Curating Commissioning Producing


Samuel Dowd and Sue Tompkins

National Portrait Gallery, London
Thursday 14 April 2011, 7 PM

Samuel Dowd, Aphrodite's Left Turn

Taking as a point of departure an unfinished screenplay by Austrian polymath Frederick Kiesler, Aphrodite's Left Turn was realised in collaboration with four other writers, all of whom have been writing in the voice of one assigned character - the young man, the choir boy, the cat and Aphrodite. Each soliloquy was written without prior knowledge of the other contributions and the narrative and voice developed individually. Read together however, the texts culminate in one multivocal and fragmented narrative, a musical score with Schoeneberg's feeling for chance.

The Young Man: Rebecca Bligh
Aphrodite: Ben Cain
The Cat: NaoKo TakaHashi
The Choir Boy: Isabel Waidner

Sue Tompkins, Hallo Welcome to Keith Street

Sue Tompkins' performances unfold as a stream of consciousness, moving from personal reflections to quotations from multiple, and at times conflicting areas of life. An excessive compilation process underlies the words - page after page of notes, observations, quotes and reflections are collected and then compressed into fragments. The distilling process leaves each word with an undeniable charge - each word is capable of so much meaning even before coming together in the flow of the spoken word delivery. Her performance Hallo Welcome to Keith Street is a new piece, turning to rhythm and repetition, layering, juxtaposition and inversion in a story that is eluded to but never fully resolved.

About the Artists

Samuel Dowd is a London based artist whose moving image and sculptural works have been exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. Recent exhibitions/events include Platform X (D) - A Living Room at the Permanent Gallery, Brighton, Sweat Lodge at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Tipping Points at HBC, Berlin, 3X3 at FormContent, London, Lost Horizons at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne and Manifesto Marathon at The Serpentine Gallery, London (with the SpRoUt collective). He has received awards from the British Council, Arts Council England, The Henry Moore Foundation, Artists Networks and the European Cultural Fund. His work has been reviewed and published in (among others) The Guardian, A-N Magazine, Artvehicle and Kultureflash.

Sue Tompkins is a Glasgow-based artist whose spoken word performances and typewritten scripts come together as disjointed yet succinct texts. In her work, repetition, juxtaposition, misspellings and uneven spacing introduce the potentialities of mis-communication. She has had solo exhibitions in numerous venues, including the Showroom, London and the Modern Institute, Glasgow (both 2007). Tompkins has also performed at institutions and events around the world, notably the British Art Show (2011), the Scottish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2005), and Tate Britain (2006).

Image credit: Samuel Dowd, Frederick Kiesler, found archival image, 2010


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Samuel Dowd
Sue Tompkins
Samuel Dowd
Sue Tompkins

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