Mat Chivers | Solo Exhibition

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Dates: 17 October – 23 November 2013

Opening Reception: 17 October 8-11pm

Location: Art Professionals-In-Athens Residency, Athinas 12, 2nd Floor, Monastiraki, Athens

Mat Chivers solo exhibition at Art Professionals – In – Athens Residency looks at the relationship between the seemingly polarised phenomena of our subjective and sensual relationship with the world and that of the universal geometric constants that underlie them. Drawing from his experience of a period of intense focus in Athens the artist has made new works that take his art practice into new territory. Central to these projects is the notion of collaboration. He aims to present a body of work that attempts to go beyond a specific reference to the extraordinary events unfolding in the social and political fabric of Greek society at this moment in time and to instead concentrate on what unifies us as a species rather than what divides.

Root’

2013

Durational multi media performance, sand, digital sound composition, two performers: Ms Christina Reinhardt & Mr Nondas Damopoulos, 1 x musician 8m x 4.94m/15 minutes

Acclaimed greek composer and choreographer Yorgos Simeonidis and Iris Karayan have been invited by the artist to collaborate in the evolution of a multi media work in response to a geometric pattern known as ‘The Flower of Life’. This geometry can be created by inscribing a circle with compasses, placing the compasses on the circumference of the circle and inscribing a second circle. The compasses are then placed at the points where the arc of the second circle intersects the first and another circle inscribed. This method can be repeated indefinitely to result in an exquisitely beautiful and philosophically significant tessellating pattern.

The performance opens with a sudden and overwhelmingly loud block of sound sampled from recent political demonstrations in Athens. Individual voices will be only barely discernible. The sound stops abruptly and a new digitally generated sound is heard. Part played and part programmed the sound has the quality of the classical Greek double reed pipe called Avlos. The ensuing composition has a Middle Eastern quality that reflects Yorgos Simeonidis’ exploration of the roots of the modal system that is used in the Arabic countries and Turkey since the 15th Century and is based on a melodic system that dates back to classical Greek music and Pythagoras. The foundation of the composition is a continuous sound derived from the idea of circular movements through sand that echoes the physical movements in space and time of the performers

In this work two performers – a man and a woman simply attired in black and white clothing – choreographed by Iris Karayan, will attempt to use there bodies as ‘compasses’ to describe the ‘Flower of Life’ geometry in black river sand, revealing the pale surface of the gallery floor beneath as the line of the drawing. This seemingly simple act is phenomenally challenging for the performers and as their meditative movement over the surface of the material progresses – initially interweaving along a central axis of symmetry and then fanning out across the space – the marks they make will move from precise to chaotic as their bodies tire.

The performance will occur on the opening night of the exhibition and the ‘drawing’ will remain as a ‘relic’ in the gallery over the course of the show accompanied by a filmic document of the performance to be screened alongside. The work will also be re-presented as a free public event in the location of Monastiraki square in the heart of historical Athens at the end of the gallery exhibition on the 23rd of November at 5pm.

Developed as a site-specific project in the birthplace of modern geometry, ‘Root’ attempts to go beyond a direct reference to the extraordinary events unfolding in the social and political fabric of Greek society at the time of the works conception, but instead concentrates on what unifies us as a species rather than that which divides. Rooted in the proportions and bilateral symmetry of the human body and the asymmetrical nature of its expression in the world, the work combines elements of the past, present and future in an enigmatic experience that defies a definitive reading.

Dialogic’

2013

Marble, poplar wood

180 x 100 x 150 cm

A photograph of an iceberg found on the internet has been given to a stone mason with the instruction to carve his interpretation of the iceberg in one half of a block of white marble. Of course the photograph will only give a 2 dimensional perspective but the direction will be given that the mason should repeat the form on the other side resulting in a three dimensional object. Half of the block shall be left untouched.

The mason who carved the first half will attempt to describe in words to the best of his ability the form of the carving that he has just made to a second mason. No images or gestures will be used – simply a written or verbally communicated description. The carved half will be wrapped in such a way that the second mason cannot see the first masons work but will carve his own version based on the written/verbal description.

The finished object will be precisely located into a table top at its midway point so that the first half is above the surface – the second half below. A chair will be placed at either end of the table. The work will be presented on a plinth that raises the work so that the viewer can see both halves of the ‘iceberg.’

Alluding to the nature of dialogue, the sculpture presents the idea of ‘failure’ as a key element in the evolution of creative discourse and the birth of new meaning.

Pythia’

2013

Pencil and inkjet print on paper

75 x 55 cm

Pythia is the name given to the Oracle of Delphi, priestess at the Temple of Apollo on the slopes of Mount Parnassus beneath the Castalian Spring. The Oracle was established in the 8th C BC and was abandoned around 400 AD. Historical records show that the priestess served a divinatory function and would be visited by those wishing guidance in matters ranging from issues of state through to the commonplace and domestic

After a journey to Delphi a mirrored drawing has been made from the Sibyl Rock – an outcrop of rock on which the Pythia is reported to have stood to speak her prophecies. The drawing is superimposed over a print made from a fly poster advertising a political demonstration collected from the area in Athens where anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was murdered by fascist Golden Dawn members on September 18th 2013. The layering of imagery presents an ambiguous surface for the projection of the viewer’s subjective reading

Untitled’

A number of physical models were made where parameters were defined and a process set in motion. The two larger objects were constructed using a combination of four and eight equilateral triangles joined in an open configuration so that they partially enclose space. I have injected polyurethane foam into the void which has expanded, constrained by the containing geometry, matter expanding over time and in space until its energy balances with the physical variables that constitute it and the environment in which it was formed and its growth ceases. I then selected one object from this series that I believe presented the most dynamic and archetypal form which has been cast in aluminium.

The driving idea behind this group of sculptural works is that material phenomena are governed or defined by fundamental geometric principles. Bringing together two timelessly relevant and poetically rich ideas – symmetry in the form of a pure geometric framework and asymmetry as expressed through an entropic event.

Between the Night and the Day and the day and the Night’

2012

5 x drawings, hand ground Japanese Sumi ink on Bunko Shi paper

66 x 91 cm

Between the Night and the Day and the day and the Night’

2012

9 x drawings, hand ground Japanese Sumi ink on Moriki Kozo paper

49 x 64 cm

Found throughout the world in areas of early human habitation, the hand print is one of the earliest known forms of conscious human mark making as signifier. The human hand and the ways in which we have used it to develop and employ increasingly complex tools could be said to be that which sets us apart from the majority of the animal kingdom through our intellectual comprehension of the world within which we exist and our consequent manipulation of it. Importantly, in contrast to this idea, the hand also exists as a primary organ in our sensual relationship with each other and the world.

All of the drawings are made using yellow, red and blue pigments. Yellow, red and blue are the primary colours that white light is broken down into when it passes through a prism. Light is the vehicle with which our eyes take in information from the world outside our bodies. I am interested in the phenomenology of perception – particularly in the relationship between the eye, the hand and the brain.

These works explore what happens when a primary, sensual and subjective form of mark making – the hand print – is brought into conjunction with a linear mesh that alludes to the fundamental geometries that permeate all spatio temporal realities and are the building blocks of materiality. Made using a compass – one of the most simple yet sophisticated tools for generating geometry – the linear ‘Flower of Life’ that threads through all of these works provides a rhythm that paradoxically unifies and fractures. These works combine bilateral symmetry that echoes that of our own bodies with a subtle asymmetry resulting in objects that are open to and invite diverse interpretation.

Overlay’

2012HD digital film, 10 minutes 10 seconds (edition of 5)

Overlay‘ presents a portrait of the extraordinary geology exposed in the cliff face near Dancing Ledge at Purbeck, UK a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Combining an awareness of the art that came about as an exploration of the relationship between humanity and the wider non-human environment during the Romantic period with cutting edge contemporary digital envisioning technology, the film was shot in the gauzy light of a summer dawn from a boat on the sea below the cliffs.

Animated by the ebb and flow of the waves, the camera tracks the cliff face as the vessel is lifted and turned by the ocean. About 20 million years ago the African tectonic plate began to collide with the Eurasian tectonic plate causing stress fractures to oscillate out into the wider geology beyond the zone of impact. Exposed and eroded over the millennia by the repeated action of wind, rain, sea and sun, the 90 degree faulting that gives the Portland limestone its distinctive appearance is the northernmost manifestation of this momentous event that occurred in the deep geological past. A vintage recording of West African percussionists was played on the boat at the same time as the film was being captured. Shot in slow motion the soundtrack and the film exist in symbiosis with each other, the deep base rhythm of the music slowed to a grinding pulse, subtly alluding to the African source of the physical phenomenon we see in the film.

The films moving image is mirrored along a vertical axis and is located within a distinctive framing device that derives from a combination of hand drawn and computer generated layers of geometry that refer to the fundamental patterns and processes that underlie the formation of the geology. The compelling phenomenon of symmetry in flux employed in the film has the potential to induce a state of ambiguity – a space where archetypal images surface and play across the viewers awareness.

'ROOT' PERFORMANCE 1 copy 'ROOT' REHEARSAL 2b copy 'ROOT' REHEARSAL 3b copy 'ROOT' RELIC 1 copy 2013 'Dialogic' plaster and poplar wood, 180 x 100 x 150 cm 2013 'Nopeia' hand cut found protest posters, 226 x 109 cm, detail 2013 'Nopeia' hand cut found protest posters, 226 x 109 cm 2013 'Untitled' cast aluminium, 40 x 35 x 25 cm

17 Οκτωβρίου- 23 Νοεμβρίου 2013 :: Εγκαίνια 23 Νοεμβρίου 8-11μμ

Εκθεσιακός Χώρος “ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ,” Αθηνάς 12, 2ος όροφος, Μοναστηράκι, Αθήνα

Η ατομική έκθεση του βρετανού εικαστικού Mat Chivers με τίτλο Between the Night and the Day and the Day and the Night(Ανάμεσα στη Νύχτα και τη Μέρα και τη Μέρα και τη Νύχτα), που παρουσιάζεται στα πλαίσια του νέου προγράμματος “Art Professionals-In-Athens Residency: Πρόγραμμα Φιλοξενίας Καλλιτεχνών και Προσωπικοτήτων της Τέχνης και Παραγωγής Δημιουργικών Δραστηριοτήτων και Εικαστικών Έργων,εξετάζει τα αντίρροπα φαινόμενα της υποκειμενικής και αισθησιακής σχέσης του ατόμου με τον κόσμο, καθώς και των γεωμετρικών σταθερών που τα διέπουν. Τό έργο του Chivers λειτουργεί (ή ταλαντεύεται) ανάμεσα σε πραγματικότητες (Νύχτα/Μέρα, Σκότος/Φώς, Ορατό/Αόρατο, Παρουσία/Απουσία, Κίνηση/Στάση, Πολιτικό/Προσωπικό, Αισθησιακό/Νοητικό) και ανάμεσα σε καλλιτεχνικά μέσα (σχέδιο/βίντεο, γλυπτική/εγκαταστάσεις, ήχος/κίνηση), ενώ εστιάζει στους ενδιάμεσους χώρους που προκύπτουν απο αυτες τις φαινομενικά αντίθετες έννοιες και μέσα.

Η νέα ενότητα έργων του καλλιτέχνη που πραγματοποιήθηκαν κατα τη διάρκεια της διαμονής του στο Art Professionals-In-Athens Residency επιχειρεί να ερμηνεύσει τα περιστατικά που λαμβάνουν χώρα στο κοινωνικό και πολιτικό φάσμα της Ελλάδας, δίνοντας έμφαση στα στοιχεία που μπορούν να συμβάλουν στην ομόνοια και στην ενότητα του κοινωνικού συνόλου. Η κεντρική εγκατάσταση με δρώμενα “Root” εμπνέεται απο τις αναλογίες της διμερούς συμμετρίας του ανθρώπινου σώματος και της ασύμμετρης έκφρασης του στον κόσμο, το έργο ενσωματώνει στοιχεία του παρελθόντος, του παρόντος και του μέλλοντος σε μια αινιγματική εμπειρία που αρνείται τις απόλυτες αναγνώσεις. Ο καλλιτέχνης βασίζεται σε αυτή την αμφισημία της σωματικότητας επιχειρώντας να ανακινήσει νέες σχέσεις μεταξύ της τέχνης και της γεωμετρίας.

Το έργο “Roots,” σε σύνθεση του μουσικού Γιώργου Συμεωνίδη και της χορογράφου Ίρις Κάραγιαν, θα εγκαινιάσει και το πρόγραμμα PublicScapes: Σύγχρονη Τέχνη και Επιμελητικές Πρακτικές στο Δημόσιο Χώρο που θα παρουσιάστει στα πλαίσια του Residency στην Πλατεία Μοναστηρακίου στις 23 Νοεμβρίου 2013. Το πρόγραμμα περιλαμβάνει κορυφαίες προσωπικότητες από τις τέχνες, εικαστικούς χορευτές, χορογράφους και αρχιτέκτονες που θα συμμετέχουν σε εκδηλώσεις, παρεμβάσεις, εγκαταστάσεις και δράσεις σε σχέση με το κοινωνικό πλαίσιο που διαμορφώνεται ο δημόσιος χώρος στην Αθήνα.

Εικαστικός: Mat Chivers

Ηχητική Εγκατάσταση: Γιώργος Συμεωνίδης

Χορογραφία: Ίρις Κάραγιαν Performer: Christina Reinhardt & Νώντας Δαμόπουλος

Επιμέλεια Δρ. Σωζήτα Γκουντούνα

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