Exhibition Opening and Screening:
Thursday 30 March 6 – 9 pm
five seven one
Open Hand Open Space
571 Oxford Road
Reading RG30 1HW
Opening times 12-4pm
Exhibition dates: 31 March – 2 April
This exhibition of works by Reading based artist Christine Ellison will include the first screening of a documentary short: something is Happening (2023). The film documents an art research residency led by Ellison, in November 2022, at the Bonotto Foundation in Veneto, Italy, home to the Bonotto Collection of Fluxus scores and concrete poetry. Here, the artist collaborated with a team of designers, dancers and musicians and six students from local Art and Dance schools, towards the development of a new score for movement and a live performance.
The film tracks a series of conversations and performance workshops that consider concepts of interaction at a time when this word has become synonymous with the digital screen. Participants are invited to re-imagine the screen interface as a score and respond through movement. Icons, words, and signs used in everyday interactions are re-interpreted in a new performance language. Immersed in the collection of experimental scores at Bonotto, the team consider how a performance score is a prompt, a provocation and an invitation for interpretation. Works by intermedia artists of the mid 20th century provide points of reference for the experimental approach that foregrounds the body.
The wider exhibition presents a body of work in which digital screen interfaces are mined for performative potential. Signs and mechanisms of interaction are recontextualised in paper objects and stop-animations that reframe and reposition everyday micro actions, such as scrolling, cropping, dragging. These objects then become starting points for conversations, workshops and performances with collaborators from different fields and disciplines.
This open-ended project draws on historic performance and intermedia strategies, specifically Fluxus scores and Allan Kaprow’s Happenings, that pull apart systems in order to challenge and provoke new thinking. Hummingbirds and Hamburgers is an invitation to reclaim the language of the interface from the homogenising forces of bureaucracy and marketisation, to generate new agency with the everyday.
Hummingbirds and Hamburgers is a collaborative research and performance project initiated by Christine Ellison (UK) and developed in collaboration with Erato Tzavara (GR), Nicholas Ward (IE). The residency performance was developed with Vassilis Tzavaras (Gnous Collective, GR), Maria Pisiou and Fer Gonzales-Morales (Lost Movement Collective, NL), with participation from students and recent graduates from the Veneto region. The film was made in collaboration with filmmaker Robbie McKane.
The residency was hosted by Fondazione Bonotto and Operaestate Festival.
The project has been developed in partnership with the University of Reading (UK) and the University of Limerick (IE) and supported by the Arts Council of England and Onassis-Stegi Outward Turn Programme (Athens).