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 Warrior Studios Collective, OVADA Gallery, Paul Black, @Artjourno
Warrior Artists At OVADA: Paul Black Reviews The Collective's Latest Work - ArtLyst Article image

Warrior Artists At OVADA: Paul Black Reviews The Collective's Latest Work

12-04-2016
 
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Warrior Studios Collective consists of 12 artists - founded in the late 1980s in a railway arch in South London - and currently finds itself residing at the OVADA Gallery in Oxford, for a month-long residency creating an ongoing multi-media installation inspired by and referencing the Hannover Merzbau of Kurt Schwitters, referring back to Cubism and changes in geometric theory at the beginning of the 20th century. The work includes a live feed to the internet, as the multi-artist installation perpetually evolves exponentially and organically, in a response to OVADA's warehouse space.

Image: What Is Done Cannot Be Undone: A collaboration between the artists of Warrior Studios with OVADA Gallery, installation detail. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

There's no such thing as junk, and Duchamp would tell you so. Although by no means entirely readymade: the collective describes their latest work as a kind of exquisite three-dimensional corpse, as their 'skeletal body' of an installation evolves intuitively out of mostly basic functional materials, the only rule being 'what is done cannot be undone', a viral work in progress with no ending. In fact the viral nature of this piece is also highlighted via its dissemination across social media platforms and a live video feed on youtube. The viewer can watch the modular elements of the work take form and grow together like organs in the installational body; these are works within a work, as the artists play 'freeform jazz' with their materials.

Image: What Is Done Cannot Be Undone: A collaboration between the artists of Warrior Studios with OVADA Gallery, installation detail. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

In fact music is a reference in the work, bringing in analogies of all encompassing sound within a space. Electric guitars form sculptural elements buried in the mass of materials, highlighting this convulsive pulse of an installation, where objecthood multiplies like the repeats from echolocation, almost as if the artists are attempting to explore the visual nature of sound.

This is art that is solely about process - the nature of practice - after all there is no aesthetic to a work without a conclusion? Some members of the collective attempt - and even succeed - in maintaining some sort of formal aesthetic, but this only serves to create islands of individual works within the installation, while other members seem to fill the space with a viral fervour.

Image: What Is Done Cannot Be Undone: A collaboration between the artists of Warrior Studios with OVADA Gallery, installation detail. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

The language structure here is cyclical, with the so-called completion of the work - although conceptually there should be no conclusion to the piece - a time-lapse film will in fact become the final work; the installation is after all process resulting in an entanglement of form through space, both analogue and virtual. It could be said that the work is more of an action than an installation, an intervention with the warehouse space that evolves from an actual linear temporal journey, into a cyclical self-reflexive virtual presence.

Image: What Is Done Cannot Be Undone: A collaboration between the artists of Warrior Studios with OVADA Gallery, installation detail. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

About Warrior Studios Collective:

Warrior Studios is a collective of 12 artists that are currently: Jane Campbell, David Degreef-Mounier, Phil Dobson, Hugh Gilmour, James Alec Hardy, Jez Jacobs, Jeremy Jeffs, Gary Kempston, Duncan McAfee, Michael Rodgers, Pauline Smith, and Federica Dalla Vecchia. Founded in the late 1980s, the Warrior artists have recently sought to work in a more collaborative way, exhibiting together and producing artists’ publications under the banner of Warrior Press.

Words: Paul Black

Lead image: What Is Done Cannot Be Undone: A collaboration between the artists of Warrior Studios with OVADA Gallery, installation view. Photo: P A Black © 2016

What Is Done Cannot Be Undone: A collaboration between the artists of Warrior Studios with OVADA - OVADA Gallery, Oxford - until 24 April 2016



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