The Hayward Touring exhibition, British Art Show 8 (BAS8), opened in Norwich across three venues on 24 June 2016 is the third leg of the national tour for this ambitious exhibition of contemporary art, and the first time the British Art Show has toured to East Anglia in its 40-year history. The showing is organised in collaboration with Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA – East Gallery NUA and St Georges Building). This iteration will include several new commissions and additions specifically for Norwich.
With their very different histories, the three venues enable visitors to experience this multi-media exhibition in the historic setting of a medieval building in the city centre, a new purpose-built art gallery and an institution dedicated to educating future generations of artists and designers. BAS8 will also present artworks and events in offsite locations, including The Forum, the city’s cultural centre and library, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins CBE to mark the millennium.
The exhibition’s arrival in Norwich will be heralded by a unique event called The History Train conceived by Great Yarmouth and London-based artist Alan Kane. On Saturday 18 June carts pulled by resplendent heavy horses will process through the city’s streets delivering artwork crates and related material to the three main exhibition venues and The Forum.
The exhibition will once again bring national attention to Norwich, a city that has long been a hub for culture and the visual arts. Home to the first provincial school of art in the country and the internationally renowned Norwich School of painters, in recent years the city hosted EASTInternational, a biennial celebration of contemporary art. Coinciding with BAS8 in Norwich, artist-run gallery Outpost will present a group show curated by BAS8 artist Ryan Gander and journalist/writer Jonathan P Watts.
Highlights of BAS8 Norwich include:
A new work from Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin entitled Spirit is a Bone (2003): a
series of portraits produced using a surveillance camera system that captures images through a facial recognition system usually used for public security and border control surveillance. Broomberg & Chanarin use this software to construct a series of portraits that will be displayed in Norwich Castle.
A new installation by Will Holder, the third in his series created for each city in BAS8. Our Values Make Us Different continues his concern with the organisation of language around artworks. Holder will borrow Animals LC2 (1969), a sculpture by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark from The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia. He will deliver a talk at 2pm on Thursday 23 June, while producing a hand-drawn wall text alongside the sculpture. By adding a variety of words and voices to this selection, Holder draws attention to the way that ‘language designs our active, everyday consumption of objects’.
E2-E4 (2015) and Sueño Latino (2015) are new additions by Charlotte Prodger. These two custom-made ventilated haulage tarpaulins – of the kind usually found on the side of lorries – are based on two constant fixtures – one visual and one sonic – of her day-to-day working environment. These are an hour long, hypnotic, minimalist track by Manuel Göttsching, and the HGV trucks that travel along the M8 motorway overlooked by her studio.
NUA alumna Jessica Warboys will show a new dramatic Sea Painting made locally in Dunwich, Suffolk. This will be hung at Norwich University of the Arts alongside the paintings she made for venues in Leeds and Edinburgh.
Anthea Hamilton, recently nominated for the Turner Prize, will present a performance entitled Ant Farms, devised in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Kostas Tsioukas and inspired by the classical Japanese Kabuki theatre. This will be performed alongside her sculptures at NUA.
Ahmet Öğüt’s project Day after Debt (UK) will be spread across the city. Liam Gillick’s contribution Lazzarato on Debt (2015) will be at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery; Susan Hiller’s Thanks for Listening (2015) will be at St Georges Building, NUA; and Goshka Macuga’s In Debt View (2015) will be presented at The Forum. Co-commissioned by Create and Lafayette Anticipation – Fonds de dotation Famille.
As part of The History Train, Alan Kane has invited members of the public to design decorative horse brasses for the ten heavy horses that will deliver British Art Show 8 artworks to venues across Norwich. Throughout the exhibition these horse brasses will be on display in the Fitch Room at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.
Roger Malbert, Head of Hayward Touring, said: “Since the first British Art Show in 1979, the exhibition has been seen in fourteen cities across the UK, but never in East Anglia. It is exciting to be able to rectify this now, and in collaboration with our partners at the Castle Museum and NUA, to bring the exhibition to an entirely new audience. Norwich is a great city well suited to cross-site festivals and exhibitions, and we are looking forward to installing this multi- faceted show in three fine spaces. The Norwich Steering group has been an inspiration, raising our awareness of all the possibilities of presenting the show during the summer season, and we look forward to continuing to work together to make this a unique and memorable event.”
List of artists by each venue
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin Andrea Büttner
Alexandre da Cunha
Ahmet Öğüt (with Liam Gillick) Ciara Phillips
East GalleryNUA, Norwich University of the Arts Nicolas Deshayes
St Georges Building, Norwich University of the Arts
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
John Akomfrah & Trevor Mathison Aaron Angell
Ahmet Öğüt (with Susan Hiller) Charlotte Prodger
Eileen Simpson & Ben White Patrick Staff
+ Offsite project at The Forum
Ahmet Öğüt (with Goshka Macuga)