Speak: Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost and Cally Spooner

Serpentine Sackler Gallery

2 Mar 2017 to 21 May 2017

Speak: Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost and Cally Spooner

Admission Free

Speak, at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, brings together four artists – Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost, Cally Spooner – and coincides with the Serpentine Gallery’s survey of the late British conceptual artist John Latham. 

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The artists in Speak each extend and update Latham’s radical world view with their own sense of urgency. The Sackler has become a transformed space with an installation of video, light, sound and sculpture in the Powder Rooms, and, in the gallery, a bid for Cuban presidency and a composition of drawings, sound and a single live body. Each artist explores language as a medium for action, exchange and disruption. Together, they reveal how Latham’s ideas continue to resonate: from taking an unconventional approach to the reception and transference of knowledge to prioritising the role of the artist in society as an agent for change.

Tania Bruguera directly addresses political and humanitarian issues in her native Cuba through performance and long-term social engagement projects. Her interventions parallel the ambitions of the Artist Placement Group (APG), co-founded by John Latham, which positioned the artist inside industry with the potential to effect change. For this exhibition, Bruguera has made a video that builds on her recent announcement to run for presidency in Cuba.

Douglas Gordon was first introduced to John Latham in his years as a student at Glasgow School of Art (1984–8), and Latham remained an influential figure on Gordon’s work. He has responded to the architecture of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery by creating a new site-specific text installation incorporating Latham’s text works, drawing out their shared interest in the relationship between language and time, alongside a new video work which revisits and fragments a conversation between Gordon, Latham and the Serpentine’s Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist from 1999. Gordon also presents two games: The Latham (Variations) redefining the Game of Freda and Ping Pong where objects collide in space and time.

Laure Prouvost takes an intuitive and bodily approach to knowledge, drawing on the everyday and domestic as events merging life and art, and exploiting the slippages of translation and language to confuse fact with fiction. Her experience working as John Latham’s assistant in the early 2000s has provided a rich and playful resource for her work. For this exhibition, she has created a multi-sensory immersive environment that combines synchronised lights and a sound narrative with sculptural objects and video.

Cally Spooner’s diverse practice includes film, audio, hired bodies, drawing, writing, and live events. She presents a constellation of sound, drawing, data and a live body. Her wall drawing wraps around the gallery, bringing together different streams of data – metabolic, professional and economic – extracted from the artist and her environment. Warm Up is a proposal for continuous restlessness and rehearsal – a warm-up for our position as individuals facing an uncertain political future. Warm Up appears daily, unannounced between 12-5pm. Carried by: Alice MacKenzie, Nefeli Skarmea, Alice Tatge, Rosalie Wahlfrid and Margarita Zafrilla Olayo. Spooner has written new texts Early Research Methods 9 – 10 for the exhibition catalogue, John Latham: A World View.

Speak takes its title from a 1962 film by John Latham, in which the artist experiments with pulsating sound and image. A series of screenings, performances, study evenings and symposia at venues across London has been programmed alongside the exhibitions Speak and A World View: John Latham.

Connect to our free WiFi on your smartphone to access a mobile tour of the Speak exhibition featuring background information about the artists and the works on display.

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Related Events / Exhibitions

Exhibition

A World View: John Latham

2 Mar 2017 to 21 May 2017

As a pioneer of British conceptual art, John Latham (1921-2006) has exerted a powerful and lasting influence, not only on his peers but on generations of younger artists. This spring, the Serpentine hosts a new exhibition that encompasses all strands of Latham’s extraordinary practice, including sculpture, installation, painting, film, land art, engineering, found-object assemblage, performance and the artist’s theoretical writings.

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Serpentine Cinema: John Latham and Laure Prouvost

28 Mar 2017 - 8:30 PM

Laure Prouvost introduces films by John Latham and screens a selection of her own works.

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United in Stomach Flu, London Weeps

21 Apr 2017 - 8:00 PM

A reading by Cally Spooner from her novel in progress will be interspersed with some unwritten thoughts for 2017, possibly on states of rehearsal, Galileo's telescope, out-of-work speech writers, sweat, shame, structured reality, fake news, false tears and outsourcing.

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Serpentine Mobile Tours

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Serpentine Mobile Tours offer visitors an interactive gallery experience providing access to additional content, including artist interviews and curator tours, from the Serpentine’s internationally acclaimed Exhibition and Architecture Programmes.

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A World View: John Latham

Publication

Published on the occasion of the exhibition A World View: John Latham at the Serpentine Gallery and Speak: Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost, Cally Spooner at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

£22.00

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Speak Installation View - Tania Bruguera

Speak Installation View - Tania Bruguera

Tania Bruguera, Transforma tus ideas en acciones cívica / Transform your ideas into civic actions, 2017. Speak, Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (1 March 2017 – 21 May 2017)
Speak Installation View - Douglas Gordon 2

Speak Installation View - Douglas Gordon 2

Douglas Gordon, 'Deep Frieze for J.L.., incorporating P.P.P.', 2017. Speak, Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (1 March 2017 – 21 May 2017)
Speak Installation View - Laure Prouvost 1

Speak Installation View - Laure Prouvost 1

Laure Prouvost, end her Is story, 2017. Speak, Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (1 March 2017 – 21 May 2017)
Tania Bruguera, INSTAR - Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt

Tania Bruguera, INSTAR - Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt

Tania Bruguera, ‘Opening Session of the foundational process of INSTAR - Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt’, 2015;
Speak Installation View - Cally Spooner

Speak Installation View - Cally Spooner

Cally Spooner, Warm Up, 2016. Speak, Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (1 March 2017 – 21 May 2017)
Speak Installation View - Douglas Gordon 1

Speak Installation View - Douglas Gordon 1

Douglas Gordon, Speak, Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (1 March 2017 – 21 May 2017)
Speak Installation View - Laure Prouvost 2

Speak Installation View - Laure Prouvost 2

Laure Prouvost, We Will Multiply, 2017, Speak, Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (1 March 2017 – 21 May 2017)