Sunday, 30 September 2012

John Court At Spacex

A new and quite breath-taking exhibition is happening at Spacex Gallery in Exeter (Devon) right now and through to November 24. I recommend a visit.
Bromley born but Lapland based visual artist John Court is showing his first ever UK solo exhibition : The Work Between the Lines. The exhibition includes videos from John's past performances, sculptor and drawings, and on the final day of the exhibition John will be performing an eight hour piece in response to his time in and to the architecture of Spacex Gallery. (10am start - admission is free).
John is severely dyslexic and his drawings of letters on blank paper are absolutely enthralling, I got lost within the pieces - they look like primitive cartography, like heat photography and brass rubbings..but they are thin lines, letters, words, statements all combined and layered. Fascinating. Very rarely do I look at a "piece of art" and go "wow", but it was happening to me yesterday at Spacex. I recommend you all getting a copy of the book "John Court Drawings" published by the Arts Council of Finland and FRAME.

I must admit to have never knowing of the work of John Court before this exhibition, what drew my attention ws the appearance of performance artist Andre Stitt. Andre was to appear in conversation with John .. and a fascinating insight into the world of the artist John Court it was. A lot of the folk in the audience were taking notes, I would have loved to have taken notes too...but I was to busy listening. I did jot down the phrase "It's harder not to do it" which John said in relation to his performance work and it is a statement I totally harmonise with in relation to my sound work.
Anyway. Andre Stitt. I'm a big fan! I met Andre 25 years ago after seeing him perform at Manchester Cornerhouse. A week of "Confrontation" if my memory serves. We also appear on the same compilation cassette "ND 7" that was released back in 1986 (I think)? If anyone has a copy of this cassette release please get in touch! So meeting him (again) was great fun. I showed him my copy of ND #5 (from 1985, with the Andre Stitt tract) and he gave me a copy of his book "Substance". We chatted about the Manchester performance. It was a threatening piece, well, confrontational. Andre remarked that it was when he was drinking and had a mullet! Scary indeed. I was surprised to find that Andre is now a Professor and lives (nearby) in Cardiff. Both artists websites are worth a visit. &

Please visit the exhibition at Spacex if you can, you will find it well worth your time.

1: Spacex Gallery. Preston Street. Exeter.
2: Cover of Spacex Gallery pamphlet.
3: Video documentary from performance.
4: A "doodle".
5: Interactive sculpture piece "Work".
6: "John Court Drawings" book cover.
7: Exhibition poster.
8: Andre Stitt and John Court "In Conversation".
9: Myself, Andre & John.    

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