sunday 24th May 4-5pm!

"In a ritualistic response to the fire and flood at Gibson's studio, the artist reclaims her experience in this citation of the performative installation, The Smoke House.

Physically creating a space whereby controlled levels of smoke bellow into a polycarbonate glasshouse and where books dangle from strings inside.

This performance visualises the sensorial elements, allowing the viewer to witness what Gibson faced on that evening. Offering a cathartically ordered and shared experience that was absent at the time. Through the visual pleasure of looking, suggestions around our human intrigue towards trauma come into question as we wait, watch and wonder."

More can be found here; and with a fantastic programme of events, it is surely a weekend not to miss!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Art Ltd - The Gender Gap

Great to see a review of my recent show at Sloan Projects in Santa Monica, by Molly Enholm in the May issue of Art Ltd, with a focus on the gender gap - Are Female artists still undervalued? Here is an excerpt from the review.

“The seeming dichotomy between the two series on view in the promising inaugural exhibition at Sloan Projects — three large-scale paintings by Claudia Parducci paired with a series of intimately scaled collaged photographs by Melinda Gibson — may have more in common than first glance might suggest. Though culled from disparate sources, each artist tackles iconic imagery in order to reassess the weight they typically wield.

Contrasting the monumentality of Parducci’s paintings are UK-based Melinda Gibson’s collage works. The ten individual works are installed in a repetitive manner, just below eye level, methodically spaced at regular intervals within identical frames. Where Parducci explores the sublime, Gibson mines the didactic; her collages are composed of the photographic images that fill the pages of Charlotte Cotton’s academic book “The Photograph as Contemporary Art,” which Gibson came across as a student at the London College of Communication. Forget writing in the margins; in these works Gibson literally deconstructs the authority of the academic text, as she cuts out, rearranges and overlaps the “textbook examples,” creating new meanings and associations from the photography of her predecessors. The motif of the human silhouette becomes a unifying element of these works, from layered images which form a Magritte-esque bust in Photomontage VII, to the sensuality of intertwined reclining figures fastened out of the interior scenes and landscape photography of Photomontage III, originally from pages 106, 136 and 202 from Cotton’s tome. Like Parducci, Gibson’s works prompts a desire to reassess the influence of the ubiquitous images from daily life, whether they aim to document or educate."

Friday, 1 May 2015

Upcoming Talk - Royal Photographic Society - 'Concerning Photography' On Saturday 16th May

I am very excited to be part of the 6th Annual weekend event held by the Contemporary Group of the Royal Photographic Society, speaking at Concerning Photography on Saturday 16th May 2015. With a weekend of events including talks by wonderful artists and curators, like Melanie Manchot, Paul Reas, Zelda Cheatle, Peter Mitchell amoung others it is going to be a very inspiring and exciting event.

I will be speaking on Saturday afternoon and will be talking about my practice, proposing questions around the  role of the artist in Contemporary Photographic culture.

More information can be found here: 

Newly Launched - Aperture's The PhotoBook Review 008 - Publisher’s Note: Lesley A. Martin

Last weekend saw the launch of the new Aperture Magazine 'Tokyo' along with the excellent PhotoBook Review 008, which will also launch this week in Los Angeles at ParisPhoto LA.  I am very proud to have contributed a piece of writing to the issue and with the Publisher's and Editor's notes live now, here is an extract from Lesley A. Martin.

"The PhotoBook Review 008 coincides with the Summer 2015 issue of Aperture magazine, “Tokyo” (#219), as well as with Shashin, a symposium and festival for Japanese photography that takes place on April 24 and 25 at the New York Public Library. All three have been shaped, in part, through consultation with Our Man in Tokyo and this issue’s guest editor, Ivan Vartanian of Goliga.

That essential idea—of redrawing the boundaries of the photobook via events and performances, in order to engage audiences at earlier stages of a book’s creation or more inclusively at the time of its launch—has its own history. But it has also become an important part of our present. This issue includes commentary from contemporary artists such as Melinda Gibson, Katja Stuke of BöhmKobayashi, and Jason Fulford, as well as curators and publishers such as Bruno Ceschel and Aron Mörel, on the intersection of performance, bookmaking, and audience engagement."

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