artist / participant
press release only in german
February 3–March 18, 2018
Performances: February 2–3 & March 17–18
Opening: February 2, 6–9pm
The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is proud to host DRAG DRAG SOLO, the largest solo show by Cally Spooner to date, in which the artist presents three distinct bodies of work on separate floors of the institution. The first is in the past, as a closure; the second remains in the present, in formation; the third is in the future, as a speculative event. Sitting somewhere between a retrospective and a rehearsal, the exhibition arrives at a moment when reality can feel degraded. Here, Spooner considers how subjectivity and its bodies are shaped by technological and performative conditions, as well as how and where language undergoes damage.
Beginning from the position of a writer, Spooner considers her work equally to be that of a choreographer: arranging language across a page, then through a space, placing writing in a moving performer’s body. Evolving over long periods of time and across a variety of venues, her works are carried by casts, text and objects, which embed in the living and mediated fabric of her practice. Reflecting on the erosion of voice and language in neoliberal and technological milieus, her absurdist scripts, fictions, films and events render the behavior of invisible violence in the digital age. Comedic and dystopian replays of political, economic and media rhetoric become critiques of corporate performance and chrono-normative history alike. Considering these as corrosive to both life and utterance, she responds by presenting rehearsals and duration as a mode of resistance.
At the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, on the second floor, is Spooner’s And You Were Wonderful, On Stage (2013 – 2015); a 5-channel film installation which has more in common with a live choreographic event than cinema. On the third floor, works created between 2015–18, comprising objects, sound, drawing and live events—in varying states of aliveness and deadness—create an ecosystem of fact and fiction, hinting at a "novel in progress." Finally, in the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève’s Cinema Dynamo will be the early research stages of Spooner's yet-to-emerge performance company, OFFSHORE. In advance of its launch this spring in London, Spooner will create a series of workshops in collaboration with HEAD – Genève, Geneva University of Art and Design and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.
DRAG DRAG SOLO as an entirety takes its title from a ten-minute silent film by Spooner, commissioned by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève for their Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement in 2016. The film absorbs, and is affected by sounds in its proximity, which have thus far included Bruce Nauman’s film Violent Incident, live radio, an alarm clock, as well as sound works by Spooner herself. Considering the chance to be thrown out of sync by sources outside of oneself, DRAG DRAG SOLO—both film and exhibition—equally contain an awkward subtext; the leaking intersections betweencollaboration and solo performance.
Curated by Andrea Bellini
The exhibition is made in partnership with the Swiss Institute, New York, where it will manifest in a new constellation in December 2018. A new publication by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève and Mousse Publishing, containing scripts, scores and drawings from And You Were Wonderful, On Stage (2013–2015) will be published during the exhibition. A comprehensive monograph on Spooner’s work to date is currently being organized by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in partnership with Vleeshal, Middelburg and the Madre—museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, due for release in late 2018.