Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni

Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni

The Showroom

Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni: it took forever getting ready to exist: UIQ (the unmaking-of), 2015. Commissioned by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom, London. Courtesy the artists.

February 13, 2015

Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni 
it took forever getting ready to exist (UIQ: the unmaking-of)

12 February–28 March 2015

The Showroom
63 Penfold Street
London NW8 8PQ

it took forever getting ready to exist: UIQ (the unmaking-of) marks the culmination of Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni’s project around Félix Guattari’s unmade sci-fi film Un Amour d’UIQ (A Love of UIQ). The exhibition centres on a newly commissioned soundwork accompanied by research material and other works that Thomson and Maglioni have created in relation to the unrealised film. 

Guattari’s outlandish screenplay, which he started writing at the beginning of the 1980s, explores what happens when an infinitely small, invisible alien life-force (the Infra-quark Universe or UIQ) makes contact with a community of squatters and begins to desire a form, a face, a body, a language, commensurate with the world of its hosts.

Following on from the 2014 screening of the artists’ own film In Search of UIQ—which charts key moments in the development of Guattari’s project, Thomson and Maglioni have conceived an environment inspired by one of the central dilemmas of UIQ: how to give shape to a bodiless entity that has no spatial or temporal limits. 

Working with the paradoxical condition of the unmade as something both already and not yet present, the artists seek to “produce” Guattari’s film through a collective experience of envisioning, without filming a single scene. 

Focusing on the original script, this cinematic process has developed through a series of gatherings held in different countries, to which Maglioni and Thomson give the name “seeances.” In the artists’ words:

“A small community of envisionaries are invited to inhabit a zone of autonomous temporality where they become the hosts, receivers and transmitters of UIQ, contaminating each other in turn with their own visions and ideas of Guattari’s film and of UIQ’s possible manifestations, both within and beyond its limits.” 

The soundwork recombines fragments of recordings of these “seeances” in a composition of myriad voices and electronic signals, elements that circulate in The Showroom gallery space, offering visitors glimpses of a missing film and universe that, though invisible, may begin to affect their own vision.

Accompanying and interacting with the sound is a quantum archive, which assembles material relating to Guattari and the Infra-quark Universe, including photos, videos, maps and sketches that range across areas such as Autonomia, free radio, schizo-analysis, and the dark matter of sci-fi cinema.

The exhibition is co-curated and co-commissioned by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom. It is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Fluxus, The Otolith Collective and The Showroom. Seeances kindly supported by:, London; Black Tulip, Barcelona; ZDB, Lisbon; Univerzita Karlova, Prague; Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht; Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Aubervilliers; and Bulegoa z/b, Bilbao. Equipment support from Khiasma and Terminal Beach.

Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson are filmmakers whose work interrogates potential forms and fictions hidden in the ruins of cinema and moving image.  Using cinema in an expanded form to reactivate lost or forgotten histories, they create modes of collective engagement with contemporary thought through the creation of feature films, exhibitions, performances, radio and books. Their work has been presented at international festivals and art spaces including FID-Marseille, Bafici, Jihlava, Serralves, Tate Britian, Centre Pompidou, REDCAT, MACBA and Castello di Rivoli. 

The Otolith Collective is a publically funded, not-for-profit arts organisation run by Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of the award-winning artist collective The Otolith Group.  The Otolith Collective develops research into lectures, seminars, discussions and screening programmes with a wide range of museums, foundations and private institutions. 

The Showroom is a space for contemporary art focused on a collaborative and process-driven approach to production; be that artwork, exhibitions, discussions, publications, knowledge or relationships. For over 30  years, The Showroom has invested in artists to make their first solo show in London.



Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni at The Showroom
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The Showroom
February 13, 2015

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