Logical Song

4 February 2024 — 3 March 2024

Warning: strobe lighting will be used in this exhibition

Castlefield Gallery presents
Logical Song, Rowland Hill’s first major solo exhibition. Exploring the aesthetics of 1990s Eurodance music, club culture and local fairgrounds, Hill transformed the gallery into an immersive installation which sits between an attraction and an exhibition. Visitors are invited to enter spaces that move them from the private and domestic to the theatrical and communal, embarking them upon a destabilising  journey through a fantasised past to a darker, speculative future.

A new multi-screen audio-visual work Holy Prototype presents a constellation of fairground signs which have visited the artist’s hometown every year since the early 2000s. These totemic images are set against the echoing voices of fairground operators and Elgar’s Memorial Chimes (1923), composed in memory of the First World War.

Logical Song also houses an adaptation of Hill’s Fluchtpunkt, an audio landscape of extreme weather sounds — a recurring metaphor for conflict and resolution in 90s dance music — which, today, take on a stark significance. Underpinned by an ominously thudding beat, the exhibition prompts visitors to question the dreamworld of Eurodance and its disquieting rhetoric of utopia and emergency.

LISTEN NOW: Rowland Hill’s Eurodance playlist

Rowland Hill created a playlist of Eurodance music to accompany the exhibition. You can listen to it here or click on the video above.

Rowland Hill (b.1989) creates experiences that play with the artifice, tension and vulnerability inherent to live performance and its stagecraft, sometimes with an unsettling or ambivalent outcome.

She frequently works collaboratively and across a range of media, especially film and video, live performance, installation, sound, collage and experimental event formats. Much of her work deals with absence and presence, and relies upon audiences to engage in processes of speculation and imaginative projection, often within an interdisciplinary environment that draws on her background studying and working in theatre, film and music contexts.

In recent years Rowland Hill’s work has been commissioned by Turner Contemporary (Margate), The Royal Standard (Liverpool), Holden Gallery (Manchester) and Ambit publication. She has performed and presented her work at spaces including Raven Row (London), ICA (London), The Koppel Project (London), Splendor (Amsterdam), Videographé (Montreal), and Flux Factory (New York). In 2018 she received the Clare Winsten Memorial Award from the Slade School of Art in London where she completed her MA, and in subsequent years has been awarded a Jerwood Bursary and a Manchester Culture Award.

This exhibition was selected from proposals submitted by Castlefield Gallery Associates by guest selector curator, writer and researcher Stella Sideli, Castlefield Gallery Curator and Deputy Director Matthew Pendergast and Castlefield Gallery Associates Coordinator James Mathews-Hiskett.