My Beautiful Zhang Jiang, 2006
The Elephant Building
Coventry Sports Centre
Private view Thursday 2nd September > 6pm - 8pm
Open Friday 3rd - Saturday 4th September > 11am - 6pm
Castle & Elephant is pleased to present a short film by Shanghai based artist Song Tao.
My Beautiful Zhang Jiang is a poetic portrait of the artist's own generation, who are living amongst the rush and calm of Shanghai's developing landscape. The film opens in an office as a sleeping girl is picked up from her desk by a co-worker. Gradually she is transported through the city in the embrace of strangers. Asserting a rambling narrative, the film uses Zhang Jiang as a prop to perambulate the metropolis. These bodies, negotiating the city reflect Tao's deep interest in both documenting and creating atmospheres that are rooted within his own life.
The film will be projected for three days within the unique architectural extension of Coventry Sports Centre. "The Elephant" building bears resemblance to the mammal that has featured as a symbol of fortitude on Coventry's city crest since the seventeenth century. Castle & Elephant (the name of which also derives from this historical reference point) is a nomadic platform which presents experimental film and moving image in underused spaces across the city of Coventry.
Song Tao (1979) lives and works in Shanghai. Recent exhibitions include China Power Station II, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway, Birdhead Photography Show 2006-2007, BizArt, Shanghai, China and Individual Position II, ShangART, Shanghai, China.
May 28 - June 19
Private view Thursday 27 May 6 - 9pm - presentation by Damir Ocko at 7pm
Open: Thursday - Saturday 2pm - 6pm
Castle & Elephant is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in the UK by Croatian artist Damir Ocko.
Ocko will present two new works entitled The Age of Happiness and The Moon shall never take my Voice. Situated on both levels of the gallery, the two films evidence a shift in Ocko's subject matter, from filmic landscapes towards a theatrical musing on history and the attributes of sound.
Ocko develops a spectrum of references when making his productions. A strong component of The Age of Happiness is his research into Russian composer Alexander Scriabin's incomplete work Mysterium. Scarabin's unrealised durational performance was to be located in the Himalayas, and his intentions were that "there will be no spectators, all will become participants". One of the proposed effects of this piece was to transform participants into higher human beings. Through the realisation of The Age of Happiness, Ocko highlights this unachievable utopian vision as comparable to the shortcomings of today's society.
Occupying the upper gallery is Ocko's most recent film The Moon shall never take my Voice. The film observes a woman performing several acts in sign language, revealing a distinctive, ulterior form of music. The imaginative composition of both sound and noise alters conventional conceptions of hearing as the narrator gradually reveals a story about Gustav Mahler, John Cage and Neil Armstrong. Through this experimental tonal structuring the artist composes and transforms all the silent gestures into a new narrative logic and synthesis of images.
A transcription from The Moon shall never take my Voice will be available in the gallery.
Born in 1977. Lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia. Ocko studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb. He has presented his work in several galleries and museums, in solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein Leipzig; at the Lothringer 13-Kunsthalle Munich, Miroslav Kraljevic Gallery, Zagreb and at the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. Recent group exhibitions were at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski in Warsaw, Le Fresnoy-National Center for Contemporary Art , Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, International Triennial of Contemporary Art, National Gallery in Prague, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, among others. He was granted resident fellowships from the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Helsinki International Artist-in Residence Programme (HIAP), the Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art.
For further information please email email@example.com
11 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HX
Elizabeth Rowe's practice merges images from printed media to regaining an element of control over an overwhelming mass of information. Rowe produced two works for the exhibition in February, the first being the front image of the show leaflet F--k reason (2009) and the second work was a new commission of four images which were to be printed in the classifieds section of The Coventry Telegraph, on the 25th February 2010.
Unfortunately, the commissions were 'killed' by the Classifieds editor before they could be printed. Rowe presented four confirmation emails and a transcription of the conversation with the editor for the exhibition. A limited edition print of the four commissions is available for free whilst stocks last.
Please send an email to post (AT) castleandelephant.co.uk with your name, address and Rowe commission in the subject bar, to receive your print.
The transcription of the conversation between Rowe and the Editor can be found at out blog castleandelephant.tumblr.com or can be downloaded - here -
10th February - 4th March
Private View 25th February 6-8pm
Castle & Elephant is pleased to present Rumiko Hagiwara, Dillan marsh and Elizabeth Rowe in its relocated space in City Arcade, Coventry. The exhibition brings together three young artists whose work encapsulates notions of distraction, futility and perseverance.
Taking three different formats, all exhibited elements are visible beyond the gallery threshold, responding to the temporary nature of the space. Both Hagiwara and Marsh's films will be viewed for the duration of the exhibition from the outside, on the windows of the gallery space (9am - 5pm daily). Rowe will work with the format of the exhibition flyer, which will be distributed across the city; the artist will also be placing a work within The Coventry Telegraph newspaper.
The protagonist in Rumiko Hagiwara's video Escalator (2003) performs a subtle passive aggressive act by walking the opposite way, on a downward flowing escalator. By drawing attention to the use of the public space, Hagiwara suggests that the viewer rediscover trivial elements around them. This will be shown alongside Dillan Marsh's video Multiple Failures (2008), which documents futile attempts to inflate a self-constructed air-balloon. Marsh strives to realise a fantasy of escape, but the end result is a catalogue of short-lived unsuccessful endeavours.
Elizabeth Rowe's practice merges images from printed media to regain an element of control over an overwhelming mass of information. Rowe will produce two works for this exhibition, the first being the front image of the show flyer that presents a falling rodeo rider titled F--k reason (2009). The second work will be a new commission printed in the classifieds section of The Coventry Telegraph, which will be on sale in most Coventry newsagent on 25th February 2010.
Dillan Marsh, UK (1980) is currently studying an MA Fine Art, at Kunsthogskolen i Bergen, Norway. Recent solo exhibitions include Book Project (Solo Show), Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund, 2009, and Lighter Than Air, Utica NYS, USA, 2008.
Rumiko Hagiwara (1979) has recently completed a residency at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, NL, 2009. Recent exhibitons include A la vuelta la esquina, La Casa Encendida Art Center, Madrid, SP, 2009; Walden Affairs, Den Haag, NL, 2009; Belicht Galerie De Expeditie, Amsterdam, NL, 2008.
Elizabeth Rowe, UK (1974) has recently completed residencies at Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, NL, 2009, and The Dudley Library, UK 2009. Solo exhibitons include If Distance was an Object Between Us, Rotterdam, 2009; Tiny Details, Grotesque Proportions, New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, 2008; My Sponsor is the Leader of the Country, MAC, Birmingham, 2006.
Friday 11th December
7.30pm - 9.00pm
Exhibition continues in gallery window from 12th - 20th December
Annexinema present a site-specific screening event for the second exhibition at Castle & Elephant. Selected from an archive of contemporary and historic films, Annexinema will respond to their own interaction with the gallery and its location, loosely flitting between themes such as urban environments, architecture, travel, consumerism, and finger skating.
After the opening screening, a selection of films will be presented on multiple screens in the gallery window. The installation will be visible from outside of the space until the 20th December.
Annexinema is a peripatetic and autonomous events-based collaboration founded by Emily Wilczek (AMIS) and Ian Nesbitt (Stand Assembly) and based in Nottingham. The group is committed to programming visionary and experimental artists' work in sound, moving image and related performance.
For further information please contact Hannah Conroy 07943639832, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Three Day Week
Castle & Elephant is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition by Nottingham based artist Tom Godfrey.
Godfrey's work manifests itself in a range of media including sculpture, photography, video and installation. Taking as a starting point a found image, object or experience, works are often developed through the administration of a physical adjustment, a combination with a process or an amalgamation with other objects and materials. Resultant works are often reductive in nature, maintaining a commitment to the initial subject with often only the most minimal intervention being made to make the viewer question its status as an artwork.
Previous examples of work include the self explanatory Photograms of Sunglasses 2008; the documentation photograph turned artwork in itself Bad Painted Ceiling 2009; Hypotenuse 2009 which constitutes of a straightened crowbar leaning against a wall and Architecture of Resistance 2009, an ongoing series of shutters built from birch ply and brass hinges that are custom built around gallery lighting systems.
The exhibition title is taken from the Conservative strategy of 1974 to conserve energy usage by restricting industries to only operating for three days a week. The intention is to draw parallels between this tactic and the three day week opening hours of Castle & Elephant. Wider implications of this title relate to the context of the gallery in a shop unit, surrounded by empty and redundant commercial lettings.
A specially commissioned interview held between Godfrey and London based artist Richard Paul will be available from the gallery.
Born 1981 and lives and works in Nottingham. Received BA (hons) Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Recent exhibitions include Publish and Be Damned, London (with Marbled Reams); Lemonade Radio, De Montford Hall Leicester; Distance, APT Gallery, London; The Parallax View, Airspace, Stoke on Trent. Forthcoming exhibitions include Indoor Life, Walden Affairs, The Hague, Holland. Curated projects include Marbled Reams , Keep Floors and Passages Clear ,and Moot (co-director), Nottingham - www.keepfloorsandpassagesclear.com - www.marbledreams.com - www.mootgallery.org
to listen to a discussion between Tom Godfrey and curator Jennie Syson
For further information please contact Hannah Conroy 07943639832,
or email - post @ castleandelephant . co.uk
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Castle & Elephant is a Coventry Artspace Initiative.
Castle & Elephant presents ideas, discussion, exhibitions and events in disused retail units in the City Arcade, Coventry.
The gallery was initiated by Coventry Artspace and is generously supported by Coventry City Council, The Arts Council England and the Empty Shops Network.