the boys the girls and the political

17 July - 5th September 2015, Lisson Gallery

Am Nuden Da, Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson, Elaine Cameron-Weir, George Henry Longly, Jesper List Thomsen, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Ben Schumacher, Richard Sides, Cally Spooner and Alice Theobald

Curated by Hana Noorali and Lynton Talbot

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The boys the girls and the political brings together 10 international artistsand articulates a group dynamic built upon multifaceted working methods, collaboration and an interest in material transformation. A curatorial investigation into approach and thinking within the practice of these artists is given precedence over the presentation of autonomous objects, the exhibition becoming a platform to highlight the agency of cultural production and artistic labour. The exhibition allows room for research-led practices to present themselves in an openly discursive way and positions itself as an enquiry into the performative aspects inherent within many of the artists’ practices.

The exhibition features new works of performance, film, painting and sculptureand points towards a way of working informed by the vernacular of technologicallandscapes and an openness to collaborative exchange. Establishing a discourset hat asks questions about the dissemination of information and the use of language as artistic material, The boys the girls and the political encourages a fluid and immersive reading of the way in which these artists work.

George Henry Longly’s floor and wall-based works combine explicit cultural references with classic sculptural materials, borrowing the processes and systems of industrial product design. The sensibilities of interior decoration and theatrical staging also suffuse Elaine Cameron-Weir’s tall assemblages adorned with brass leaves, belying their origins in fictional narratives written by the artist. Text is the starting point for Jesper List Thomsen’s series of seven paintings, The boys the girls and the political (which lends the show its title), in which writing is transformed into modular, reiterating components throughout the exhibition. Thomsen, with Adam Gibbons and Lewis Ronald form the collective Am Nuden Da. Their work Facebook Blue Filler, which has been appearing in chameleonic iterations over the past four years, is installed in response to the exhibition; punctuating the various spaces of the show.

The collaborative practice of Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson reveals itself through a film of choreographed group activities, while Alice Theobald’s open-ended film and performance work embroils her performers and the viewers in a tautological linguistic game. Cally Spooner mines the seam between acting, script writing and artistic labour, whereas Richard Sides combines sonic snippets and physical found objects with imagery to create expanded, time-based collages. Beatriz Olabarrieta’s installations incorporate screens of looping video and sculptural furniture in free-flowing environments and Ben Schumacher overlays his own work with documentation of the work of other artists, exploring the consequences of digital de-authoring in an increasingly over-sharing world.