March 4, 2012 - Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea - IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE (ACT III)
March 4, 2012


Donna Huddleston, “Fountainhead,” 2011.
Courtesy of the artist.

2 March–17 June 2012

Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea
Fray Zacarias Martinez, 2
01001 Vitoria-Gasteiz (SPAIN)

informacion [​at​]


The Cast

Jesse Ash
and Cally Spooner, Edwina Ashton, Adam Chodzko, Côme Ciment,
Winnie Cott, Jess Flood-Paddock, Anthea Hamilton, Donna Huddleston,
Germaine Kruip, Jacopo Miliani
And featuring Orson Welles: The One Man Band, by Vassili Silovic and Oja Kodar

Curated by Rosie Cooper and Ariella Yedgar

Montehermoso, a centre for contemporary art.
A group show around themes of rehearsal, repetition and version.
The exhibition space ­is imagined as the belly of a great white whale.


You are entering an exhibition concerned with rehearsal and its related notions of version, repetition and failure. As a ‘controlled form of chaos’ or ‘unfinalised potential’, [1] the works brought together here create a psychological space that constantly denies the viewer a final conclusion.

When used as a strategy, the rehearsal foregrounds that which takes place on the periphery and that may be obscured by presenting a polished piece—principally, the untidy process of thought and consideration. Similarly, this show shines the spotlight away from the finished product and onto the open-ended, experimental, hidden or doubtful.

The majority of works have been commissioned, or adapted, especially for the exhibition, and many are highly ambitious in scale and complexity, including a 25-metre-long canvas sky housing a giant oyster by Jess Flood-Paddock, a series of metal and rope screens occupying the gallery’s 6-metre-high arches by Anthea Hamilton and an intricately designed narrative in reflective vinyl along the walls of a 3-floor ramp by Côme Ciment. Other works are innovative by virtue of their ephemerality, including a live radio programme in three parts by Jesse Ash and Cally Spooner, an advertisement in a local newspaper inviting readers to whistle casually in the exhibition by Adam Chodzko and glittery graffiti around the streets of Vitoria-Gasteiz by Winnie Cott.

The title of the show takes inspiration from Orson Welles’s lifelong obsession with Moby Dick, of which he directed and appeared in at least three different adaptations: once on stage—in a play about a rehearsal of a stage adaptation of the novel—and twice in related, and uncompleted, film projects.

‘In the Belly of the Whale (Act III)’ follows two previous versions (or rehearsals) of the project: a four-person exhibition in London, titled ‘In the Belly of the Whale’, and an advertisement for a future exhibition that includes a fantasy cast and appeared in Monaco magazine (both 2011).

The Space

It is said that Welles considered the theatre hall of his play to be the belly of the whale in which the actors are unwittingly trapped, and for this exhibition, the distinctive and vast gallery space of Montehermoso—the former water tank for the city—becomes the metaphorical belly of the whale: its columns and arches reminiscent of a ribcage and the proscenium arches suggesting a traditional theatre. It is a framework for a show featuring works of film, sound, performance installation and sculpture.


Jesse Ash and Cally Spooner‘s Moveable Column will be broadcast live on Resonance FM at the following times:
Tuesday 3 April, 20:00–21:00
Tuesday 15 May, 20:00–21:00
Tuesday 12 June, 20:00–21:00

Jacopo Miliani‘s Actors will be performed once at the beginning of the exhibition, at 21:00 on 2 March at Montehermoso, and once at the end.


Notes for editors:

‘In the Belly of the Whale (Act III)’ is the curatorial project selected from the Art and Research 2011 call for entries. The initiative seeks to promote the production of new work and collaboration between artists, curators and Montehermoso.

For information about Jacopo Miliani‘s closing performance and Jesse Ash and Cally Spooner‘s live broadcasts and availability online thereafter contact the Montehermoso press office.

[1] To paraphrase Robert Baker-White and Roland Barthes, respectively.

Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea
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