Arnolfini invites Somerset-based artist-led organisation OSR Projects to take over our theatre space. With artists Andy Parker, Sam Jukes and Simon Lee Dicker, and a reading by guest writer Rosemary Shirley on Saturday at 4pm
In 1969 artists Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt and art dealer Virginia Dwan left the ‘art-world’ for the “Western deserts and lush jungles of Mexico”1 staying at the dilapidated Hotel Palenque. In 1971 Smithson presented Hotel Palenque as a slideshow lecture to architecture students from the University of Utah, exploring ideas of entropy and de-architecturalisation, in a style accurately described by curator Neville Wakefield as ‘more stoner than statesman’. This work still resonates 50 years on and has been represented in galleries and publications internationally.
OSR Projects will use Smithson’s Hotel Palenque as a conceptual back drop for a weekend event taking place at Arnolfini. Exploring contemporary ideas of entropy, de-architecturalisation and edgelands in the rural landscape the participating artists pay attention to what is airbrushed out of a collective imagination of the rural and focus on what lies in the peripheral vision. In addition, the work speaks to the traces of the exhibition of Robert Smithson at Arnolfini in 1977, which included films presented in the same theatre space as OSR will occupy.
Based in rural Somerset, OSR Projects produce ambitious, playful and socially-engaged projects. Established in 2011 by Simon Lee Dicker and Chantelle Henocq OSR Projects have worked with artists and partners from around the world connecting people through contemporary art. With focus on artist-led practice they have an evolving exhibition programme and host events including the biannual Od Arts festival that takes place across the villages of East and West Coker in Somerset.
Simon Lee Dicker was born within the ring of the M25 and now lives and works in Somerset, UK. His work explores a discordant relationship with landscape, the marks we make on the natural world, and what it means to be a human at the beginning of the Anthropocene. From intimate drawings and transient installations to event based social activities, each work is the start of a conversation, often evoking ritual activity and personal narratives that involve other people in the production and presentation of work.
Sam Jukes is an artist and educator who has, throughout his life, lived on the rural fringes of Britain. He creates works examining the relationship between the aesthetics, tactility, and sound of environments, using paint, objects and noise.
The sonic element of his practice grows out of his involvement in the 1990s sound system culture, taking the immersive and sonic qualities of large sound systems to evoke conversations about our relationship with the environment. Work often asks the viewer to consider the politics of rural landscapes, and the cultural context of their situations.
Andy Parker grew up in the naval city of Portsmouth and his complex relationship with the sea forms the backdrop to a diverse practice. Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007 he received a Deutsche Bank Award for Fine Art the same year. He has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. Preoccupied with ideas of communal progress and personal failings played out in a public arena his repetitive botanical painting, indiscernible sign writing, sinking sculpture and smudged drawings question the validity of received histories of human production.
1 Yucatan is Elsewhere – On Robert Smithson’s Hotel Palenque. Neville Wakefield