Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Whitney Museum

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Black Air by Jane Bustin

Black Air: Jane Bustin
Black Air is an artist's book co-published by EMH Arts Publications and Artprojx to mark Jane Bustin's exhibition of five major new paintings in the show Darkness Visible (which takes its title from Bustin's body of work). 'Black Air' records Bustin's collaboration with a number of contemporary individuals who were the subjects for abstract 'portraits' she made based on their conception of blackness/darkness. The book has been developed from letters, statements and scientific data that were exchanged throughout a five year project and includes unique contributions from the writer and theorist Helene Cixous, the composer John Woolrich, the inventor of 'Superblack' Dr Richard Brown and John Hull, the author of 'Touching the Rock'.
16 pages, published in an edition of 500 copies.
co-published by EMH Arts Publications and Artprojx
see http://www.emmahilleagle.com/ for more info
Book launch 12 December 2006 contact David Gryn events@artprojx.com for more details

Darkness Visible
The exhibition Darkness Visible results from a collaboration between Southampton City Art Gallery and the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. The exhibition contains a selection of contemporary works drawn from each of their permanent collections.
Underlying themes explore the darker states of the human psyche; unhappiness, anxiety, introspection, melancholy and a seeming obsession with mortality.
The apparent artistic angst seems to suggest something of the zeitgeist of our times. In particular it would appear to both herald and reflect the brittle nature of the post 9/11 world where notions of safety and stability have been called into question.
The title of the show has been taken from the Jane Bustin series ‘Darkness Visible’. The 5 portraits of this series, one of which has been purchased by the Ferens Art Gallery, are seen here together for the first time. Included, is the final and long awaited work in the series, a miniature portrait of scientist Dr. Richard Brown, inventor of Nickel Phosphorous Black (known as Superblack), claimed to be the blackest black in existence.
The artists included in the show from the CAS Special Purchase Scheme include:
Philip AkkermanIan BreakwellJason BrooksJane BustinDorothy CrossJeremy DellerGraham GussinCraigie HorsfieldPaul MorrisonGeorgina StarrGavin TurkBettina von Zwehl Mark Wallinger Gillian WearingStephen WillatsShizuka Yokomizo
The development of both collections has been made possible by the support of the Contemporary Art Society's Special Collection Scheme (1998-2004), financed by the Arts Council Lottery Fund. This significant purchasing opportunity involved 15 regional galleries and was devised to develop centres of excellence in the collection, curatorship and interpretation of contemporary art. Works from the pilot scheme (1995-98) are also included.

Installation shot of Jane Bustin - Darkness Visible series at Ferens Art Gallery
Darkness Visible, the title Jane Bustin has given to an ongoing series of paintings she began in 2001, is a quote taken from Milton's depiction of Hell in the first book of Paradise Lost:
“A dungeon horrible, on all sides roundAs one great furnace flamed, yet from those flamesNo Light, but rather darkness visible”
Milton's description is both a contradiction and an abstraction. Without light it is impossible to see and in order for his imaginary landscape to become tangible the poet makes absence literal. It is a concept that parallels the approach and practice of Bustin's recent work. For a painter the notion of nothingness is fertile territory and when she initiated the Darkness Visible project it was Bustin's aim to make a group of abstract portraits of living individuals, that would explore particular perceptions of blackness to test its traditional, linguistic and metaphorical associations. The paintings would take the form of diptychs, with their dimensions, support materials and colour treatments referenced to the subjects they were based upon.
Bustin invited her subjects to work in a collaborative way, providing her with statements in whatever form they chose, to describe their perception of blackness. The source material was varied and reflective of the individual's subjective concerns. The writer Hélène Cixous sent a long poetic letter, which touched upon internal and external ideas of blackness: from dream spaces to racist connotations. The composer John Woolrich made his statement in the form of a piece of music; while John Hull, a blind theologian made it clear that it was impossible for him to provide in any way a descriptive statement of his sense of darkness, preferring to direct Bustin towards the e.e. cummings poem : Now I lay(with everywhere around) - a gentle evocation of the passing of day into the stillness and silence of night.
Whilst researching the project Bustin came upon the recent invention of 'Nickel Phosphorous Super Black' a chemical etching process developed by Dr Richard Brown of the National Physical Laboratory for potential use in the space industry. The nickel phosphorous black surface is applied to aluminium or copper substrates and produces the blackest black known in existence on an industrial scale. Provided with a small sample of the material Bustin has made a miniature diptych which incorporates a fragment of Super Black in conjunction with a painted panel where she has layered pigments to achieve the blackest black she can through paint.
As Bustin wrote in her letters to her collaborators: “The notion of blackness without and within an individual can be interpreted in any number of ways, from a Kleinian perspective of the depressive/creative tendency, to an expression of an emotional state, or to those outer parts of space where our universe meets infinity and the theory that black does not exist as such, but is a 'mass' without light.”
These paintings are intended both as portraits of the inner person (the unseen or 'unseeing' of the subject) and as the record of a dialogue that examines the meeting points between different creative and philosophical languages. Worked by Bustin, a field of colour can function as a channel to the senses that exist alongside sight in the human. What holds our attention is not a simply a formal arrangement of the processes a painter uses but an emotional resonance achieved by the effects of colour and light. She reveals blackness as a field of infinite richness and possibility.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Tuesday 14 November 2006. 7.15pm

ARTPROJX 06 and Film London's Artists' Moving Image Network present:The Premiere of

THEDA by Georgina Starr

with live accompaniment from the London Improvisers Orchestra


Tickets only £7.50

Artprojx 06 at Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, London WC2 http://www.princecharlescinema.com/ Box Office: +44 (0) 20 7494 3654 (open 1-9pm)

A chance meeting with an eccentric octogenarian film fan introduced Starr to the world of silent screen legend Theda Bara. Once the biggest silent movie star in the world, Bara appeared in over forty films, of which only two still exist today. Through extensive research into the art of Bara and other neglected silent stars, Starr has reconstructed key scenes from the lost films, with both herself and a retired film star taking on the role of ‘Theda’. The work will look at the vicarious nature of the cinematic experience and explore the silent film form through image and live sound. Experimenting with performance styles and narrative techniques Starr considers the movie screen as a mirror and how we use film fiction to explore and escape our own identity.

For Artist and Student ticket discount information visit www.artupdate.com/artprojx or quote 'Artupdate' at the Box Office

For Press and Curator tickets contact events@artprojx.com

Event organised by: events@artprojx.com http://www.artprojx.com/

THEDA is a 2006 London Artists' Film and Video Award (LAFVA) Winner http://amin.filmlondon.org.uk/


CAPTURE 5 - SUBMISSIONS http://www.capturenet.org.uk/capture5/

WITH TV AT THE ICA - NOV 6th http://artprojx.com/WITH-ARTPROJX.html

JANE BUSTIN - DARKNESS VISIBLE & BLACK AIR http://artprojx.com/JaneBustin.html