Meghan Allbright, Rebecca Gamble, Andrew Gillespie, Calum Greaney, Brian J Morrison, Laurence Price, Emily Warner
For the month of January, we have invited a selection of Birmingham based artists to use the Grand Union gallery space as a testing ground for work in progress or for new ideas.
Please note: The gallery space will be closed during this time, however, there will be a number of public events happening over the course of the upcoming weeks, so keep checking our website and social media for information about dates and times.
Monday 5 January – Friday 16 January: Brian J Morrison
Brian’s work is built on an engagement with the social theory of heteronormative masculinity and aims to offer a critical enquiry into the hegemonic forces in place that instill regressive gender codes. Primarily using appropriated, gender encoded, advertising imagery, Brian creates works that relate to the actions, motions and rituals of extreme bodybuilding. These works attempt to activate an interaction that re-examines a relationship with the visual commercial world.
Brian will be producing a series of new experimental pieces for Work In Progress at Grand Union. The aim of these works is to open some discussion critique and examination into the themes which underpin his practice, and the methods through which these themes manifest themselves visually.
Thursday 22 – Friday 23 January: Emily Warner and Rebecca Gamble
Artist duo Emily Warner and Rebecca Gamble will be utilising the gallery as an incubation and focussed experimentation space for their emerging collaborative practice. Stemming from a long standing relationship as life/art partners, they will be devising a new language of gesture, live action and physical response. Examining interests in the intimacy of personal relationships and external instruction, the ‘lab’ space will enable them to generate further material for their developing body of work.
Rebecca Gamble is an artist, researcher and lecturer, currently completing a practice-led PhD, with Vice-Chancellor Bursary, in the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University. This research adopts the everyday as the theoretical framework to examine a site-responsive practice to urban (physical) and online (virtual) spaces, investigating this hybrid space through a series of performative and participatory interventions using tactics, actions and games. The methodology of hospitality further examines the reciprocal relationship between the artist-host and participant-guest in this participatory performative praxis.
Emily is an artist, collaborator and interventionist who instructs experimental relationships with artists, non-artists and physical environments. Through mimicry and subversion she appropriates existing patterns of behaviour and codes of conduct to examine the infrastructure of social scenarios. Using live and action based processes, her evolving body of work exposes the transaction and tension implicated within an exchange, and the formation of ideas and actions instructed by external influences.
Thursday 29 January, 5–7pm: Pingback by Meghan Allbright and Emily Warner
Pingback is a new collaborative project between artists Emily Warner and Meghan Allbright. Re-appropriating the game of Ping Pong they will be examining modes of online behaviour and the dynamics of trolling.
Using the faceless, unthinking and often aggressive exchanges the internet enables for such ‘trolls’ – Pingback as a performance aims to extract and mimic the monotonous, disaffected rhetoric this often creates.
The seemingly banal game they have constructed has no winners, a confused structure and an uncertain end point. This durational performance is a test, and the interaction between the artist and the footage documented will provide further material for future development.
They invite you to join them as they pilot this first performance, having arrived at a point where they need to act out the work in order to further its concept. By coming along to the performance they invite you to participate as the audience, silent or trolling. The event will conclude with an opportunity to give them feedback.
Saturday 31 January 5–7pm: When Does It Become Fiction?
Work in progress by Meghan Allbright
Monday 2 – Friday 6 February: What is material? What is product? What is natural? What is Quality? What is process? What is Design?
Artists Andrew Gillespie, Calum Greaney and Laurence Price will work with a group of artists to investigate the above questions. They will present their responses at Digbeth First Friday, 6–8pm.
Generously supported by EH Smith Builders Merchants.