Lennon performs in the Dilston Gallery
A new three-channel poly-voice video composition and large-scale surround sound with performance
THE KNOT COMMONS is a new large-scale surround sound, three-channel polyvocal video composition with a performance by Rebecca Lennon. This is the annual collaborative commission of the Southwark Park Galleries and Matt’s Gallery created especially for the Dilston Gallery.
Initially scheduled for March 2020, the show has been postponed, redesigned and redesigned over successive national blockages. THE KNOT COMMONS became the second installment in a series of works, following on from Liquid i at Primary, Nottingham in 2020/2021, drawing on themes explored there. Liquid i was accompanied by a text written by Sophie Jung. A new text by Rebecca Jagoe will be published alongside this exhibition.
The exhibition develops a two-part spatial composition of vocal loops, textual nodes and images inhabiting / moving around two different reused civic architectures, a school and a desecrated church. The work deals with urgent themes around finance, housing, body, voice and the porous nature of individuality, combining complex and poetic themes arranged linguistically, sonorously and visually in an immersive audiovisual assembly. The figures are dressed in uniform black velvet. Percussive vocal sounds, tics and buzzes build spatial rhythms like an incantation. The entanglements of bodies are unraveled; public and private, human and non-human. An aerial makes loops in the air, mosquitoes spit blood in rhythm, mouths speak in several voices, while others spit out water like fountains.
A key starting point is a story that describes the removal of tiles from the roof of a house to allow water to seep in, causing it to rot from the inside and become abandoned. This body of video and sound describes and evokes viscerally this toxic infiltration as a movement of liquid: in and out of a body carried by a mosquito; out of a house sewers, filling the street with a knotweed intrusion, out of the mouth in the absence of a voice; in the body of the vampire, via the requirement of a melancholy thirst.
Lennon uses the image of planned abandonment as a way to reflect on the property and its collapse. She sets out, using the house as a substitute for the body, to reflect on how the ego is made up physically and through language, how a voice can be granted or denied its right to speak and how it can also be reused for oneself. (and collective), care, a common good.
Performers, voices and characters from the video: Carl Gent, Jennifer Hodgson, Stella Kajombo, Rebecca Lennon, Chooc Ly Tan, Leon Dee and the aerialist Mim Wheeler.
Fountains hosted by Carla Mackinnon.
DILSTON GALLERY OPEN EXHIBITION: 15–31 OCTOBER 2021 WITH PERFORMANCE ON SUNDAY 31 OCTOBER; FRIDAY // SATURDAY // SUNDAY, 11 AM-5PM
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