centre of Southwark Park
020 7237 1230
Former park cafe refurbished by the Bermondsey Artists' Group (Est.1984) to provide a purpose built art gallery and educational facility within Southwark Park.
April - September - 12am - 6pm
October - March - 11am - 4pm
Wed - Sun
Closed: Mon Tues
The gallery provides good physical access and facilities, however if you have any particular access requirements please contact the gallery before your visit. Assistance dogs welcome.Full disabled access.
MATT STOKES | CANTATA PROFANA
- 27 March — 26 April 2015 *on now
The presentation of both works across east and south London this spring marks the culmination of Stokes' year-long Bartlett fellowship¹. Cantata Profana is six screen video and sound installation focusing on the physicality of extreme metal vocalists and the ability of their voices to immerse a listener and transcend both the individual performer and group.
Cantata Profana takes the form of an amphitheatre of video projections presenting a new musical composition, created in partnership with British composer Orlando Gough, artist and musician Tim Kerr and six grindcore vocalists. Cantata Profana interweaves extreme metal music culture with classical choral traditions, to create an unexpected union. The intense sounds and body movements of the vocalists, together with the backdrop of the outdated German Democratic Republic radio studio in which the piece was filmed, all contribute to the atmosphere of this unique and enveloping work.
Stokes' practice has developed from a long-standing enquiry into events and beliefs that shape people’s lives and identities. Music – its history, sub-cultures and socio-political effects often provides the catalyst for researching and forming collaborative relationships with musicians, writers, actors, composers and communities, bringing together their interests, knowledge and skills in potentially conflicting situations. By exploring the resulting exchanges of ideas, the final outcomes challenge our assumptions and understanding about specific scenes or chosen ways of living.
The vocalists featured in Cantata Profana include: Anders Bakke (She Said Destroy, Norway), Chris Butterworth (Kastrated, UK), Dente (Rompeprop, Netherlands), Alex Hughes (Hatred Surge, USA), Alex Jockel (Krupskaya, UK), Der Kurt (Paroxysm, Germany).
- 1 April — 3 May 2015 *on now
This exhibition will explore the Bottom Nature of art and art making. In this context, Bottom Natures is a state which renders the viewer tongue tied or dumbstruck. This obstructive state has the potential to mislead and muddle ones mental faculties and perhaps, to better question what grounds these faculties in the first place. The exhibition features British and International artists, working in an array of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and video; with works that deploy repetition, humour, ambiguity, and contradiction to muddy the viewer's reading. It includes an interview with theorist and critic Sianne Ngai, whose essay Stuplimity, has informed the exhibition's focus. There will also be a coinciding day of lectures and presentations from invited speakers, organised by theorist and writer, Matthew Clements.
- Any age
BETWEEN THOUGHT AND SPACE
- 8 May — 7 June 2015
Dilston Grove is a unique historic site to engage with: a deconsecrated Italianate chapel built by Clare College, Cambridge in 1911, one of the first in-situ poured concrete structures built in the UK, and now, a dynamic exhibition venue. The building has qualities that typify Modernism and the Post-Industrial age; its austere bunker-like structure reminiscent of the process of mould-making, and its physical effect on ambient temperature are felt viscerally as well as through the intellect. The building is in some liminal state, between things, between histories, almost a ruin, yet physically resilient and as such reflects the ethos of the project.
Propositions will broaden the possibilities of what can be described as content or curating. Work includes the choreographic tracing of the building's exterior as a form of measure, the depiction of structures that imagine the building's construction and near destruction, and interpretations of the building's social uses over time through sculpture, live performance and sound.
As an exhibition, Between Thought and Space explores the democratic potential of site-research. Ongoing exchange and dialogue has enabled individuals to resist conclusions or rest upon 'what they would normally do' in order to respond more collectively to Dilston Grove, their work building directly upon the knowledge and esteem of a site vital within the area for over 100 years.
Ongoing live performances and re-positioning of works within the space throughout the exhibition, as well as an in-conversation will take place at the Architectural Association (AA) on 15 May 2015 between architectural historian Professor Jane Rendell and Sally Shaw, Head of Programmes, Modern Art Oxford, and previously Curator of Art on the Underground. This will be a discussion of the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and the creative, critical and even democratic potential of site-research, in relation to the contexts of both the Dilston Grove exhibition and contemporary practice in general.
- Any age
POLITICS OF AMNESIA II
- 20 May — 21 June 2015
In Part 2 of this two-part exhibition that looks at past trauma through the conduit of technology (Part 1 was at the Cafe Gallery in 2012), the technology is itself now presented as implicated in that very trauma it is representing. These artists look at the psyche of the body politic and reveal a condition of disquiet and concern through an interest in, or reference to that technology. Rather like the little girl in the film Poltergeist, they discern the faint echoes of failed past utopias through the technological notion of ‘progress’. However, here the sense of loss is ours, confronted with this spectacle, where that conduit is no longer neutral, but demands/commands our attention. Through its encroachment on our understanding narrative is interrupted, skewed, and not to be trusted. Like Walter Benjamin's angel, these artists look to the future by facing the past, witnessing "the storm we call progress" through a medium insistent on recycling of the present.
- Any age