DESTIG @ VENICE
The Scotland + Venice partnership presents SaF05, a new single-channel video by 2018 Turner Prize-winning artist Charlotte Prodger for the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
This commission – the artist’s most ambitious to date – is curated by Linsey Young with Cove Park and takes place from 11 May – 24 November 2019 at Arsenale Docks in the utilitarian workshop of a boatyard, repurposed for Prodger’s installation.
Charlotte Prodger works with moving image, sculpture, writing and performance. Much of Prodger’s work looks at subjectivity, self- determination and queerness. SaF05 is the last in a trilogy of videos that began with Stoneymollan Trail (2015) and was followed by BRIDGIT (2016). Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain, said the jury felt BRIDGIT was “incredibly impressive in the way that it dealt with lived experience, the formation of a sense of self through disparate references”. He said the work evoked traditions in landscape art and had psychological weight. “It ends up being so unexpectedly expansive. This is not what we expect from video clips shot on iPhones.”
This autobiographical cycle traces the accumulation of affinities, desires and losses that form a self as it moves forward in time. SaF05 draws upon multiple sources – archival, scientific and diaristic – and combines footage from a number of geo-graphical locations (the Scottish Highlands, the Great Basin Desert, the Okavango Delta and the Ionian Islands).
SaF05 is named after a maned lioness that figures in the work as a cipher for queer attachment and desire. This animal is the last of several maned lionesses documented in the Okavango Delta and is only known to Prodger through a database of behaviours and camera-trap footage logged across several years. These indexes of SaF05’s existence are intersected with autobiographical fragments from Prodger’s own life that fluctuate between proximity and distance. Her voiceover traces a chronology of intimate gestures and interpersonal connections from prepubescence to the present, inscribed with the incidental details of territorial delineation, sovereignty and land use. Central to these fluctuations is a tension between macro and micro, the experienced and the described.
Prodger’s preoccupation with perspective, framing and the physicality of the camera as a sculptural device is expanded in SaF05. Film industry cameras, static camera traps, drones and small handheld devices such as Prodger’s smart phone are each used for their inherent material properties. The effects and affects of these technologies are reverberated in the voiceover’s references to optical devices, while vibrating frequencies – bagpipe drone, cicada mating call, battery alarm – form aural equivalences between animal and human, instrument and machine.
The artist comments: “Growing up in the rural, agricultural environment of Aberdeenshire as a young person, I understand landscape and queerness as inherently linked. And, as someone who identifies as queer, I’m excited by the fluid borders of identity – especially the perceived edges of gender and geography. The productive crux of this new work is precisely where all these things come into contact with one another.”
Visitors to the exhibition will be welcomed by a team of staff trained through the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme. The programme offers 17 early career artists and curators from across Scotland a unique and valuable opportunity to stay in Venice, learn new skills, develop international networks and gain professional experience while supporting Prodger’s presentation at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
From 27 June 2019, Prodger’s new work will tour cinemas across Scotland’s west coast, highlands and islands. The Dutch arts organisation, If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution, who are supporting the production of Prodger’s video work, will lead on a subsequent international tour.
Charlotte Prodger was born in Bournemouth, UK in 1974. She studied at Goldsmiths, London and The Glasgow School of Art and lives and works in Glasgow. Winner of the 2018 Turner Prize, Prodger has also received the 2014 Margaret Tait Award and 2017 Paul Hamlyn Award. Selected solo exhibitions include: Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2018); BRIDGIT/Stoneymollan Trail, Bergen Kunsthall; Subtotal, SculptureCenter, New York (2017); BRIDGIT, Hollybush Gardens, London;Charlotte Prodger, Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2016); 8004–8019, Spike Island, Bristol; Stoneymollan Trail, Temple Bar, Dublin (2015); Nephatiti, Glasgow International Director’s Programme; Markets(with The Block), Chelsea Space, London (2014); Percussion Biface 1-13, Studio Voltaire, London; COLON HYPHEN ASTERIX, Intermedia CCA, Glasgow (2012); Handclap/Punchhole, Kendall Koppe, Glasgow (2011). Selected group exhibitions include: Always Different, Always the Same: An Essay on Art and Systems, Bunder Kunstmuseum, Chur; ORGASMIC STREAMING ORGANIC GARDENING ELECTROCULTURE, Chelsea Space, London (2018); British Art Show 8(2016); Weight of Data, Tate Britain, London; An Interior that Remains an Exterior, Künstlerhaus Graz (2015); Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York (2014).
Linsey Young is a curator based in London and Glasgow. Having previously held curatorial positions at Inverleith House, Edinburgh, and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Young is currently Curator Contemporary British Art at Tate, where she is lead curator of the Turner Prize, responsible for overseeing the project each time it is held in London. In addition, while at Tate she has co-curated Rachel Whiteread’s mid-career retrospective and curated Pablo Bronstein and Anthea Hamilton’s Duveen commissions. In 2013, Young founded the independent, not-for-profit project YOUNG TEAM through which she has curated exhibitions and developed publications with artists such as: Sue Tompkins, Neal Jones, Jonathan Meese and Steven Campbell. Working with the artist Charlotte Prodger, Young is Commissioner and Curator of Scotland + Venice 2019
Located on the west coast of Scotland in Argyll and Bute, Cove Park runs an annual programme of creative development residencies for national and international artists, working in all art forms and at all stages in their careers. Cove Park’s Visual Arts programme offers both residencies and commissions, produced and curated by Alexia Holt, enabling artists to develop new work in the context of an outstanding 50-acre rural site overlooking Loch Long. The organisation’s award-winning Artists Centre, a purpose-built space for artists and visitors, opened in 2016 and made possible the development of Cove Park’s innovative creative learning programme led by current and former residents. Cove Park was founded in 1999 by Eileen and Peter Jacobs and will celebrate 20 years of its residency programme in 2020.
For further information please visit: http://covepark.org