Presence, Video in commision of BBC-London The tools are sound machines used for playback-sound for feature ﬁlms, now exchanged.
The Wolf in Winter includes artists Denys Blacker (UK, Spain and Thailand), Brian Catling (UK), Anet van de Elzen (Netherlands), Kirsten Norrie (Scotland), Ralf Wendt (Germany) and Aaron Williamson (UK) with guests Pepe Aymerick (Spain), Jessie Kleeman (Greenland), Myriam Laplante (Italy and Canada) and Jason Lim (Singapore).
The Wolves were foundered in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the home town of Hieronymus Bosch, in the winter of 2001 in response to the growing technical language and process of performance. As a result, their performances reduce this language by presenting only a performer, a light and a number of props as well as a savage desire to create atmosphere and tension. The artists’ shared interest in the mutation of mundane daily occurrences into structured performances is the cohesive force of the group, with each artist bringing their own individual interpretations and cultural perspectives to their collective performances.
The South London Gallery provides the setting for a unique and intriguing multimedia event, the creation of the Cyclops. This monumental video project draws it essence from the city around it, to construct a strange and powerful installation. As each day drains into night, the image of the Cyclops is thrown into vivid prominence and his accompanying monologue builds into a brutal roar within the created environment. Visitors experience the implied personality of an unknown creature, the Cyclops, made manifest through artistic process.
Cyclops is the ﬁfth step in the creation of Brian Catling’s mythological being, weaving a poetic relationship between words and images, touching installation, sculpture, literature and theatre. The exhibition melds contemporary technology with poetic vision, one of a series of exhibitions at the South London Gallery examining the possibilities opening up to artists using new media. The visual and emotional impact of Cyclops will create itself in the space of the South London Gallery in the mind’s eye and space of the viewer, art unrestrained by the wall.
Brian Catling brings a unique personal vision to events that are more than performance, visual exhibition or installation. Recent work includes Scroll (1994), staged in the King’s Library at the British Museum, a project linking the written word and the imaginative experience outwards into the space of the Library and the mind of the viewers, and The Blinding (Serpentine Gallery). Earlier stages of Cyclops have previously been seen in Germany, London and Paris.
Clepsydra: A Performance By Brian Catling, 1996 Clepsydra is a stealer, passing from one place to another, a wet road ﬁngering time, a calibration of the licking mouth, silent, a female drama, ancient getting thinner, a device, tempered against the inevitable pressure of ﬂood.
Brian Catling is a sculptor and performance artist as well as a poet -- but if, as Simon Perrill has said, “his work is less a raid on the inarticulate than a meditative translation of the properties of matter”, then poetry and sculpture may not be so different after all. In any case, a poet whose best-known work is called The Stumbling Block (Book Works, 1990) has probably not set out to make things easy on either the reader or himself. (from: KultureFlash Limited”poem of the week”17, 2004)
Migrant, 1999, Video, 40 min
Antix, Performance Matts Gallery London, 2005
Press Information “A sense of unease: a tincture of wonder in a pint of distrust”
Matt’s Gallery has commissioned sixteen nights of durational performance by Brian Catling that will take place between 1 and 16 October 2005 from 6pm until midnight.
Brian Catling will perform in an interior that will be constructed in the space in the weeks leading up to the exhibition. This installation will be a series of large wooden platforms and walkways, and an isolated stage-like island. The audience will enter via a raised narrow platform that frames the room, giving an elevated view onto the central well where most of the performance will occur.
A series of carefully made instruments and sculptural devices will give detail to the room. They will include a pulpit, a pendulum, a mechanical ivory ribcage, a pearly-king dunce cone, a cooking stove, a wooden great coat; a cloak of hinges and varnished shards. Catling will operate these objects during the six hours each evening. He and some of the machines may appear to be on the same circuit, sharing moments of activity and stasis. He will also interact with the audience as they peer down into the square pit where he is contained.
Antix will be created by the room divining the actions and the actions explaining the room. Many of them are not yet known, and will not be until after it is all over.