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Arnolfini - est 1961

The Silk Purse Procedure
A collaboration between Arnolfini and Spike Island, this group exhibition brings together a range of work in which the original meaning or form of an object is lost through a process of transformation. Referring to the proverb “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”, the exhibition’s title insists that such metaphorical transformations are possible through art.
The artists in The Silk Purse Procedure share a common interest in remaking, yet their philosophical positions vary greatly; some are concerned with the poetic potential of alchemical processes, whilst others are concerned directly with consumer culture. Their investigations yield startling results, whether it is Cornelia Parker’s conversion of confiscated pornographic film into intriguing Rorschach drawings; Dario Robleto’s whittling of an historic baseball bat down to two single toothpicks; Simon Wood’s proposal to convert his deceased body into an industrial diamond or William Speakman’s elegant comment on the production of gourmet delicacies from fish.

Other artists in the exhibition include Janine Antoni, Jonathan Callan, Duncan Cameron, Dorothy Cross, Adam Dade & Sonya Hanney, Wim Delvoye, Peter Harris, Kathleen Herbert, Mark Hosking, Dean Hughes, Dan Peterman, Rob Pruitt, Savage, Simon Starling and Måns Wrange. Simon Starling’s film Short Story, Brief History (A film to be shown backwards as well as forwards), 15 mins, 1999 will be screened at 5pm in the cinema every day there is a film screening. Free admission. A number of the works raise complex ethical issues which may disturb some people. The exhibition is curated by Claire Doherty and Catsou Roberts across both Bristol venues.

Supported by Mondriaan Foundation, Netherlands and Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Spike Island is at 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6UX, 20 minutes walk along the harbourside or 3 minutes drive from Arnolfini. Full directions and a map are available at Arnolfini.
Spike Island is a unique environment devoted to the production and exhibition of contemporary visual arts. Its growing artistic programme combines production and presentation through a series of residencies, exhibitions and public talks. For more information please telephone 0117 929 2266 or email