MAKE/SHIFT explores temporality, impermanence and [dis]location in the context of the built environment and ways in which these elements may inform shifting notions of place. The project, devised and curated by Charlotte A. Morgan, consists of a series of nine one day exhibitions presenting newly developed work by emerging artists and collectives. Based locally and nationally, the exhibiting artists work with sculpture, installation, intervention, participation, text and live performance.
The form and experience of the city is proposed as a complex network of spatial and social structures and relations – both real and imaginary – a perpetually modified whole denying clear definition. MAKE/SHIFT considers elements of the impermanent, the facade, the immediate, the transitory and the sustainable within these structures and relations; the design and construction processes that comprise the urban system and the networks, groups, encounters and communities formed by its inhabitants. The project also re-examines the perception of the individual daily encounter as fixed within the flow of the city’s immediate history, which alludes to, perhaps misleadingly, a locating of the self in relation to the environment.
The enquiry into the transitory aspects of the city is reflected in both the content and structure of the exhibition, which adjusts the arrangements by which the artists use the space and the audience encounter the work. Though the locality of Sheffield is not referenced directly in all of the works, its geography, industry and its current state of regenerative flux provide appropriate references for these considerations, which bear relevance at a time when issues of the global/local are of particular pertinence within many current discourses.
“When I think about Sheffield, I often think about the place aurally. From the sound of its rich musical past to the sound of its current architectural regeneration, this city seems to communicate itself to me through an orchestra of its own functions. Maybe it’s the bowled geography acting like a reverberation chamber, echoing the sound of its own making back in on itself. An Aural Guide to the City of Sheffield is an attempt to provide newcomers to the city with an alternative way to explore and learn about Sheffield with a free tourist booklet and posters highlighting locations of specific aural interest.”
Chris Clarke presents work produced during a recent research and development project. The works come from an approach to making work using pre-existing material, imagery and ideas as props which, when put together and according to how they are manipulated and framed, create new meanings in the spaces between them. Clarke is interested in the meanings that can be attached to images and objects – how this changes over time and when shown in a new context. Several new sculptural works will be shown along with drawing and super-8 film, these individual works building up a narrative constructed within the gallery space.
The University of Sheffield Table Tennis Club 2007-2008
Under the bracket of community and dialogical arts, the ‘Table Tennis Club’ is in one sense a model for selfless artistic investment whilst representing the relationship between art and everyone else after the utopian hysteria of Joseph Beuys.
In a present climate of conflict between art and sport, ‘Sheffield Table Tennis Club’ is a deliberate provocation. The investment of personal savings into a table tennis team pathetically evokes recent redistribution of government funding, the installation itself of an Olympic standard team into an art gallery in a city polarized by two separate cultures is concurrently antagonistic and consolidating.
‘a veil of asterisks over the scene’
Lye exhibits a series of new and related works, anchored by the piece ‘Amongst those left are you’, which takes the form of a set of minutes. Minutes are a typical method in most institutions of documenting a meeting. For the exhibition the viewer is presented with three sets of minutes. The minutes document a conversation between the curator Charlotte A Morgan and Robert Lye discussing the work in ‘a veil of asterisks over the scene’ before its installation.
The conversation is recorded and then played to an Office Manager, the artists mother, and the curator, it is then documented by the three different people, in the standard minute form. The documents show slight differences arising from the differing perspectives of the conversation and the gradual tension builds between the subjective interpretations and the façade of objectivity.
NO FIXED ABODE
A deposit of detritus reflecting our ever developing relationship with our immediate urban environment. These objects act as an archive of our borrowing and looting, of our documentation and also our desires for the future. All the more poignant at a time when this spatial reduction and erection is at the peak of its intensity and is far from resolved.
Ben Moon presents an invitation to engage with the ‘Cultural Industries Quarter’ that has made a home in and amongst where the old industrial works stood. Many of the workshops that continue to operate share their buildings with Sheffield’s music scene. Portland Works offer rehearsal, administrative and recording spaces for a diverse range of acts, at various stages of musical and professional development.
Drawing on the nature of these spaces whereby standing in the courtyards of these complexes, one is enveloped by the multifarious sounds of local musical talent. The space is depicted by a series of monitors and sounds, encouraging visitors to alter the evolving soundscape.
With reference to Sheffield City Council’s plans to replace the iconic landmarks that are the cooling towers at Tinsley with a public art work commissioned aim to ‘represent’ Sheffield to its inhabitants and visitors, TRANSIT comes to consider the folly of attempts to bring the rich contexts of a city into a single sculptural form for a singular audience, and the homogenising effects that such generalised representations can bring.
Through long term and varied interactions with Sheffield’s publics, TRANSIT aim to build an archive of places – from architectural and geographical features to transient occurrences and hidden marks – within the city and surrounding suburban areas. Presented as an alternative guide, this interim collection of contributions simultaneously holds personal relevance, shared significance and mundane indifference, reflecting the multiple and ever-changing internal and external factors informing the perception, experience and definition of place.
“Whenever I find myself confronted by great paintings there is always one aspect that I find inordinately compelling; their frames. I have a great admiration for painters who pay attention to their frames, Whistler once remarked that he designed his frames as carefully as his pictures ‘they form as important a part as any of the rest of my work – carrying on the particular harmony throughout’.
I invariably feel strange when I see paintings reproduced in books. It has to do with the lack of a frame. Frameless the images merge with the books as a whole; the white in the paintings is on the same plane as the white of the pages. There is no mediation between the image and the page, we are not afforded the window, the illusion of the fictional space of painting. During Da Vinci’s lifetime frames were often commissioned before the paintings. I like that.” Thom O’nions
DANIEL SIMPKINS & PENNY WHITEHEAD
Sheffield to Paris in under six hours
Under the weight of globalisation, independent activity is being displaced. The local is being crushed by the global – the regional overwritten by the international. In Sheffield and throughout the UK’s post-industrial North, local governmental regeneration strategies aspire to a new, continental re-branding, driven by pressures to compete on a global stage and fear of parochialism, the ultimate taboo.
Public resources are invested into high culture and the arts to attract private investment and commercial development, causing artists and independent traders alike to lose their place in the city to those able to pay as space becomes an increasingly unaffordable commodity. For one day only S1 Artspace will become a hub for the dissemination of the local and a representation of those faced with displacement.