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 will be 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. There will also be a set of sculpture games, Variatham, and a new video comprising footage from an interview with Latham dating from 1999. 

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 will present a constellation of sound, drawing, data and a live body; a proposal for continuous restlessness and rehearsal – a warm-up for our position as individuals facing an uncertain political future. She has written new texts Early Research Methods 9 – 10 for the exhibition catalogue, John Latham: A World View, which may also take physical form as a new work within the exhibition.

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.

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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 Sackler Gallery

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

4 Mar 2017 - 3:00 PM

Curator Melissa Blanchflower leads a tour of the exhibition, Speak: Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost and Cally Spooner

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Serpentine Sackler Gallery

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

11 Mar 2017 - 3:00 PM

Assistant curator Agnes Gryczkowska leads a tour of the exhibition, Speak: Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost and Cally Spooner 

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A World View: John Latham

Publication

COMING SOON: 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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Cally Spooner, Early research: method #7

Cally Spooner, Early research: method #7

Cally Spooner, ‘Early research: method #7’, 2016;

Courtesy the artist and gb agency, Paris; Photo: Aurelien Mole

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;
Tania Bruguera, Title: Tatlin's Whisper #6 (Havana version)

Tania Bruguera, Title: Tatlin's Whisper #6 (Havana version)

Tania Bruguera, ‘Tatlin's Whisper #6 (Havana version)’, 2009;

Photo: Courtesy Studio Bruguera, Collection Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2014. © Tania Bruguera

Laure Prouvost, GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center

Laure Prouvost, GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center

Laure Prouvost, ‘GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center’, 2016;

Courtesy the artist, carlier | gebauer, Berlin, Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan; Photo: Agostino Osio

Laure Prouvost , DROPPED HERE AND THEN, TO LIVE, LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND,

Laure Prouvost , DROPPED HERE AND THEN, TO LIVE, LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND,

Laure Prouvost , ‘DROPPED HERE AND THEN, TO LIVE, LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND’;

Courtesy the artist, carlier | gebauer, Berlin and Nathalie Obadia, Paris; Photo: Salomé Joineau

Douglas Gordon, 'Letter Unsent (Number 7)'

Douglas Gordon, 'Letter Unsent (Number 7)'

Douglas Gordon, 'Letter Unsent (Number 7)', 2005;

Courtesy of the artist; Photo: Yousef Eldin

Douglas Gordon, '24 Hours Psycho',

Douglas Gordon, ‘24 Hour Psycho’, 1993
From ‘Psycho’,1960, USA. Directed and Produced by Alfred Hitchcock.

© Studio lost but found / DACS2017; Photo: Studio lost but found / Katharina Kiebacher.