Saturday, 23 February 2013

'19 Days' - Sarah Cleaver & Paul Kindersley

Co-Respondent at Transition Gallery - Part 3

Sarah Cleaver’s essay, which forms part of her collaboration with Paul Kindersley, starts off by talking about Jung’s use of word association with his patients, and about a sense of collaboration that can be built up between analyst and analysand. She uses the word ‘lulled’, and one can imagine, in looking at their work, how pleasurable this sense of being lulled into collaboration, can be.

The work, titled 19 Days came from an email correspondence between Kindersley and Cleaver, an exchange of images, short notes, poems and videos, in a chain of associations, one leading to the next, back and forth, over the chosen specified time. In setting up the rules of their project, they were inspired by the work of Sophie Calle, thinking in particular about her work with the writer Paul Auster.

19 Days takes the form of a pin board of images and short texts selectively edited from their exchange, plus the essay by Cleaver made in response to this, and additionally a QR code. This code can be scanned by a smartphone loaded with appropriate app, and leads to the 80s electronic disco song Cherchez Pas by Madleen Kane; adding another pleasure with which to delight the viewer’s senses. One can feel the seemingly limitlessness resource of online information we have at our fingertips, but also get a sense of the swapping of cultural nuggets between friends with some shared sensibilities, and the final piece is carefully honed and edited.

Cleaver’s essay mentions television police using the pin board format to organize maps and photographs of leads and evidence. This reference is there in the pin board in 19 Days but with its matt black fabric surface and the saturated colour of some of the images, what also comes to mind is a display of jewelry. There is a seduction also, of course, in the images themselves – of sexy bodies, touch, revealing, concealing, textures, surfaces, display, performance.

One cannot but help wanting to start ones own string of connections from the rich leads of this work – and what better place than with the first image of this exchange – an image of a girl on a beach, taken from the 1976 Catherine Breillat film A Real Young Girl. Co-incidentally (or perhaps not), before seeing the work, I had also just watched this film, which was recommended to me by Urara Tsuchiya (my own collaborator in Co-Respondent). She saw it recently with Paul Kindersley, after YouTube fortuitously flagged it up for them, in relation to another film they had just seen. And so the chain of associations goes on.

Mimei Thompson

16 February - 3 March 2013
Unit 25a Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road
London E8 4QN

This is the third of four texts about Co-Respondent, a show about collaboration which foreshadows the upcoming issue of Garageland 15: Collaboration which will be launched on 19 April 2013. 

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