Actions. 38 Artists at Kettle's Yard Say The Image of the World Can be Different

February 5, 2018

Titled Actions. The image of the world can be different, the upcoming group exhibition hosted by Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge will feature new and existing work by no less than 38 different artists.

The exhibition, which will unite international artists like Edmund de Waal, Jeremy Deller, Naum Gabo, Idris Khan, Richard Long, Melanie Manchot, Cornelia Parker and Khadija Saye under the same banner, will have site-specific works spread across Cambridge.

It follows a two-year redevelopment of the Cambridge gallery by Jamie Fobert Architects, a project that resulted in a new exhibition and education spaces which complement the uniqueness of the Kettle’s Yard House.

eL Seed, Perception, 2016
eL Seed - Perception, 2016. Courtesy the artist. Photograph Mehdy Khmili, © eL Seed

Actions. The image of the world can be different

The initial inspiration for the upcoming presentation was found in a letter Naum Gabo wrote to Herbert Read in 1944. In it, Gabo reasserts the potential of art as a poetic, social and political force in the world, underlining his belief that the image of the world can be different, a statement that directly influenced the 2018 show's title.

The event will provide the opportunity for vastly different artists to be a part of the same event. It will bring together work in a variety of forms and media made by artists of different generations, techniques and styles. The show will also allow many up-and-coming individuals to work alongside some of the most renowned names in contemporary art.

Out of 38 participating artists, nine of them prepared installations intended specifically for this show. These nine artists are Rana Begum, Jeremy Deller, eL Seed, Idris Khan, Issam Kourbaj, Harold Offeh, Melanie Manchot, Cornelia Parker and Caroline Walker.

Barbara Hepworth - Two Forms, Yellow and Brown, 1947, Khadija Saye - Peitaw, 2017
Left: Barbara Hepworth - Two Forms, Yellow and Brown, 1947. Oil and graphite on hardboard, 290 x 235mm, Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, © Bowness / Right: Khadija Saye - Peitaw, 2017, From the series: Dwelling: in this space we breathe. Photograph, wet plate collodion tintype on metal, 250 x 200 mm, On loan from Vinyl Factory, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye

What Will Be On Display

Taking full advantage of all the new possibilities the renovated location can offer, Actions. The image of the world can be different will introduce us to iconic works by Richard Long, Ben Nicholson and Mary Kelly, with new and recent pieces by Julie Mehretu, Oscar Murillo and Regina José Galindo among others. Furthermore, Callum Innes is making a set of watercolours to be shown in the new Research Space and eL Seed will create a new mural in North Cambridge.

There will be a wide assortment of live events throughout the exhibition, including a newly commissioned dance work by Candoco Dance Company with choreographer Laila Diallo, and performances by Harold Offeh, Anna Brownsted, Issam Kourbaj, Regina José Galindo and Emma Smith.

Oscar Murillo - tamawuj, 2017, Edmund de Waal - Letters from Paris, II, 2017
Left: Oscar Murillo - tamawuj, 2017. Oil, oil stick and graphite on canvas and linen, Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York, London, © Matthew Hollow / Right: Edmund de Waal - Letters from Paris, II, 2017. One porcelain vessel, 1 gilded porcelain tile and 1 silver, piece in an aluminium and plexiglass vitrine, 170 x 210 x 100 mm, Courtesy the artist and New Art Centre, © Edmund de Waal.

The Brand New Kettle’s Yard

Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard and curator of the upcoming exhibition, said the following when he was asked to explain the event's ultimate goal:

The aim is to create a gathering of artistic expressions, to see what happens when a myriad of diverse voices come together. Actions, taking its cue from Gabo, seeks to reassert the potential of art as a potent force in a troubled world.

Actions. The image of the world can be different will unfold between the 10th of February and the 6th of May 2018 at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, England.

Featured images: John Akomfrah - Untitled, 2016. Single-Channel HD video, 2-channel sound, 8:44 min, Courtesy the artists, © Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme; Alice Channer in her studio, Courtesy the artist, © Thierry Bal; Rana Begum - No. 764 Baskets, 2017-18. Handmade bamboo baskets, dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist and the Samdani Art Foundation, © Philip White; Melanie Manchot - The Ladies (King’s Dining Room), 2017. Digital Chromagenic print, Courtesy the artist and Parafin, London, © Melanie Manchot; Regina José Galindo - Tierra, 2013. HD Video, Courtesy the Artist and Prometeo Gallery, Milan, © The artist. All images courtesy of Kettle’s Yard.

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