Curating Commissioning Producing


Karl Holmqvist and Will Holder

National Portrait Gallery, London
Thursday 12 May 2011, 7 PM

Karl Holmqvist, Change your Face

If one takes the act of portraiture as heresy, then surely any visit to the National Portrait Gallery must be thought to bring one to the heart of the scene of the crime. Swedish artist Karl Holmqvist's work deals with the relation between language and image, figuration and abstraction - relationships he has explored over the last twenty years. For the specifically commissioned artist's talk, Change Your Face, Holmqvist elaborates on his mostly language-based visual arts practice, and how elements such as repetition and rhythm in language may bring us closer to concerns more often thought of in relation to images.

Will Holder, Simon Amstell's Do Nothing

Working as a designer, artist, editor and writer, Holder makes publications, using conversation as a model for production and documentation. He approaches language as a ready-made, reproducing existing texts to emphasize the construction and negotiation of meaning. On May 12th, Holder continues a series of publications dedicated to single mothers. Previous readings have complicated Adam Pendleton's 'Black Dada' and Alice Notley's 'Dr. Williams' Heiresses', in favour of an intensified reception of the gendered subject positioned in them.

About the artists

Karl Holmqvist works in a variety of mediums that include drawings and collage, performances and artist's books often dealing with different representations of language. Recent solo shows include: I'll Make the World Explode at Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin and Interview with the Vampire at Gaga Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City (2009); Recent group shows include: Frieze projects together with Ei Arakawa, during frieze Art fair 2011, Manifesta 8, Carthagena, Spain, 27 Senses at Chisenhale and, at ICA, London (2009); This year Holmqvist will participate in the group exhibition IllumiNazioni, part of the 54th Venice biennial.

Will Holder's work as a writer, editor and typographer collapses the usual distinction of these various roles into one of design, creating not only a prolific production model but also a self-reflexive discussion that starts with print and form. Holder is editor of F.R.DAVID, a bi-annual journal concerned with the position of writing in the arts; published by de Appel art centre (NL) since 2007; and has been working with musicologist Alex Waterman since 2004 on Yes, But is it Edible?, a scored biography of American composer Robert Ashley.

Image credit: Will Holder, Found on a walk by the River Darent, Kent, 2010

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Karl Holmqvist
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