Nashashibi/Skaer: Chimera: Exhibition, Cooper Gallery, Dundee

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    Abstract

    Nashashibi/Skaer: Chimera
    30 September – 10 December 2022
    Venue: Cooper Gallery

    Curated by Hao, Chimera was an exhibition that brought together new and existing works by Nashashibi/Skaer – the joint practice of Turner Prize nominated artists Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer.
    Choreographed and devised in response to the architectural space of Cooper Gallery, the exhibition brought into dialogue three collaborative film works by Nashashibi/Skaer with newly commissioned solo works consisting of bronze and stone sculpture from Lucy Skaer and painting by Rosalind Nashashibi.

    The curatorial intention of the exhibition examined both the acoustic, architectural and visual interplay between the films and the new solo commissions, and also explored the exchanges and tensions between Nashashibi/Skaer’s collaborative practice and the concerns of their respective solo works. Adding new meanings and destabilising the boundaries between the formal qualities inherent to each particular artwork, the exhibition foregrounded the etymology of the title, Chimera which encompasses art history, mythological creatures and vocabularies from the life sciences to produce an associative and discursive mediation on transformation.

    The three collaborative films; Our Magnolia (2009), Lamb (2019) and Bear (2021) combined photographic images with musical composition, drawing and painting. Lamb and Bear, filmed in a lambing shed on the Isle of Lewis over two consecutive lambing seasons, reference medieval bestiaries in which real and imagined beasts are named and illustrated. Extending this slippage of meaning and reference Our Magnolia channelled Flight of the Magnolia (1944), a painting made by Paul Nash when Britain was at risk of invasion from the skies, which he imagined would 'flower' with parachutes. Our Magnolia uses Nash’s transformative logic to summon political spectres from the artists’ memory, associating ‘Magnolia’ with Maggie (Margaret Thatcher), the oil wars and the looting of the Iraq Museum that followed in their wake.

    Bear, a new commission by Cooper Gallery, featured a soundtrack developed by Cantonese opera artist Zhuo Peili. Bear provided the visual stimulus and spatial setting for a public improvised vocal performance by Ceylan Hay and contemporary classical composer Shiori Usui which incorporated audience participation to create an immersive sonic experience.

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDundee, UK
    PublisherCooper Gallery
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Keywords

    • Contemporary art
    • contemporary art curating
    • Artists Moving Image
    • painting
    • sculpture
    • environment
    • art history
    • philosophy
    • experimental music

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
    • General Arts and Humanities
    • General Environmental Science

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