In connection with our current exhibition, A simultaneity of stories-so-far, artist Holly Argent will facilitate an online workshop and reading event exploring her new publication After the Event: Activities with Archives.
Holly’s work is interested in using archives to interrogate standard systems of organisation and explore methodologies that re-negotiate narratives and prioritise forms of self-preservation. Split into distinct sections, the publication Activities with Archives implements four types of activity: accumulate, read, map and index, to guide a process of debate and discussion: what goes in and out of the archive; how can we chart shifting non-linear narratives stemming from the archive, and how can the archive inform and guide a future programme?
Focusing on reading, this event will explore some of the activities from the ‘Read’ chapter of the publication and invite you to part-take in an online collective reading of Midland: A Novel out of Time by Honor Gavin donated to the Grand Union archive by Laura Onions.
A physical copy of the publication After the Event: Activities with Archives will be sent out to all those that register for the event along with extracts from Midland that we will read together*. This event is free and will be hosted on Zoom, please book ahead via Eventbrite here.
Her muscles are becoming more muscly. Her palms have stopped shivering and are rapidly toughtening. There is something about the neck of a crane and the hook that hangs from it that she finds compelling, calming yet portentous. The thrill that comes from being wolf-whistled whilst wearing oversized overalls and cooking concrete – that too has something to do with why she’s standing here, now, stamping rocks into gravel, her eyes stinging from the grit.
The dust rolls towards her in giant mothballs from the space where the secretarial college was. She coughs.
In all seriousness: this young woman here considers herself a teleported Trümmerfrau. She reckons herself a rubble woman transported from smashed Berlin, a city to which she’s never been, to this shoddy city here, a city which also happens to have a name that begins with a ‘b’, a name that in certain circles and industries means counterfeit, cheap, showy.
Extract from Midland: A Novel out of Time by Honor Gavin
*Extract publicly available to download from Penned in the Margins publishers of ‘Midland: A Novel Out of Time’ by Honor Gavin.
A simultaneity of stories-so-far is an exhibition of sound, video and writing by artists Lucy Reynolds, Navi Kaur and Holly Argent. Curated by Laura Onions and Alice O’Rourke, the project will re-consider acts of gathering and articulating collective stories. Cultivated throughout the last year, stories-so-far brings to attention how place is given resonance through joined together voices.
Holly Argent is an artist and researcher based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her work is interested in creating contexts and perspectives for exploring artistic legacies and conflicting histories. Often working with archives and ostensibly unrelated materials, she is always looking to reconfigure and emphasise a subjective position to reflect or expand upon complex autobiographical narratives. This work can take shape as performance, text, sculpture and film. She founded and leads the Women Artists of the North East Library (2017-) and is the 2021 BALTIC Bothy artist in residence on the Isle of Eigg, Scotland.