A new exhibition from Laura Cooper at Space In Between, in London’s E8 explores her practices and takes on her personal and collective actions – often performative – that explore both ritual and sequence. Initially staging scenarios and events unannounced in public spaces, Cooper engages individuals and groups of performers or participants in simple but unusual activities. These events are then documented in various forms of video, sound, drawings, maps and scores.
For Soft Revolutions Cooper will present a series of new and recent works, which have been reworked and reinterpreted for the gallery space at SIB. Layering documented performance, live performance and installation the artist has created a relational and ephemeral environment in which exchanges between two people or groups of people are translated from event to documentation and back to event again.
In the recent work Upstanding (2012) a public performance was staged at Elephant & Castle, creating an urban re-enactment of a Maypole folk dance. And in Spinning Ritual (2012) a lone figure holding blue plastic bags filled with water, slowly turns round and around in a wet, empty space. Playfully engaging her performers in absurd, poetic or transformative actions – most often responsive to a specific place or site – Cooper creates works that aim to capture the hypnotic effects of a private ritual. The rhythm and choreography within the performances reveal both the absurdity of the task set to them, and the essentially human attempts to succeed or ‘act out’ in the possible face of failure. This sense of improvisation within a set structure is essential to the tension created within the work, creating both a collaboration and an autonomous artwork.
The prevailing sense of tension will be referenced within the gallery, as performers will slowly reveal the works exhibited by holding screens and supporting projected images, sometimes bearing their weight; the installation offering a new encounter between viewers and performers, viewers and the work.
Laura Cooper received her undergraduate degree from Glasgow School of Art in 2006 and has recently completed her MFA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Art, London. Cooper has also worked with The British Arts Council Thailand and SAP Seoksu Market International residency program in Anyang City South Korea. Recent exhibitions include Play, Game, Place, State, at Collyer Bristow Gallery London
Soft Revolutions runs 8/2/13 – 23/2/13 Gallery open Fridays & Saturdays 12-6pm, or by appointment.
Space In Between: Unit 26 Regent Studios 8 Andrews Road London E8 4QN