Welcome to the ‘residency’ section of the Stag and Hound exhibition. In this residency part of the project we are making new work in-situ as well as reviewing and reshaping some past work. The exhibition opens as a ‘static’ show on Tuesday 15th February (6pm) where we will be launching a publication on our recent work. We hope to see you again then.”
- Dutton and Swindells
Dutton and Swindells search and play with images, objects and texts through processes of collage, appropriation and multiple associations. The aim of their collaboration is to foster complex interpretations, often from deceptively simple means. They are predominantly installation artists with no restrictions on media; the references are often deeply encoded within the images, objects, texts, animations and sound works they construct.
“We are interested in patterns and connections in the work but we also are keen to play with disruption and notions of drift. In this sense our installations are often ambiguous, if not somewhat complex or contradictory. This tactic is not intended to confuse the viewer/participant but to tacitly suggest or invoke a realm within which doubt, reticence and inconclusiveness may be privileged over certain forms of knowledge; this is a critical sentiment that lies at the centre of all of our projects.”
A Description of the project - The Stag and Hound at PSL
The ‘Institute of Beasts’ project was initially designed as a means to temporarily house our more ‘errant’ thoughts and strategies. Our wayward pathologies are not a means of deliberate obfuscation, but a reminder of the mutability of knowledge and an attempt to present back to the world the aesthetic dimensions which were constructed out of the dynamics created from the tensions and breaks of The Stag and Hound.
Description of Works
Wolf and Cyberdog: gallery 2
Photographic print, animation and sculpture
A DV animation of 3D rotating mutant cyber-dog head; the head is a collage; half mongrel dog’s head and sculptural object. The head rotates 360 degree in deep space. The head (half dog, half flashing multi-coloured and multi-faceted sculptural object) is a contemporary creature; simultaneously animal and machine that emits a bestial voice reciting a narrative on atrocities to the body. Large scale photograph of a dog acting as a wolf and brass-dogs sculpture.
Impotency: gallery 3
Vinyl Wall Text:
A wall text appropriates the text of spam e-mails selling ‘Viagra’. The text reads, “Town the dust was falling and the great the mystical omomom of the dynamos in the Electiclight room with the housekeeper staring after her in over towards me that lay all wrapped up in an ecstasy of heroism that made her almost”
Celestial Mechanics: gallery 3
A series of new and evolving animations that respond to the PSL architecture as well as to the Stag and Hound installation.
Modern Atrocity: gallery 5
Framed Prints, fractured glass and Flash Animation Gallery 5
This was the outcome of an attempt to negotiate a set of photographs which we came across which represented significant incidents of the 20th Century, including genocide, mass violence and deprivation but also more benign imagery such as children playing or a man reading the paper. Like much of our work we are encoding representations and meanings without explicitly revealing them. This is particularly the case with images such as these where we are not only asking questions about the documentary representation of violence but also continuing to ask questions about the nature of an image itself. The dahlia flower heads are also a series of hybrids and ‘refined’ strains like the images themselves. The flower head, despite being in full bloom, is inverted and therefore looking towards the ground as opposed to the sun.
A multi-coloured ‘head’ on a field of a subtly changing spectrum of colours whilst being orbited by three spinning peanut-like satellites. The animation is accompanied by the sound of what initially sounds like bird song but is actually the script of ‘The Exorcist’, read by a computerized voice then speeded up by around 2000 times to sound like the high pitch twitter of birds. In the film William Freidkin used the sound of the animal on a number of occasions to signify the demon ‘Pazuzu’. As well as using the revolving head scene and other devices of inversion, he reverses animal sounds to signify all that may be unthinkable. In a way of trying to wrench the script back from this negative image of the bestial the artists had the script read by a computer simulated voice and then speeded it up until it sounded birdlike, so much so that the love birds were more often than not, responding.
Monkey Nuts: gallery 4/5
Ceramic monkey nuts The artists rather like the fact that the ceramic nuts are ridiculous (comical) objects, whilst also seeking to recognise the humble peanut as quite decorative and special. The monkey nut (as we call them in UK) is a great equaliser between beasts, as we may all feel the same simian act as we break one open.
Revolutionary Rhetoric: gallery 4
‘Three word chant’
Sound piece/ 8 mins 7 sec /repeated every 22 mins/2009
We have developed a process of transcribing texts into musical notation. The process involves ‘writing’ onto a musical software programme. A number of our recent pieces have used political, or inflammatory slogans as the ‘base’ text from which they then develop a sound-work. The slogan we have used here is the ‘antichant’ of the anti-globalisation movement, a chant which says nothing apart from ‘Three word chant’.
‘Death to the Fascist Insect’
Sound piece/ 7 mins 34 sec /headphones continuous loop/2009 This uses the same process as ‘Three word chant’. It is a continuous loop accompanied with a charcoal drawing of the first page of the musical score. ‘Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys on the Life of the People’ was the revolutionary slogan of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) of (1974). We are interested in this period of modernist avant-garde and political upheaval.
Mongrel and Faculty: window corridor gallery
Photographic prints This is a photograph of a mongrel dog, with a mask of a Dalmatian (a pedigree). Dutton and Swindells consider this work as an announcement about their current work. The mongrel is potentially a mascot for the Stag and Hound project. A photograph of animals as live sculptures; The Stag and Hound not only provides shelter but is founded upon the notion of marginality; for beasts that seemingly exist on or within a margin.
Modern City: gallery 7
15 min sound piece and animation 2009 A brightly coloured hard edge sculpture rotates within a flashing multicoloured screen – the sculpture and the screen are forever suspended and accompanied by a narrative, which may or may not be confessional, read by the computer voice ‘Vicki’. The accompanying animation suggests that the nervous breakdown indicated in the narrative is always on the cusp and continuously deferred. A lightbox image of Seoul, a modern city.
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