BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and Ryder Architecture present the second in a series of new commissions exploring the relationship between art and architecture. The BALTIC Ryder Commission brings together an artist with an emerging architectural practice to produce a co-authored artwork which is being displayed in BALTIC’s Level 2 gallery. In 2015, BALTIC and Ryder, in collaboration with Blueprint have commissioned artist Alice Theobald and Atomik Architecture.
Theobald and Atomik’s co-authored work has evolved through a process of studio visits, workshops, model-making and drawing. It takes the form of an ambitious site-specific installation comprising sound, video and live performance. Interested in the interiors of Austrian-Czech architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) and the idea of accessing a space through multiple viewpoints, Theobald and Atomik constructed a series of circular rooms which provide a route through the architecture, pacing the visitors’ experience. Drawing on Anthony Vidler’s book The Architecture of the Uncanny (1992), they created a series of familiar, yet unsettling spaces, lining the rooms with everyday materials, texts and projections. A platform slicing through the gallery becomes a stage for a series of part-choreographed, partimprovised performances; an accompanying musical score explores the circularity and slippage of language and the interplay between performer and viewer.
Alice Theobald (born Leicester, 1985) develops performances using music, installation and video. Her works react to pre-existing places and spaces, often referencing their own construction through the play of language, sound and movement whilst addressing themes of love, alienation, memory and mistrust. Theobald frequently works with a cast of nonprofessional actors, performers and musicians, and shifts between the role of stage director, choreographer, narrator and performer.
Founded by Mike Oades and Derek Draper in 2013, Atomik Architecture is a young practice of architects and designers based in London and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Employing a creative and process-driven approach to design, over the past two years Atomik have been engaged in a wide range of projects internationally, from large housing developments to temporary installations. Alongside their architectural projects, they run a series of smaller cultural and research projects which help inform their wider design direction, often taking part in competitions to test and develop ideas.
About the artist:
ALICE THEOBALD was born in Leicester in 1985, and lives and works in London. She studied at Goldsmiths, University of London and graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2014. Recent performances, exhibitions and film screenings include: The Bear Pit Residency, Focal Point, Southend-on-Sea (2015); The boys the girls and the political, Lisson Gallery, London (2015); The Fifth Artist, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire (2015); Marmalade Me, South London Gallery, London (2014); I’ve said yes now, that’s it., Outpost, Norwich and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2014); They keep putting words in my mouth! An operetta of sorts, Pilar Corrias, London.
About the architects:
ATOMIK ARCHITECTURE was founded by Mike Oades and Derek Draper in 2013 (joined by Asel Yeszhanova in 2015), and is based in London and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Recent projects include: Art Point Pavilion Altmaty, Kazakhstan, commission by the British Council and Artbat Fest (2015); Digby Works, a residential addition to an Edwardian box factory in London (2014); Art Villes Paysage, Amiens (2013).
ALICE THEOBALD AND ATOMIK ARCHITECTURE: It’s not who you are, it’s how you are – BALTIC – until 10 April 2016.