The Collection is presenting a curated series of exhibitions during Frequency and beyond (from 24 Oct 2015 – 14 Feb 2016) to spark discussion around the themes raised by Magna Carta 800 years on.
Today’s artists focus will feature the artists that form Freedom Lies: Michael Pinchbeck, Ghana ThinkTank, Jordan Baseman, and S. Mark Gubb.
Michael Pinchbeck is an award-winning writer and artist based in Nottingham, UK. Having completed a Masters in Performance and Live Art from Nottingham Trent University, he lectures at the University of Lincoln with his work touring nationally and internationally, and has been selected for the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase three times.
Pinchbeck’s work includes an ongoing archive of interviews, retelling memories of the former primary school where the piece is based (Primary), a public installation piece consisting of a bench with a plaque inviting the general public to sit down and listen to a recording that reflects on what it means to sit and reminisce (Sit with Me for a Moment and Remember), and a series of plays inspired by stage directions from Shakespeare (The Beginning, The Middle, The End).
Michel Pinchbeck brings his work ‘The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment’ to Frequency ‘15. A combination of slideshow and performance, this story of a man suddenly expelled into the vacuum of space brings a guest performer on stage who follows instructions fed through a pair of headphones – instructions the performer has no prior knowledge of. Inspired by a 1984 installation by Russian artist Illya Kabakov, the work was commissioned by hÅb (Manchester) and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, developed at First Bite, Forest Fringe and Hatch and supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Ghana ThinkTank, founded by Christopher Robbins, John Ewing and Matey Odonkor and later joined by Carmen Montoya, is both a public art project and a global network. Collecting “first world problems” from the US and Europe and sending them to think tanks in so called developing countries such as Ghana, Cuba, Iran and Mexico the project aims to gain a fresh international perspective on local and global issues.
The project was initially conceived as a response to the trend of “first world” countries attempting to solve issues in the developing world, in cultures they have no experience or knowledge of. Ghana ThinkTank turns the idea of first and third world on its head and challenges perceptions of what we consider to be developing countries. The project places value on the experiences and cultures of people who are often dismissed because of the economic status of their countries, and stresses the importance of allowing the people of developing countries to be a part of solving their own problems.
In 2013 Ghana ThinkTank won the Creative Capital Award for Emerging Fields which allowed them to develop a project called ThinkTank At The Border which focused specifically on immigration issues in the USA. They collected problems from people living on both sides of the issue; from border control officers to deported immigrants, from undocumented workers to patriot groups, through face to face interviews, focus groups and anonymous postcards. The project then exchanges those problems, allowing the opposing groups to work together to facilitate a solution. Ghana ThinkTank then works with the communities involved to implement those solutions, which are then documented and shared in a roving exhibition. The project’s work is continued through collaboration with non-profits and civilian groups on all sides of the debate with an aim to implement Ghana ThinkTank’s model as a tool for conflict prevention.
As a result of their various think tanks, Ghana ThinkTank has implemented several projects aimed at breaking down borders between opposing communities, for example; a series of bus adverts celebrating immigrants in Queens using slogans like “I came here to be an American” and “Made by an immigrant”, and the establishing of official looking “legal waiting zones” in the same area to combat the discrimination Latin American immigrant workers were experiencing from the police, who would accuse them of illegal loitering which could result in a fine of up to $5,000. These zones were set up not only as a safe space for those facing police discrimination but also to generate conversation and spark debate from those who would have never seen waiting in the street as a problem before.
Ghana ThinkTank brings an exhibition showcasing the work they have done across the various countries they have visited to Frequency Festival in Lincoln, and will also be collecting problems from festival goers to send to their think tanks for solutions.
In partnership with FACT, Liverpool.
Jordan Baseman is a visual artist, filmmaker and head of Sculpture programme at the Royal College of Art. Baseman is currently artist in residence at the University of Lincoln at Lincoln Law School, the first artist to receive the city’s artist in residence position.
In recent years he has received grants from: Arts Council England, The Arts & Humanities Research Council, The British Council, In addition, he has exhibited and screened work internationally in galleries and film festivals including Australia, USA, Austria, Germany, Japan, Portugal, France and Italy.
Baseman’s body of work includes both exhibition and film and focuses on several diverse and contrasting themes and often making use of documentary techniques, for example: ‘Nobody Likes Us But We Don’t Care’ – a documentary short featuring SiRR, (possibly) the only heavy metal band in Azerbaijan, ‘True Crime’ – a film of criminologist Dr Diana Bretherick discussing the social constructs of good and evil over mugshots of contemporary criminals, and ‘Deadness’ – an exhibition focusing on death and the relationship between portraiture and embalming.
Jordan Baseman presents ‘July The Twelfth’ at Frequency ‘15; an actual audio recording of the State of Georgia execution of Ivon Ray Stanley on July the Twelfth 1984. The piece questions whether the death penalty is truly a form of justice, or in fact purely government controlled murder. The dialogue is transcribed, letting you view the words as the execution plays out, as the piece explores issues of freedom of information, human rights and controversial penal systems.
Mark Gubb is a multimedia artist, working across several mediums, incorporating sculpture, video, sound, installation and performance into his work. Based in Cardiff, Gubb’s work has been shown internationally in both group and solo shows from Liverpool to Berlin, to MoMA in New York City.
Mark Gubb is influenced heavily by the social and political culture of his lifetime and these issues are reflected in the subjects of his work. He has an equal fascination with society’s successes and failures which often takes the form of a kind of re-evaluation and re-interpretation of contemporary culture and our collective history. Through his work Gubb aims to provoke his audience to consider their contribution to their society and the world as a whole, and to remind us of the great and terrible things that happen around us.
Gubb’s work also includes several permanent installation pieces that can be found across the UK, including a delapidated, B-movie inspired “cabin in the woods” in Cumbria (The Church of the Greys) and a neon sign sculpture featuring changeable messages chosen by the artist and the public in Portsmouth (Trav’ller in the Dark).
Showing at Frequency ‘15 is “The Death of Peter Fetcher”, a recording of a one off performance S. Mark Gubb gave in London, recreating the shooting and subsequent death of an 18 year old man as he tried to escape across the Berlin Wall in 1962. The work takes a stark look at one of many incidents of violence committed by totalitarian forces and raises questions about bystander apathy and the way we see our collective histories.