From Friday 16 January, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
presents A Spoken Word Exhibition, composed only of verbal artworks. This exhibition will flow throughout the building as the works will be repeated by Baltic staff to the visitor on request.
Baltic staff will read the words, haikus or texts as written and instructed by 15 artists. Using only language the artworks are spoken and exchanged as a verbal gesture from one person to another, thus generating an exhibition that only last the time it takes to hear it.
A Spoken Word Exhibition is an exhibition of the same nature & material as that of the artworks that constitutes it, which are words. Using the simple premise of an artwork that can be spoken, curator Mathieu Copeland sets up a bridge between several generations of artists, with spoken works by major artists such as Lawrence Weiner, James Lee Byars, Yoko Ono and Vito Acconci alongside more recent voiced proposals from younger international figures such as Tris Vonna Michell and Mai-Thu Perret.
Alessandro Vincentelli, Acting Head of Programme at Baltic added: It is very timely that Copelands work is being presented at Baltic from January. The exhibition has been programmed to run concurrently with two adventurous shows that question the role and form of an artwork; This new initiative, created around only spoken word, will run alongside two major exhibitions George Maciunas: Dreams of Fluxus and the major presentation of Yoko Onos work.
A Spoken Word is very much a contemporary exhibition that draws together artists that are committed to continuing this way of questioning the form of art, and places an emphasis on experiencing an exchange rather than centring discussion on an object.
The show includes simple word instructions from a tightly curated international list of artists (full list of artist available below). With this unconventional show the public are invited to select from the list of works which will then be performed by Baltic staff.
A Spoken Word Exhibition is an on-going & travelling exhibition curated by Mathieu Copeland. It has previously been presented at the Swiss Institute NY in November 2007 (part of Performa07), and TranzitDisplay in Prague in the spring of 2008.
Vito Acconci, Fia Backström, Robert Barry, James Lee Byars, Nick Currie (aka Momus), Douglas Coupland, Karl Holmqvist, Maurizio Nannucci, Yoko Ono, Mai-Thu Perret, Emilio Prini, Tomas Vanek, Tris Vonna Michell, Lawrence Weiner, and Ian Wilson.
Mathieu Copeland, born in France in 1977, is a curator living in London who questions the conventional format of exhibitions. Recent exhibition includes A Choreographed Exhibition at La Ferme du Buisson (November/December 2008); L'Exposition Continue (the continuous exhibition) at Circuit & 1m3 in Lausanne (September/November 2008), and again The Saints, the films and music of Amy Granat in London (May 2008).
He also publishes artist films on DVDs, including films by Amy Granat, by Mai-Thu Perret, or again Arnaud Michniak.
Forthcoming exhibition include Voids, A Retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris , France , February/March 2009.