CURATED BY CARL SLATER & GLEN JOHNSTON
ELENA BAJO / BILL BALASKAS / SIMONA BRINKMANN / BEN COVE / BLUE CURRY / INEZ DE COO /
CLINTON DE MENEZES / RUPERT GRIFFITHS / GRAHAM GUSSIN / SIMON LE RUEZ / TOM LOVELACE / PETER MATTHEWS / MARTHA ROSLER / URI SHAPIRA / KATE TERRY / VESTANDPAGE / JAE YEON CHUNG
Sited within a disused industrial space in Stonehouse, Plymouth, Vessel is a gathering of contemporary artworks showcasing the work of seventeen international artists that focuses on the particulars of their postindustrial location in its physical, socio-cultural and economic contexts. Placed between the logic of the building’s architecture and the city’s rich history, this is an exhibition that investigates site-specificity and the means to artistic intervention. Acting as footnotes against the backdrop of Plymouth, Vessel reveals itself as a temporal structure in a display in memory of the site and a reflective commentary of the area’s historical value and contemporary redevelopment.
Housing works of installation, film, performance, photography and sculpture, it is not the architecture that forms the focus, but the ambiguous authority of the works within it. The understanding of the temporal and dynamic character of Stonehouse’s landscape and the expectations of the site itself is paramount to the reception of these works. The commissioning of this derelict space is where the vessel is the ship, the carrier and a container of function and delivery.
Since the Second World War, the decline of industrial production and the successive process of abandonment had rapidly affected the immediate fabric of the surrounding communities. Due for demolition, the remaining industrial structures on George Place can be seen as symbols of a better past and the reminder of an uncertain future, whilst the building’s interior shell offers a sense of freedom, providing both an exhibition space and the fragmented evidence of its industrious history. No longer is the area marginal to prosperous trade, or the ruins from bomb damage, but is instead a focus of architectural and social redevelopment. Like the exhibition space itself, it has become a site of interest through layering of artistic placement and construction, hinting at more fundamental questions of human existence and interrelations with
During Vessel, Plymouth is hosting an influx of contemporary art, not only as an observation of the city's cultural progression but also of its potential to revert back to active and successful design. Each artist has a particular input into the overall visual description of the site and for this brief moment will be accommodating the space with a variety of presentations including fortifications, detritus reconfigurations, conversations of architecture, scenes of war, pillar inscriptions and the journeys of Ulysses. Unbound by the confines of art markets and clinical white spaces, the works are all significant to the site and act as a temporal state for personal reflection and contemplation. The exhibition addresses the thought processes and shifting concepts of postmodernist values in contemporary art and suggests a particular method of site-specific study into the impending condition of developing urban infrastructure.
images © Dom Moore / FOTO+
Exhibition runs from 22nd September – 30th October / Open Thursdays till Sundays 10am – 5pm or by appointment.
WWW.VESSEL2011.COM / Address: 22 George Place, Stonehouse, Plymouth, PL13NZ, UK
Vessel is Supported by: Plymouth City Council, Drew & Co, ArtsMatrix, Millfields Trust, RIO (Real Ideas Organisation), Nom De Strip, Fotonow, Fire Safety Matters South West, Keylock, i-DAT, Foto+
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