Live

Park Nights: Helen Marten's Dust and Piranhas

The work of young, London-based artist Helen Marten is underpinned by an examination of contemporary social codes alongside reflections on mercantile grubbiness.

Fri 26 Aug 2011
8:00pm to 10:00pm
Serpentine Pavilion / Live
Admission Free

In this spirit of cultural thievery, the artist reconfigures everyday impulses into new forms of material space. With some measure of cruelty and violence, Dust and Piranhas unfolds a knotty love letter to object and artefact. Written and composed in response to the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 designed by Peter Zumthor, this new video work is structured around a scripted text delivered via CGI columns, rap, and cathartic slapstick.

How to protect beauty from dust and piranhas

How to promote beauty to dust and piranhas

The idea is that it's worth getting underneath the Arcadian patina of optimism to say that the alibi of the boys and girls that run in slow motion along Hawaiian beaches with their hair blowing in the wind and their smiling white teeth because their toothpaste is infallible, is in actual fact an alibi that won't stand examination, not for one second.

If you're hooked on urban living, become an internationalist. Cross borders. Check out Kuwait. Check out London. Check into Caracas. Read the National Geographic. Drink sweet fennel tea, throw bone out the door and eat cheesecake way past it's sell-by date, wallow in irresistible texture, in thickness and the blank white taste of nothing.

You can do better than that.

Aren't you ashamed?

We'll change the subject...

Is soft pile more affirming than carpet tiles? Would you know how to fire at a B-52? (yes) (no) and at an F 104 (yes) (no) have you ever been to a fortune-teller or magician? (yes) (no) have you ever seen one working on a General Town Plan? (yes) (no) if you see seagulls in the city along the river, do you think they have flown up the river from the sea or that your city has followed the river down to the sea?.........................

Helen Marten was born in 1985 in Macclesfield and currently lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include Take a stick and make it sharp at Johann König, Berlin (solo), Wicked Patterns at T293, Naples (solo), Hasta Mañana, at Greene Naftali, New York, a group exhibition curated by Catherine Sullivan at Catherine Bastide, Brussels and Boule to braid (curated by Richard Wentworth), Lisson Gallery, London. Forthcoming exhibitions and projects include Beyond Gestaltung at Bielefelder Kunstverein, Lafayette Prize, FIAC, Paris (with Johann König) and a solo show a Kunsthalle Zürich (2012). She was shortlisted for the 2011 LUMA Award.

Huge thanks to Adam Sinclair for his painstaking animation and modelling; Ed Waring and Katie Harkin for their respective sound treatment, mastering and composition; and Laura Marten, Tom Green and Muxacb Smaczylo for their voices and patience.

 

 

 

Related Events / Exhibitions: 
Serpentine Pavilion
1 Jul 2011 to 16 Oct 2011
Pavilion

At the heart of Peter Zumthor's practice is a refined selection of materials used to create contemplative spaces that evoke the spiritual dimension of our physical environment.

Image Credits

Featured image
Year 2014
Title of work
Park Nights: Helen Marten, Dust and Piranhas
Image courtesy
Photograph: Paul Knight

Park Nights: Helen Marten, Dust and Piranhas

Thursday, 17th April 2014

Park Nights: Helen Marten Dust and Piranhas 2011

Park Nights: Helen Marten

Dust and Piranhas

2011
Audience view, Serpentine Gallery, London (26 August 2011)

Park Nights: Helen Marten, Dust and Piranhas

2014
Park Nights 2011: Helen Marten, Dust and Piranhas

Photo: Paul Knight

Park Nights: Helen Marten, Dust and Piranhas

2011
Park Nights: Helen Marten, Dust and Piranhas

Serpentine Gallery, Friday 26 August 2011

Photograph: Paul Knight

Park Nights: Helen Marten's Dust and Piranhas 26 Aug 2011 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm at Serpentine Pavilion

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