: the sounds here are bouncing around us and Susan and Anne and that object
16 March – 14 May 2017
Nicola Singh (b. Newcastle 1986) works with performance, object and text, making work in response to the contexts of location and place, encounter and dialogue, feelings and chance.
For this project at BALTIC 39 Singh has devised a programme of live events, readings and workshops that present a feminist discourse on the voice in performance, in writing and in the making of things. Beginning with the empty gallery, this programme will ultimately generate a ‘performed or workshopped’ exhibition.
The series of workshops will centre on these core themes and include shared exercises in moulding clay, drawing and paper-based activities and simple choreographic experiments. The results will be displayed as part of the exhibition, as further collaborations that each extend Singh’s thinking around feminist modes of production and display in contemporary art practices.
Singh will also present two new collaborative performances as part of this project. A ‘sung and spoken’ performance with artist Harriet Plewis that will function as something of a dialogue; the work follows on from a previous collaboration through which the two artists explored the unguarded act of conversation.
A choreographic negotiation of the female body in performance developed with artist Hannah Buckley. The artists will explore scales of movement, gesture and postures in relation to the voice and the objects gathered together in the gallery.
Singh will also work with two artists who remain anonymous. Their performance will play out a shared fantasy to experience the power and characterisation of the mysterious masked wrestler Kendo Nagasaki, who famously never speaks or removes his mask. Artist Flora Whiteley has been commissioned to produce a portrait of Nagasaki, in response to Peter Blank’s original, which will accompany the performance.
Each collaboration will be photographed by artist Fiona Larkin for Singh to reproduce into large-scale prints that will take over the gallery, dominating the space with the scaled-up bodies of the female performers.
To conclude this series of events, Singh has a programmed an evening of readings in the gallery by artists whose work explores notions of the voice in relation to self-expression. The readings will be performed over Skype, presenting the voice – and head – at an awkward close-up proximity to the listener.
The exhibition will also feature contributions by textile artist Naomi Daley.