Kit Poulson, still from Mutter, 2016. Image by Ben Owen
CHELSEA space is pleased to announce the first exhibition in 2017 will be with the artist and writer Kit Poulson, who is a library residency artist during 2016/17 through a collaborative new commission platform initiated by Book Works with Chelsea College of Arts Library and CHELSEA space.
Poulson has taken peculiarities of technology as a starting point for his residency, with the aim to develop from it an idiosyncratic working method to investigate the library at Chelsea as a physical and dynamic space. Using the underlying motif of an analogue synthesizer, the Roland 303, to explore anti-systemic, intuitive and improvisational working methods. The project asks what ‘knowledge’ might be and how it is communicated.
Exhibiting painting, sound works and objects alongside a series of short films, a collaboration with the filmmaker Ben Owen — which explore improvisational practices well understood by musicians, alongside Poulson’s writing, the show explores a different way of thinking about libraries and archives, beyond fixed static spaces, but as dynamic, emotional spaces, sites of chance or extempore encounters. Poulson is interested in books’ materiality; not in the well explored sense of the printed artifact as a structure to be played with but rather in seeing a book as a solidification of the flux of consciousness, that can be explored through a range of mediums, willfully misunderstood and that resists dissolving into ideas.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a reading room selected from the library’s archives and collections. A live performance drawn from the forthcoming publication commissioned as part of this project is planned for the opening night, with Kit Poulson, Ben Owen and musicians who have contributed to the film.
Poulson has been working with librarian Gustavo Grandal Montero and BA Fine Art and MA Curating and Collections students at Chelsea to produce and curate materials that will be incorporated into a display in the library and the exhibition at CHELSEA space. A new publication with Book Works, supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, will also follow later in 2017.
Mutter is the first of Book Works’ new Library Residencies Programme, which presents a series of residencies and commissions under the title You Must Locate a Fantasy for artists to work with libraries, special collections and archives located across the UK, including London, Hull and Glasgow in 2016–2019. Organised in response to a moment where libraries face uncertain futures yet hold the archives for potential futures, this new project includes an exhibition at CHELSEA space and a publication with Book Works as outcomes to the library residency.
Each of the partner libraries from the library at Chelsea to Glasgow Women’s Library, and Hull’s Central Library have much to offer, and the collections provide a starting point for artists to research and produce something political, poetic, unexpected, or ephemeral that can draw out the unique qualities of the libraries and the artist’s own interests. The librarian or archivist is often key to accessing the rich resources in a library, and the relationships that can be built though projects such as this give artists an opportunity to access and work with collections and promote the unique resources and locations these libraries offer to their audiences and library users.
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As with each exhibition at CHELSEA space, a new illustrated publication will accompany the show.
For further information, images or to discuss interviews please contact: Karen Di Franco or Cherie Silver at CHELSEA space via email email@example.com or tel: 020 7514 6983
Notes to Editors
• Images and further information are available upon request
• About: CHELSEA space is a public exhibiting space, sited on the Millbank campus of Chelsea College of Arts, where invited art and design professionals are encouraged to work on experimental curatorial projects. See: www.chelseaspace.org
• In copy please refer to CHELSEA space and not ‘The Chelsea space.’
• Gallery opening times: Wednesday-Friday 11am-5pm and by appointment.
• Private view: Tuesday 24 January 2017, 6-8.30pm
• Admission: FREE
Chelsea College of Arts is one of the world’s leading art and design institutions. Located at Millbank, next door to Tate Britain, Chelsea specialises in Fine Art, Graphic Design and Interior and Textiles Design. Since its origins in the 19th century, the College has produced many of the greatest names in the arts, including: Quentin Blake (illustrator and author) Ralph Fiennes (film and stage actor), AnishKapoor (sculptor), Steve McQueen, (artist), Chris Ofili (artist), Alan Rickman (film and stage actor), Alexei Sayle (comedian) and Gavin Turk (sculptor).
Operating at the heart of the world’s creative capital, University of the Arts London is a vibrant international centre for innovative teaching and research in arts, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts. The University is made up of six Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Art. Renowned names in the cultural and creative sectors produced by the University include 12 Turner prize winners and over half of all nominees, 10 out of 17 fashion designers named British Designer of the Year, more than half of the designers showcased in London Fashion Week and 12 out of 30 winners of the Jerwood Photography Award.