THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE
OPENS 3rd July
AS AN EPIC INSTALLATION SHOW AT
Watch this trailer for the 37 minute film (original music by Leo Chadburn)
THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE follows two women through a bizarre, broken landscape of collapsing signs and imploding meanings, on a pilgrimage to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool to cure their green baby. In this fantastic, primitive-future world, the difference between technology and magic has become incomprehensible. Our characters become entangled in a cargo-cult of Margaret Thatcher and buy a Thatcher Doll which spouts quotations when they pull its string. This project explores the idea of the image of Margaret Thatcher as an after-burn on the collective memory of our culture, taking inspiration from a Martin Rowson cartoon that depicts Margaret Thatcher’s funeral as a tribal ritual in some obscure ‘savage’ culture, as well as other touchstones such as the novel Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban. It uses the fantastic location of the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, to explore, through speculative fantasy, the cultural legacy of the Conservative Party conferences that took place there during the rise of Margaret Thatcher. For a bit more info, and more images click HERE…
As a run-up to this show, the film toured to 4 artist-run venues around England in April 2015 with debates from speakers and audience, and live performance. Documentation of these talks will be uploaded soon.
GRAND UNION BIRMINGHAM 9 April
Speakers: Erica Scourti, Tim Dixon, and Zara Dinnen
PRIMARY NOTTINGHAM 16 April
Speakers: Jennifer Thatcher, Sonya Dyer and Niki Russell
OUTPOST NORWICH 23rd April
Speakers: Oreet Ashery, Melanie Jackson, Paul O’Kane
CUBE BRISTOL 30 April
Speakers: Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Esther Leslie, Isobel Harbison
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO READ ALL ABOUT IT
Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain
2008–2013 Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium
on Monday 9th December
I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE
Video + Installation+ live performance performance
with: Goodiepal, Luke McCreadie, Plastique Fantastique, Alexander Stevenson, Jennet Thomas
Je cherche en même temps l’éternel et l’éphémère
Seeking the eternal and the ephemeral in the nonsensical, abstract and mythical, Grand Union presents Magic Eye: a group exhibition of sculpture, installation and video, activated by a festival of performance, screenings and music.
The works have in common a self-consciously progressive reaching for the transcendental and a questioning of scientific or rational methodology and conventional ideas of knowledge.
The exhibition features the UK premier of Jennet Thomas’s new installation I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE. By turns absurd, amusing and unsettling, the video suggests malfunction and misinformation in Thomas’s anarchistic and bleakly humorous style. For the festival Thomas will enter into a dialogue with her video work.
13 July – 10 August 2013 click HERE for full info (festival is on Sat 20th July)
This work also toured a number of venues in the US and UK including
REACTOR HALLS for a review of this show in THE DOUBLE NEGATIVE HERE
The Dark Horse Moving Picture Show
was a steaming, full-to-capacity success…
FRIDAY 5th APRIL 2013
Doors Open 7.30pm – show starts 8.00pm sharp – £4.00
The Dark Horse Moving Picture Show is a Film and Live Performance event by Jennet Thomas and Paul Tarragó featuring special guest Leo Chadburn (a.k.a. Simon Bookish). It will premiere brand new Film/Performance/Music works by all three artists, as well as explore work from their extensive back catalogues of films and songs. This rich and strange cocktail of aesthetic pleasures, urgent ideas and cerebral experimentations will explore new hybrid territories that include a Mystery Event, and a Quiz with Prizes…
SCHOOL OF CHANGE- THE SHOW -was at MATT’s GALLERY- did you miss it? Well here’s a 3 minute film exploring the sculptural/performative Installation
Below is the trailer for the 42 minute Sci-Fi Experimental musical film inside the installation . Click HERE for info on the Matt’s Gallery pages
CLICK HERE TO READ AN ENTERTAINING AND INFORMATIVE DIALOGUE ABOUT ‘SCHOOL OF CHANGE’ BETWEEN RACHEL WITHERS, LEO CHADBURN AND JENNET
The Live Show: ‘SCHOOL OF CHANGE -the recruitment‘ was at Camden Arts Centre Dec 17th .. and outpost gallery October 26th
SCHOOL OF CHANGE is a new franchise of girls’ schools, existing in a post-apocalyptic future, so radical it threatens the working of reason itself. SCHOOL OF CHANGE attempts to shore up against this breakdown, to educate a new generation to adapt, building an alternative ‘hive mind’ that has a new, stronger kind of logic.
Each student’s learning is bio-technically monitored and assessed through the Personal Circle lodged inside them. High-scoring pupils perform their learning through a rhythmic song and action practise: ‘the Production’. This trance-like group activity produces small solids – Units of Knowing – the currency through which the new economy tries to function.
This work is a musical collaboration with composer and performer Leo Chadburn (aka) Simon Bookish
Leo Chadburn (aka Simon Bookish) performs as Mr New Structures-
SCHOOL OF CHANGE is a project that collides genres and ideas; a sci-fi musical + experimental narrative film, based in another reality where a number of rapid changes; geographical, organic, mathematical – even mutations in the workings of reason itself- are threatening the viability of human society.
The film lasts 42 minutes, the action taking place over one day inside a School – its classrooms, canteen, staff room, playing fields, will be filmed in my old secondary school. We see the results of ‘the Changes’ played out within this microcosm, during the first- and last- day at school of the New Girl, who has been brought in to replace a student who ‘faded away’. She is ‘The New Tenth’ and as she joins her class, 2a, an exact replica of her also joins class 2b, 2c, and 2d. The School appears to be part of a franchise of ‘Schools of Change’: an initiative to shore up against this breakdown, to educate and prepare a new generation to adapt. Ritual, music and rhythm are deployed continually in the daily routine to help stitch together the community, raise the spirits, and possibly build some kind of alternative ‘hive mind’ that has a new, stronger kind of logic.
Students learn a New Mathematics to cope with the increasing difficulty of all attempts to measure or calculate objectively – now that mathematical laws only work for the very old . Some of this is very familiar- a teacher stands at the front of the class disseminating facts,
manipulating diagrams and doing demonstrations, but then it frequently becomes strange; each student’s learning score is continuously, biolo-technically monitored, and those who score the highest perform their learning
into an actual, physical result through a peculiar rhythmic song and action practise- a kind of clapping, conjuring game called ‘the Production’. This trance like group activity produces small colourful solids; the Units of Knowing –
these are of immense value, fit together like a puzzle, and are evidently the currency through which the new economy functions.
This project is an ambitious development of core themes that run through my work; a skewed reflection on contemporary fears and desires for radical change, both social and spiritual.
‘ Echo vs Gown ‘
Performed on June 18th as part of ‘This is not a Performance or a Lecture’ for RADAR Was apparently a HIT…so we did it again…on Monday 17th October I was commissioned by RADAR to make a new work for their programme ‘This Is Not A Performance or a Lecture!’ presented on Saturday 18th June 2011, at a kind of festival of 7 of these commissions around the campus at Loughborough University. Other artists include Janice Kerbel and Pil and Galia Collectiv. I’m developed a new 2- handed performance piece ‘ECHO vs. GOWN’ which takes two very different local texts as its material starting point; the Loughborough Echo newspaper, and the Loughborough University website ( specialist subject: Sport Science and Systems Engineering) A dialectic-cum- duel will be fought as a 2-handed illustrated lecture between the costumed personifications ‘Echo’ and ‘Gown’; a live collage of absurd collisions in rhetoric, sound, text and image, mining through explosions the latent ideologies, varied human aspirations and mysteries of Loughborough life. The methodology is poetic, analytical and mischievous, sometimes making hard sense, sometimes making a structured anarchy of sense-making nonsense.
Life of the Mind- at New Art Gallery Walsall 21 January – 20 March 2011
My Video installation ‘Return of the Black Tower [after John Smith]’ showed from January to March 2011 as part of ‘ The Life of the Mind’ at New Art Gallery Walsall, curated by Bob and Robetra Smith. Watch the complete video here
Click HERE for info about the work as it showed at PEER. 21 January – 20 March 2011