Institute will present new work by Mark J Harris and Duncan Mountford. For a number of years Harris and Mountford have been working separately around ideas of the institute/institution with points of praxis that move around and between utopian and dystopian ideologies that surround the museum, the gallery, the house, and the perceptions and institutions of knowledge.

This exhibition at Plan 9 will be Harris’s third investigation into what he calls ‘possible anti space.’ He will concentrate less on the gallery as a mass of space, but will instead fragment his ideas and findings into a series of constructions, placements and spatial interventions. Mountford will present a series of ‘optical machines’ that house small screens on which video shall be displayed. Their situation within the gallery space will follow the dictates of the devices as machines that have a function, although this function will not be stated.

Institute, in conversation.
Speakers: Mark J Harris, Duncan Mountford, John Newling, Roddy Hunter
Date: Thu 28 May 2009, 6.30 – 8pm
Location: Spike Island Associates Space , Bristol

Accompanying the main exhibition an ‘in conversation’ event will be held at the Associate Space at Spike Island. The talk will be in response to the exhibition and will also discuss art and the institution within a broader context. The specially invited guests John Newling and Roddy Hunter will lead the talk, both are internationally renowned artists whose work covers a broad range of practice encompassing installation, projects, performance, writing and gallery-based work.

Mark J Harris is a Bristol based artist who exhibits both nationally and internationally, who recently completed a residency/exhibition at Platform, Vaasa, Finland in March 2009. Other exhibitions include Oliver Holt Gallery, Dorset, UK; Elastic Residence, London, UK; Catalyst Arts, Belfast, Ireland; Dartington Gallery, Devon, UK; The Star and Dove Contemporary Artspace, Bristol, UK, EXPO, Nottingham.

Harris creates spaces, installations, constructions, interventions and drawings. Themes and ideas that run consistently throughout Harris’s work include space, environment and experience, and through a process of construction, displacement and re-contextualisation, Harris attempts to unearth an understanding around the meaning of common social trends, actions and decisions. More recently Harris has started to merge his core ideologies around space with classical utopian theories.

Duncan Mountford is an artist based in London. Recent solo projects include installations in Dartington Gallery, UK; Ginza Art Laboratory and Koiwa Project Space, Tokyo Japan; Derby Museum and Art Gallery, UK; and Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum, UK. He has also participated in group exhibitions in London and Australia and a residency/exhibition in Macau, China.

Mountford’s work encompasses installation, sculpture, video and writing, and deals with a set of interrelating ideas around the production, presentation and institutionalization of knowledge. Recent projects and research have focused on the Far East and have involved questioning Western views on the philosophical construction of the world.

* Other Participants

John Newling has an acclaimed international reputation, creating projects and installing works across Europe, the Far East and the USA. His practice is part of a widening evolution of new strategies for arts production and dissemination that emerged in the mid 20th century and continues to create new knowledge and expressions in the 21st century. To this end Newling has innovated the possibilities and benefits for art in a renewed social and conceptual framework.
Reviews and critiques of his work have been included in, amongst others, Sculpture in 20th Century Britain (Henry Moore Institute), Installation Art in the New Millennium: The Empire of the Senses (Thames and Hudson). In 2005 a double volume monograph of his research essays from 1994 to 2005 was also published.

John Newling is currently Professor of Installation Sculpture at The Nottingham Trent University.

Roddy Hunter is an artist, lecturer, and writer whose practice investigates performance/installation arts practice in relation to the built environment; urban anthropology; cultural production and reception; 20th Century theories and practices of the avant-garde. His Practice-led research has been published, exhibited and disseminated throughout Europe as well as in North America, Asia and the Middle East. Some of this work has featured in Ice Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture (Phaidon, 2007) and in his first monograph publication Civil Twilight & Other Social Works (Trace Samizdat, 2007).

Roddy Hunter entered teaching at Dartington College of Arts in 1998 where he later became Director of Art before leaving in 2007 to take up his present position at York St John University, UK

* Institute and ‘in conversation’ have been curated and initiated by Mark J Harris and are funded and supported by Arts Council England, Plan 9 and Spike Island Associates Programme.

Event Title: Institute
Postcode: BS1
Further Details:
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