Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson – One Another’s Company
23rd July – 21st August 2011
London based artists Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson’s first collaborative exhibition of film and performance work in the UK.
The show brought together new works by the artists who each have an individual art making practice and frequently work in coalition to produce live performance based works. For their exhibition at IMT Gallery, Beech and Thomasson presented two new narrative films conceived individually, as well as a performance piece devised in collaboration. Presented together, both the performance piece and the films investigate how the artists’ collaborative concerns manifest and inform their individual work. Employing strategies of repertoire theatre in their mode of production, both Retreat, 2011, Lucy Beech and Escape, 2011, Edward Thomasson consider and examine spectatorship and representation in everyday life with particular emphasis on the live and the rehearsed, performed and observed.
Lucy Beech’s Retreat, 2011, records a group of women in a marquee as they make negative impressions of domestic objects. As the objects begin to take form, dramatic tension rises and metaphorical potentials in form, surface and materials ensue. As the women become embroiled in their poetic game, the activity reveals itself as a elaborate exercise in collective catharsis while possible narratives weave in and out of focus resisting any fixed manifestation.
Edward Thomasson’s Escape, 2011 brings together a number of inter-linked scenarios that centre on strategies for personal change. Performed in a therapy centre in rooms and makeshift sets, the film utilises a variety of storytelling devices in its presentation of characters constructing their own escape routes. In one scenario, a therapist attends an evening group in an attempt to lose herself without leaving the confines of the building. In another, a young woman in a cellar slowly works away at the wall to create a tunnel through which to escape. Constructed around text and coming together in a climactic musical sequence, Escape, 2011, comments more broadly on moving image’s close relationship with escapism.
Collaboratively Beech and Thomasson’s practice recognises the limitless possibility and potential in the unsettling distance between the audience and ‘stage’. They utilise repetitive body based movement and employ the rhetoric of theatre as a strategy to intensify this gap rendering the audience unable to repose into one mode of experience. For their performance piece at IMT Gallery, Beech and Thomasson brought together spoken text, constructed sound and movement by way of performers sat at tables. Through their actions the performers created an atmospheric soundscape and the props become the stage for the narrative to unfold.
Beech and Thomasson’s recent collaborations include: 7 Year Itch, More Soup and Tart, Barbican Theatre, London; Holding it Together, Night and Day, Modern Art Oxford; The Cigarette Game, Testing Ground: Live, Zabludowicz Collection, London and in Making Mistakes at Paradise Row, London.
Lucy Beech (born in 1985) studied a BA at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. Recent exhibitions include: Fire in the Belly, Visions in the Nunnery, The Nunnery, London and I Was There, On Face Work, Stedefreund, Berlin.
Edward Thomasson (born 1985) studied an MA at the Slade School of Fine Art and a BA at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. Recent exhibitions include; Drill, New Contemporaries 2010, touring to ICA, London and Plain Sailing and Find a Problem to Solve, The Life Room, CHELSEA Space, London.
Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson – One Another’s Company was an exhibition made by Hana Noorali and supported by the Arts Council England.