August 25, 2015 - Secession - Mark Leckey + Alessandro Raho: We Transfer / Emily Roysdon
August 25, 2015

Secession

Alessandro Raho, Polka Dot Man (RGB Version), 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Alison Jaques Gallery, London. Photo: Michael Brzezinski.
Mark Leckey + Alessandro Raho: We Transfer
Emily Roysdon
September 11–November 1, 2015

Opening: September 10, 7pm

www.secession.at
Facebook / Instagram

Mark Leckey + Alessandro Raho: We Transfer
Emily Roysdon
September 11–November 1, 2015

Opening: September 10, 7pm

www.secession.at
Facebook / Instagram

Mark Leckey + Alessandro Raho
We Transfer

We Transfer, Mark Leckey’s first solo show in Austria, will focus on the notion of transformation, conversion, transcendence. The simultaneity of different modes of existence, or of consciousness, that is significant for the present networked, digital era, is an issue inherent in a number of this British artist’s works. The exhibition’s key figure is a middle-aged man in a polka-dot dress and hat, kneeling on the pavement in supplication—a gesture that recalls icons of saints or martyrs. For Leckey, this scene from Billy Wilder’s screwball comedy 1, 2, 3 (1961) perfectly embodies the ecstatic moment of transition.

The show in Secession’s main exhibition hall with its at the same time prosaic and sacral layout will include a range of LED screens featuring looped video clips and Leckey’s new film, among other things.

The painter Alessandro Raho, whom Leckey invited to collaborate on this project, is contributing a series of portraits of the so-called Polka Dot Man, and a kind of "family portrait," which will be shown in the Grafisches Kabinett.

The highly idiosyncratic work of Mark Leckey combines installations, objects, videos, and sound sculptures with popular culture, in particular British subculture. In his iconic video Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999), he compiled found footage from 1970s Northern Soul to Rave in the late 1990s, thus creating a visual essay on over twenty years of dance culture in England. He explores the cultural identity that shapes our society characterised by commerce and consumer goods fetishism and, more recently, digital technologies and the impact they have on the relationships between people, objects, and environments, for instance with exhibition projects such as The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things (Hayward Touring, UK, 2013) or Lending Enchantment to Vulgar Materials (WIELS, Brussels, 2014).

Leckey has become an influential figure for a young generation of artists, referred to as "the artist of the YouTube generation" (The Guardian). Beside presenting his new project We Transfer, the complete body of Mark Leckey’s video works will be screened in a cinema room installed at the Secession.

Mark Leckey, born in Birkenhead (UK) in 1964, lives and works in London.
Alessandro Raho, born in Nassau (Bahamas) in 1971, lives and works in Hastings (UK).

Invited by the board of the Secession, Curator: Jeanette Pacher
 

Emily Roysdon

For her first solo exhibition in Austria, Emily Roysdon has developed a scenic environment whose character is deliberately left undefined, somewhere between installation art, stage setting, and performance space.

Its conceptual point of departure is her essay Uncounted, which develops a vocabulary around the artist’s ideas of performance and time. For the show, Roysdon focused her attention on three poetic phrases in the text: “aliveness trespasses, it don’t know it’s marginal”; “to perform as an unsolved problem”; and “a structure to be alive inside.” Thinking through this last proposition led Roysdon to explore practices of experimental theater and theories of improvisation. Her art investigates the fundamental questions of movement and aliveness, and for the Secession installation she is asking: what is the locus of movement in the absence of the body?

Walls painted in different colors, an installation of handmade clocks, costumes positioned throughout the gallery, and a floor design the visitors are invited to walk around and over: these are the exhibition’s main elements. The installation of ceramic clocks incorporates a symbol Roysdon devised to signify “other kinds of time”: a triangular shape with a wavy crest. The top edges of the densely packed set of clocks on the wall trace an undulating line. The garments, meanwhile, take inspiration from legendary costume designs featuring architectural elements like brick walls and columns by the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, who sketched them for the Ballets Russes in 1929. The floor piece serves as a dramaturgical backdrop and immediate setting for live actions. Texts on the floor quote the writings of Virginia Woolf, Charlie Parker, Richard Foreman, and Jack Smith.

Roysdon’s essay also provides the conceptual framework for the artist’s book titled Uncounted: Call & Response published in conjunction with the exhibition. Roysdon has invited 23 other artists and writers working in a variety of fields to contribute responses to selected sections.

Emily Roysdon was born in Maryland in 1977. She lives and works in Stockholm, where she has been a Professor of Art at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design since 2013.

Invited by the board of the Secession, Curator: Bettina Spörr


Press
Press conference:
September 9, 11am
For interview requests and any other questions please contact katharina.schniebs [​at​] secession.at
Please find the press releases and images for download here from September 9, 2015.

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