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Curating Contemporary Art Presents Four Graduate Exhibitions

Curating Contemporary Art students present their graduate show, which this year consists of four independent exhibitions. Open to the public from 6 to 22 March the exhibitions at Kensington Gore will feature work from artists, theatre designers and writers across the mediums of film, performance, interactive installation and sculpture. Although individually realised, these diverse exhibitions cumulatively present works exploring spaces, both real and imagined, within the physical and digital, which we navigate today, or may encounter in the future. Notebook, a printed publication due for release in May, will bring the four projects and their diverse interests together.

One of these exhibitions, Echo Chamber, was developed collaboratively with acclaimed theatre designer Chloe Lamford. Taking the form of a theatrical set, the exhibition evokes a future dystopian world, in which all art activity is prohibited.

The students involved in the exhibition – Sofia Akram, Olivia Leahy, Jane Scarth and Alexander Taber – identified an emerging interest within the visual arts for the performative and the stage set. At intervals throughout the duration of the show, the installation will be activated by performances, screenings and interventions from international contemporary artists. These contributions include a performance from Bedwyr Williams and a site-specific installation from the ARKA Group. The editors of Living in the Future, a new journal of science fiction and future-oriented art and writing, have been invited to contribute a reading room of science fiction books, and there will also be a screening of a new film by Mark Aerial Waller on the last day of the exhibition.

Alongside Echo Chamber, in the Henry Moore Gallery Black Box Formula – curated by Jintaeg Jang, Georgia Muenster and Joni Zhu – showcases the work of five contemporary artists exploring the unknown workings of ‘black box’ systems. A term borrowed from cybernetics, a ‘black box’ is any phenomena in which the input and output are known, but the exact processes that cause the output are not. The exhibition invites audiences to explore the unknown interior of a black box created within the gallery. The works displayed here include a new 'caustic light sculpture' from Harry Sanderson, an interactive pavilion from Lawrence Lek and a film in which Hyungkoo Lee explores the post-human by attempting to embody the movements of a horse. 

In the Upper Gulbenkian Gallery, an enormous doughnut-shaped table-tennis table created by performance artist Lee Wen forms the centre piece of the third exhibition Whose Game Is It?, curated by Kodama Kanazawa, Jennifer Lam, Hena Lee and Yingting Xie. Created by artists and curators from different backgrounds and geographical origins, this project aims to prompt audiences to consider contemporary socio-political questions that arise in a globalised world through playful and interactive works, such as new site-specific drawings by Dan Perjovschi, and two newly commissioned films by Han Ishu. Each Saturday from 3 to 5pm the curators invite you to have tea with them, seated around Raqs Media Collective’s With Respect To Residue. Finally, at the closing party, there will be an interactive performance by artist Hiroki Yamamoto.

The final element of the show will be positioned just outside the main entrance of the RCA, opposite the Royal Albert Hall. statement house (temporary title) by Jean-Pascal Flavien is a bright yellow structure, and the most recent addition to Flavien’s international series of houses for living, resting and working, and the first to be built in the UK. Throughout the exhibition, the house will be occupied by writers who will be engaging in ‘writing the house’. The first of these is poet Tan Lin who will inhabit the house remotely from New York. He will be tweeting lines of poetry, alongside scenarios to be enacted within the house by its inhabitants, which include the curating students who commissioned the project, Katie Reynolds and Sophie Oxenbridge.

Notebook is a printed publication that brings together curatorial essays from each project in expanded form, along with commissioned essays by Ricardo Basbaum, Anna Gritz, Mark von Schlegell and Dr Marquard Smith, and will be published to coincide with the RCA’s Show 2015. Edited by Edward Ball, the publication aims to bring these exhibitions together into a dialogue while recognising difference.

Echo Chamber, Black Box Formula, Whose Game Is It? and statement house (temporary title) run at the Royal College of Art Galleries, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU from 6 to 22 March, 11am – 5pm daily, free admission.

Preview: Thursday 5 March, 6–8pm