Castlefield Gallery presents ‘Pass the Time of Day’, an exhibition curated by artist Paul Rooney, which explores the theme of the estrangement of everyday life through the use of music.
The selected works, which include existing and newly commissioned pieces, have an active involvement with the emotional effects of music, mirroring our fluid and subjective experience of the everyday. The works explore the potential within day-to-day existence for creativity and resistance to constraint, and they often deal with the theme of ‘wasted time’, or time loosely and freely spent, as an act of resistance.
In developing this exhibition, Rooney has drawn on interests inherent within his own artistic practice, which include the social and personal aspects of popular entertainments such as music, comedy and storytelling. The works included are poignant musical art moments, which primarily use or reference recent British and North American post-punk music (or pre-punk with the same demeanour.) Similarly, the everyday life that is referred to within the works is that of Western, primarily urban, primarily working class, turn of the century experience.
The exhibition includes a newly commissioned off-site audio work by Susan Philipsz. The piece takes Michelangelo Antonioni’s film ‘Blow Up’ as its starting point and explores themes such as disillusionment, discovery and longing.
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Arab Strap: Scottish pop-rock balladeers Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton’s ‘Girls of Summer’, and ‘The First Big Weekend’, will play as part of the exhibition. The latter is a story of canteen quizzes, sleeping in the afternoon and watching the Simpsons. Their work explores the grubby disappointments of relationships, set amongst brutally mundane observations.
Marko Ciciliani: Croatian composer Ciciliani will present ‘Home’, a six channel audio installation that includes the ambient sounds of the artist’s apartment in Holland; the sound of the TV next door, the dog barking outside of the window and someone practising the violin.
Phil Collins will exhibit Real Society’, a series of still images of people undressing in a Spanish hotel room, with a sound track of melancholic songs.
Fugazi & Jem Cohen: The film ‘Instrument’ by Jem Cohen will be screened at a one-off event during the exhibition. The film documents Fugazi on tour. However, rather than attempting to capture the glamour of the ‘rock tour’, the film focuses on the in-between times, the boring, mundane moments of eating at service stations and trying to sleep on the tour bus.
Rodney Graham will exhibit ‘Aberdeen’ a slide and audio tribute to Kurt Cobain’s hometown, with shots of the dreary Washington State backwater and CD Walkman soundtrack sung by Graham and inspired by Nirvana.
Mark Leckey presents ‘Parking Lot’, an audio piece presented in a parked car outside of the gallery space. Visually the piece evokes a homogenous everyday, as banal as the moulded plastic interior. But this British service station Travelodge aesthetic is sensually undermined by the American voice from the piece ‘telling the woman how happy she made me, kissing and hugging’.
Rosalind Nashashibi’s will exhibit ‘Open Day’, a film which overlays a musical soundtrack onto routine leisure activities, shifting them, or rather situating them, in their own reality more clearly.
Susan Philipsz will present a newly commissioned work entitled ‘Follow Me’. The audio piece will be based on the Michaelangelo Antonioni’s film ‘Blow Up’ and explores themes such as discovery, disillusionment and longing.
Paul Rooney has made a new ceiling mounted video installation entitled ‘In the Distance the Dawn is Breaking’, which has the sound of singing voices describing retail workers’ sleeping dreams, on the soundtrack to monitor images of empty shop spaces at night.
Pipilotti Rist will present ‘You called me Jacky’, a video piece which locates the viewer in the particularly British everyday of the English seaside resort and the debris of a summer romance that started and finished there, which is described in a song called ‘Jackie and Edna’ by Kevin Coyne and lip-synched by Rist.
Stephen Sutcliffe will show his video work ‘Please, Please, Please, Let me get What I Want’. This piece shows an array of supermarket shelves filled with products that are being re-stacked by night workers to the soundtrack of ‘Please, Please, Please…’ by the Smiths.
Thomson & Craighead’s ‘Telephony’ is a wall of cell phones, linked up to a laptop with a sound card that creates a mini symphonic experience from the ringing sound we hear everywhere and love to hate.
A catalogue, published by Gasworks Gallery, with essays by Michael Bracewell and Paul Rooney accompanies the exhibition.
Pass the Time of Day is supported by Arts Council England’s National Touring Programme, AHRB, The PRS Foundation, Lambeth Endowed Charities, Lambeth Arts and The Royal Netherlands Embassy.