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Holly Antrum
A Diffuse Citizen

7 June – 26 July 2014


Grand Union is proud to present artist Holly Antrum’s first solo exhibition. Working in a combination of 16mm and digital film and printmaking, Antrum’s attention swings between the operational life of making new images, and their near obsolescence, claiming the useful pace of each technology to form narratives. She draws upon itinerant ‘sub practices’ and interests behind these mediums, capitalising on elements that are both scattered and hybrid, chance or personal.

The central work in the exhibition Catalogue (2013), is a film made ‘with’ rather than a documentary ‘about’ 93 year old artist Jennifer Pike. Antrum (29 years old at the time) invited Pike to present herself and her work as part of a collaboration. Playfulness pervades this exchange between the two female artists, where speaking and filming becomes performance, documentation, improvisation and dance, revealing their shared interests and approaches to art making.

Hovering our attention between the near and the far, seriousness and humour, Jennifer Pike recites ABC in Sound (1964) by Bob Cobbing (1920–2002). At a moment when an upsurge of interest has formed around this generation of artists, the film draws attention to Pike, who has been overlooked by comparison to her husband, sound poet Cobbing. With a nod to Pike’s history as a key part of an active group of experimental artists and performers, the film also features sound from her peers and friends Bow Gamelan Ensemble and acclaimed Jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill.

The film foregrounds ideas of what it means to be catalogued and what it means to grow old as an artist. Antrum thinks about how a film can intuit an order, how it can retell qualities and gestures, and about the relationship between the artist-as-subject and the artist-filmmaker.

Antrum will be working in residence at Grand Union throughout May to produce new work for A Diffuse Citizen. She is considering new subjects for films and a ‘living archive’, as started in Muslin Tree Screen, an online work which presents layers and sections from images, photographs and drawings which she has made and scanned. Initially for printed works but appearing on the screen alone, they refer to the Muslin Tree and other artifices such as the song ‘Paper Moon’ by Ella Fitzgerald. Here images brightly pile up as if for the sake of appearance, they are placed out from storage into an interactive collage.

A new publication will be launched on 24 June at an ‘in conversation’ event with Antrum and writer, editor and digital producer, Charmian Griffin.The publication is designed by An Endless Supply and includes contributions by  George Vasey and Jonathan P Watts, discussing Antrum’s practice and her work with Jennifer Pike.

A recording of Holly talking to Charmian Griffin (digital producer for Artangel) at Grand Union about A Diffuse Citizen on Tuesday 24 June 2014 can be heard here:

A recording of Holly and Jennifer talking about Catalogue at Flat Time House in March 2014 can be heard here.

The production of Catalogue has been kindly supported by Elephant Trust and Arts Council England.

Holly Antrum (b. London 1983) studied BA Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon College of Art and MA Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London. Catalogue has been screened solo at Outpost, Norwich, Someone else can clean up this mess at Flat Time House, London and within ABC in Sound, Exhibition Research Centre, Liverpool. Group exhibitions include Flatness (Online, In the House of Mr and Mrs X, Temporary Gallery, Cologne, Moda WK, Vane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (all 2013), The Stone of Folly, Downstairs Gallery, Herefordshire, Apropos The Kissing of a Hand, Vane / Festival Robert Walser, Newcastle upon Tyne (2012), and New Contemporaries (2011 and 2006). She lives and works in London.

Images: Computer Dances, Jennifer Pike (1995).