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Rod Dickinson in collaboration with Steve Rushton

Performed by Albert Welling and Bill Neenan

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How

November 19th 2010 - January 16th 2011

Opening Thursday November 18th: 6pm-9pm

 
 

Alma Enterprises is pleased to present Who, What, Where, When, Why and How a solo show by British artist Rod Dickinson. The show will be the UK premier of his new video installation that was made in collaboration with Steve Rushton. The show marks an important return to Alma's previous focus on exploring the potential of the performative as a mode of critique and exposure within art practice.

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How interrogates the historical form and role of the presidential speech and governmental press briefing and is set in a meticulously constructed press conference environment, where two actors deliver a simulated forty five minute press briefing.

The script is composed solely of fragments of speeches and press statements from the cold war onwards and focuses on the way in which similar declarations and political rhetoric have been repeated and reused by numerous governments across continents and ideological divides to justify acts of aggression and state sanctioned violence.

The viewer is drawn into the speech by the seamless and forceful delivery of the actors, whilst the documentary sources of the script are revealed simultaneously on two presidential style autocues which display the scrolling script of the speech and expose it's repetitive, fragmentary and modular structure.

As a result the language and method of constructing such rhetoric is highlighted alongside its visual and theatrical syntax. The repetition of this methodology throughout recent history and the seamless flow of the briefing reveals how this method of social control has remained an effective tool for justifying state aggression, often recasting it as a humanitarian act or the solution to an impending danger.

During this exhibition on January 13th 2011 the Showroom, London will host a live performance of Closed Circuit, a companion piece to Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

The video installation is a recording of a live performance of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How that was first produced at SMART project space in Amsterdam in 2009 and was performed by Albert Welling and William Neenan. The script of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How is co-written by Steve Rushton, a writer and co-founder of Signal:Noise, a research project about the pervasive role of feedback mechanisms in contemporary culture.

Download Press Release

Further Information: Rod Dickinson's website

Biography

Rod Dickinson is a visual artist and Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at The University of West England in Bristol, his work explores ideas of control and mediation and focuses on the way in which our behaviour is moderated by feedback systems. Using detailed research into moments of the past and present, he has made a series of meticulously re-enacted events that represent various mechanisms of social control.

Most recently he has presented work at the Pompidou Centre with theorist Bruno Latour (23rd June 2010) and at The Arts Council Longside Gallery in Yorkshire Sculpture Park (24nd July - 10th October 2010). At Longside the Arts Council presented 'Greenwich Degree Zero' (with Tom McCarthy, 2006) an installation of recreated media that surrounded an 1894 Anarchist bomb plot to destroy Greenwich Observatory.

His most recent live project 'Closed Circuit' - an examination of political rhetoric and the government press briefing - was staged at Stara Elektrarna (The Old Power Station) Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 28 August 2010, as part of the International festival Mladi levi. 'Closed Circuit' was made in collaboration with writer Steve Rushton and commissioned and produced by Aksioma Institute for Contemporary Art.

Previous exhibitions in the last few years have included: The Art of Iconoclasm (part of BAK's project The Return of Religion and Other Myths, 2008-2009), History Will Repeat Itself - Strategies of Re-enactment in Contemporary Art, Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund, 2007, Kunst Werke, Berlin, 2007-2008, and Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2008; Greenwich Degree Zero, Beaconsfield Gallery, London, 2006; and The Western Front Gallery, Vancouver, 2005. Dickinson's other recent exhibitions, include: The Institute of Psychoplasmics, Pump House Gallery, London, 2008 and Prophets of Deceit, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, 2007. Rod Dickinson lives and works in Bristol and London.

For more information please contact info@almaenterprises.com - 07894 078 994

 
Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, Rod Dickinson in collaboration with Steve Rushton, 2009, (photo credit Nicki Musgrave)


Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, Rod Dickinson in collaboration with Steve Rushton, 2009, (photo credit Nicki Musgrave)

 

 

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