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artist response

Artist response: ‘NHS vs Covid-19’ by the Singh Twins

‘NHS v Covid-19:Fighting on Two Fronts’ by the Singh Twins

Plucked from the tapestry,
Of our happily forgotten past,
A golden dragon prospers.
With arms of steel and armour of plastic,
They press their pointed brow forwards alone.
They bare the brands,
We gave them,
And keep burning,
Into them,
With masked glory,
And in return we get,
The splendour,
Of culture and unending perseverance.
We can clap the studies away,
Until our eyes are happily,
Blind with gratitude,
And they will still save us,
Quietly,
Colourfully,
And at their own risk.
But we will exalt our hands,
To bloodied stumps,
Before we act with fairness,
And then they will lick our wounds,
Once more.

By Amy Spaughton

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artist response

Artist response: Tehching Hsieh one year performance (1980-1981)

Born in Taiwan in 1950, Hsieh is best known for the one-year performances he undertook while living in New York from the 1970s onwards. One of these performances, Time Clock Piece (One Year Performance 1980–1981) 1980–1981, involved punching a time clock every hour for a year.

Focusing on notions of productivity and unproductivity,

Hsieh, writes Ash Dilks, ‘has taken art to the limits of what is feasible and possible’ through his attempts to collapse the boundaries between what Hsieh calls ‘art time’ and ‘life time’ in his mentally and physically demanding one-year performances

Another significant theme that the artist took up is time. Hsieh outlined the premise which forms the basis of each of his one-year performances: that a fundamental ‘precondition’ of all life is the passing of time, or that ‘life is a life sentence’.

(https://www.tate.org.uk/research/research-centres/tate-research-centre-asia/event-report-tehching-hsieh) 

For me during lockdown, I felt this pull of unproductive/productive questioning what the time I was spending at home was doing/saying/expressing – was there a pattern to my day? Was there something I wasn’t seeing as time wasnt as easily documented. How would I come to remember this day from that, or this whole period?

I started with polaroid photos (one everyday for the first month of lockdown so I have around 70 of those but I wanted to examine my time further than one snap a day – I wanted to see hour by hour.  So, I migrated to 72 hours of waking life documented on digital camera which is the response you see below. 

Guided by the ideas:

In my own house, how was I still performing and what was I performing? How did observation of the hours turn them from unproductive to productive? 

I modelled this hourly approach on Tehching’s, he was very much the inspiration. However mine was very much waking hours!

By Tara Griffin

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artist response

Artist response: Homage to the Lungs

In response to Rinko Kawauchi’s dreamy works http://rinkokawauchi.com/works/, I worked in collaboration with Iryna Pustomytenko to create a video that explored human connection with nature and light as Kawauchi does, whilst specifically focusing on the breath. 

In slowing down and appreciating the beauty and complexity of nature, human processes are clearly seen in connection with those natural processes. A nostalgic emotion is created in heightening these themes. Humans and nature are tightly interwoven/ connected with similarities. 

Similar elements to Kawauchi have been used such as the sea, raindrops and light. A reference to her spark images has been used subtly at the end too with the credits.

The video can be viewed here:

by Charlotte Dobson

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artist response

Artist Response: Gustave Doré

Sister of Charity Saving a Child, Episode in the Siege of Paris, 1870-71

This painting shows the awful human cost of the Siege of Paris, when the French capital was encircled by Prussian troops after Napoleon III’s surrender on 2nd September, 1870. Some artists fled, but Doré, as did James Tissot, joined the National Guard to defend the capital. Here, painting that winter, he seems to be recording a scene that he had actually witnessed. He depicts a nun carrying a child to safety along a snowy, blood-stained street, by a wall which might belong to the religious house where she hopes to take the child. A part of the city burns behind her, and someone sprawls wounded on the pavement further back. Ahead of her, a jagged piece of shrapnel lies on the snow, and at the side appears to be a large bloodstain. Curator Caroline Corbeau-Parsons writes, “Whether painter or illustrator, Doré remained above all a wonderful storyteller whose compositions were genuine theatrical scenes”.

Cerement

Amidst the swarm of blacken’d heathen
Two sacred spirits tender weaken
As floating embers coax the stars
From seething flames that reminisce
The wounds of time that once hath pass’d

Wavering under trampled cloaks
Glints a ruin of dreams and hopes
That swell in ashen blood and ice
Where pools of death reflect its glimmer
And deepen shrouds of nightly shimmer.

‘Cerement’ Automated Poetry Performance #1:
https://soundcloud.com/f-e-r-a-l/cerement-automated-poetry-performance-1

By Haris Ashraf