Thursday 8 October 2020
Free, booking required.
For this Research Network event, curator Jessica Taylor will present a reading of artist Helen Cammock’s 2016 video work There’s A Hole in the Sky Part I and invite Helen to respond to a series of questions posed within that reading. Jessica will examine the relationship between landscape and poetics in the film, through the way in which Helen has assembled filmed footage of Barbados, songs written by the artist, and prose by Caribbean writers such as George Lamming and Derek Walcott to produce her own reading of the island landscape and her position within it.
Through a focus on the sugar industry in Barbados, Helen’s film speaks to the movement of people between the Caribbean and the UK across time; journeys undertaken by force, through necessity, and by choice. Movements that are inscribed in both landscapes and have shaped centuries of cultural production. Movements that have been and remain unequal and dependent on extraction from the Caribbean.
This exchange will attempt to refuse institutional interpretations of depictions of the Caribbean as elsewhere, rather than the place that is pivotal to the emergence of so-called ‘global’ societies; and it will take up the specificity of the context of the Caribbean within the texts of the writers that Helen pays homage to, whose works are increasingly applied to de-contextualized discussions around migration and hybridity. In doing so, it will seek to provide a reading of There’s A Hole in the Sky Part I that takes up Helen’s provocations around travel, labour, production and inequality as explored through the subject of the sugar industry, and extends them towards the cultural industries within which we sit in the UK today.
Listen to the event recording
Jessica Taylor is a Barbadian curator and producer based in London. As the Head of Programmes of International Curators Forum, Jessica co-curated the Diaspora Pavilion exhibitions in Venice and Wolverhampton, and multiple film and performance programmes such as An Alternative Map of the Universe at Guest Projects in London, Migrating Cities as part of the Spark Festival in Hong Kong, Sensational Bodies as part of the Jerwood Staging Series, and Monster and Island with artist Sheena Rose at the Royal Academy London. Jessica also produced the exhibition Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World at the Barbados Museum and the multi-site programme Curating the International Diaspora in Sharjah, Barbados and Martinique.
Helen Cammock was the joint winner of the Turner Prize 2019 and her exhibition The Long Note, was presented at Turner Contemporary, Margate as part of Turner Prize, 2019. She was winner of the 7th Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Her subsequent exhibition, Che Si Può Fare (What Can Be Done) premiered at Whitechapel Gallery, London from June – September 2019 and and then moved to Collezione Maramotti, Italy. Her film They Call It Idelwild, 2020 commissioned by Wysing was shown at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria and is currently part of a new show I decided I Want To Walk at Kate MacGarry, London.
A new film Concrete Feather and Porcelain Tacks, has been commissioned with Film and Video Umbrella, London; Touchstones Museum, Rochdale, and The Photographers Gallery, London and will be exhibited in solo exhibitions at The Photographers Gallery and Rochdale Museum in 2021. Later this year Serpentine Gallery, London will present Cammock’s project Radio Ballad: Bass Notes and Sitelines, a radio programme and series of live performance events.
The Long Note premiered at VOID, Derry, Northern Ireland; and showed at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2019. Other solo exhibitions include I Decided I Want to Walk, Kate MacGarry Gallery, London (2020), The Sound of Words, Reading Museum, UK (2019) and Shouting In Whispers, Cubitt, London (2017). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at; Somerset House, Hollybush Gardens, London and FirstSite, Colchester, Hamburg Kunsthalle, Germany Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria and she has staged performances at The Showroom, Whitechapel Gallery and the ICA in London and a Maramotti Collection, Italy.
Cammock was born in Staffordshire, UK in 1970 and lives and works in Brighton and London. She is represented by Kate MacGarry, London.
Image: Helen Cammock, There’s A Hole in the Sky Part I (2016), film still.