The Arca Project: An Exhibition Inspired by the Work of W.G.Sebald - London
Presented by PayneShurvell
22 February - 6 April 2018
Thursday 22 February 6pm - 8pm
Open 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday
The Arca Project is an exhibition consisting of 16 visual and 16 textual responses to one single image. The image (a black-and-white photo of a chip shop) worked as a starting point for the writers who were asked to use it as the inspiration for a piece of writing of any length. The only limitation was the uniform paper orientation and size. The artists had the same limitations but would create an artwork directly over the image. The finished responses are displayed as diptychs; one textual and one visual. The recurrence of this single image offers many interpretations. All are fictitious. It is a game of false interpretations. The idea is to have artists and writers in a disorientating Sebaldian mix of fact and fiction, documentary and reality. Each response has been realised as a limited edition print, developed and made by Invisible Print Studio.
Winfried Georg Sebald, known as W.G.Sebald or Max, was a writer and academic. Before his un- timely death in 2001, aged 57, W.G.Sebald was recognized as one of the most important and innov- ative writers of the late twentieth century. His four genre-defying books – Vertigo (1990/English ed. 1999), The Emigrants (1992/English ed.1996), The Rings of Saturn (1995/English ed.1998) and Austerlitz (2001) are notable for their curious and wide-ranging mixture of fact (or apparent fact), recollection and fiction. They also have a dry and mischievous sense of humour, punctuated with indistinct black-and-white photographs, that were often doctored themselves, offering an evocative counterpoint to the narrative rather than illustrating it directly. The Arca Project is not an exhibition about W.G.Sebald but a concept that has been imbedded with his influence and inspiration. There is a form of sentiment and homage within the project, as a diptych exists for each year since Sebald’s death, a new one being added on 14th December each year.
In a playful nod to W.G.Sebald’s fateful occurrences or coincidences, the entire show is re-hung daily in the most random way possible; pulling names out of a hat. By quirks of chance the daily hang dictates how the work can be ‘read’ by the audience, depending on when they visit.
This exhibition opened at PayneShurvell’s new Suffolk gallery in April 2017. The London show will be presented at a gallery at 7-9 William Road, London NW1 3ER. Additional events, including talks, will take place during the run of the exhibition. The Arca Project draws its title from an essay by Graeme Gilloch, The ‘Arca Project’: W.G.Sebald’s Corsica published in A Literature of Restitution: Critical Essays on W.G.Sebald (2013 Manchester University Press).
Artists and writers involved include: Andrew Bick, Craig Burnett, Andrew Curtis, Karen Engle, Adam Fish, Emma Fraser, Lindsey Freeman, Graeme Gilloch, Steph Goodger, Oona Grimes, Tony Grisoni, Catherine Haines, Michael Hall, Molly Jarboe, Jaeho Kang, Naiza Khan, Jane Kilby, Abigail Lane, Richard Makin, Bob Matthews, Bruce McLean, Ana Milenkovic, Simon Patterson, Tony Plant, Daniel Rapley, Fabio La Rocca, Julian Rowe, Martina Schmid, Steven Scott, Allen Shelton, Erik Steinskog and Jo Stockham.
The Arca Project is curated by Michael Hall and Graeme Gilloch and is presented by PayneShurvell.
The Arca Project
Invisible Print Studio has made all the limited edition prints for this project. Michael Hall is an artist, writer, curator and co-founder of Invisible Print Studio. Graeme Gilloch is a cultural theorist and Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University.
James Payne is a curator and writer. Joanne Shurvell is an arts publicist and writer. They ran PayneShurvell gallery in Shoreditch, London from 2010- 2014. Since 2015, they have organized art exhibitions in a variety of UK locations.
For further information and/or images, please contact Joanne Shurvell on 07977 996568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org