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Spacex presents the first UK solo exhibition by Finland based artist John Court. New works will be shown alongside drawings and performance produced over the last fifteen years. His output includes performance, sculpture and video, but he considers all his work to be fundamentally concerned with drawing, in that drawing connects the elements of line, movement, space and time.
Court is severely dyslexic. He began drawing at the age of nineteen, using it as a means to comprehend and come to terms with the difficulties and negative experiences he had gone through at school. During this process he gained self-confidence through learning to read and write in his own way. The theme of control interests him, where the act of writing becomes an encounter with (dis)empowerment.
In Court’s drawings it is difficult to decipher the hand of the artist, his involvement is almost devoid and hidden from view. In some instances his works look as if they have been made by a machine, possessing a reductivist quality and a sense of purity. However, in reality as with all his works, they explore time, slowness, attention to detail and precision. The exploration of time is employed in the process, the drawings take months to create.
Alongside the varied drawings, the exhibition will also include a series of films and documentary, trace material from earlier performance works and a selection of sculptural (three dimensional) drawing works, some of which gallery visitors will be able to interact with and engage with their tactile nature. In Court’s work we will witness the parallels between drawing/sketching and text/language. His work investigates the ways in which language intersects with drawing.
Spacex has commissioned a new performance by Court that will mark the closing of the exhibition. Viewers will witness Court pushing his body beyond technique and exhaustion. The performance will last for eight hours, this duration is based on the time of an average working day. The piece will take place in the gallery space and could be read quite literally as marking time.
A recent work which took place north of the Arctic Circle involved walking 200 metres in a straight line over 8 hours. Court’s performances are not preparatory works for another stage, they are an ephemeral act. We experience his body in motion; there is a silence and grace to the act, which plays against the pure physicality of the action.
A British artist who lives and works in Lapland, close to the Arctic Circle. He graduated from the Camberwell School of Art, London in 1994 and from Norwich School of Art and Design in 1997, before moving to Finland. He has been exhibited at several major events worldwide including the Guangzhou Live Art Festival in China, the ANTI Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland (both 2010) and the Venice Biennale (2005), as well a performance at the Liverpool Biennial (2004). His output includes performance, sculpture, and video pieces.
John Court tour dates
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