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Chapter Arts Centre: A Fire in the Master’s House is Set - 8 July 2011 to 4 Sept 2011

Current Exhibition

8 July 2011 to 4 Sept 2011
Opening times: Monday – Sunday 10am–9pm
Preview: Thursday 7 July, 6-8pm
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Road
United Kingdom

Mark Dean, Christian Disco (Terminator), 2011
Single Channel video installation
Courtesy of the artist
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Artist Links

Artists in this exhibition: Adam Chodzko, Melanie Counsell, Mark Dean, Michael Dean, Sarah Dobai, Ruth Ewan, Roger Hiorns, Andy Holden, Henry Krokatsis, Daren Newman, Elizabeth Price, Mike Ricketts, Matt Stokes, Magnus Quaife

A Fire in the Master’s House is Set

Curated by Simon Morrissey

8 July 2011 to 4 Sept 2011
Preview: Thursday 7 July, 6-8pm

Adam Chodzko, Melanie Counsell, Mark Dean, Michael Dean, Sarah Dobai, Ruth Ewan, Roger Hiorns, Andy Holden, Henry Krokatsis, Daren Newman, Elizabeth Price, Mike Ricketts, Matt Stokes, Magnus Quaife

This exhibition takes its title from the refrain of ‘New Millennium Homes’, a song by Rage Against the Machine from their seminal album ‘Battle of Los Angeles’.

Rage Against the Machine were renowned for their abrasive, polemic music and achieved huge commercial success in the 1990s, providing the perfect soundtrack to the idea of rebellion against authority.

‘A Fire in the Master’s House is Set’ suggests a somewhat contradictory space — a space where ideas of political, social or youthful resistance are invoked but simultaneously overlaid with the idea of the latent or the mute. It sets out to create a proposition where ideas of social defiance, protest, opposition, hedonism — so often the social language of music culture - are invoked but distanced or enfolded within abstracted forms.

Some of the works in the exhibition directly reference music’s cultural position as a repository for social and political expression, or reference moments of protest directly. But these references are often diffused or distorted into new forms. Set in direct dialogue with the more abstract languages in the exhibition, an atmosphere is created that is suggestive of an incantation or spell being formulated through their combination to release a latent power held within the works.

The exhibition will colonise Chapter’s building and even extend into the fabric of the city beyond, intervening with colour, sound, object and text to involve audiences as participants in releasing the spirit of subversion and possibility.

For more information, images or to arrange an interview with the curator or artists please contact Hannah Firth or Lauren Jury on +44 (0) 29 2031 1050 or email

ADAM CHODZKO ’s work is an evolving question about where our imaginations converge culturally and how we attempt to articulate this socially. Working with video, photography, installation and drawing, he uses the familiar activity of the ‘search’ and the form of the ‘meeting’ to create propositions. Often acting as a mediator, he identifies and catalyses situations in order to locate the narratives that might exist there. The work is a poetic synthesis of this pragmatic research into fantasy space.

MELANIE COUNSELL works across a variety of media, materials and processes — including 16mm film, sculpture, drawing and printmaking — and has built a considerable reputation for her economy of means and material sophistication. She has produced numerous critically celebrated installations that have expanded the given architectural framework to create new psychological environments through the intense manipulation of time, scale, architecture, light and object.

MARK DEAN culls information from previously existing cultural material — films, literature and popular music — to create his work. Sampling tiny moments of information, fragments of songs, the faces of actors, snippets of quotes, he weaves them together to generate new structures. Dean frequently references heightened states — fear, powerlessness, revulsion, ecstasy — but distends them, at once negating their sense of narrative agency whilst multiplying their temporal potency to present the viewer with hypnotic continuum that tap directly into our emotional and psychological landscapes.

MICHAEL DEAN ’s work communicates the logic of language in sculpture, photography and drawing; but one that refuses to provide an accessible meaning. Dean’s sculptures and images have their roots in his own writing — a writing that memorialises what he describes as “moments of intensity and attraction”. Dean is not interested in his own personal intimacies, however, but rather in finding a mechanism to create a mutually exclusive intimacy — one in which the viewer is confronted with an impenetrable model of language on which to project meaning.

SARAH DOBAI engages a tradition of realism concerned with contemporary lived reality through her exploration of the social, physical and psychic relations between subjects and spaces. Staging scenarios rather than portraits, Dobai teases out a web of contingent relations between an event, or relay of events, developed in dialogue with a site, and the action or inaction of figures located therein. These situations are located in a fragmented, anonymous and yet commonplace urban environment and explore a ‘psychology of atmosphere’.

RUTH EWAN explores models of propaganda, opposition and protest often adopting the language and methods of persuasion in her own practice. By working with popular forms of expression such as memorable songs or protest imagery, she restages the circulation of ideologies drawing attention to the ways that we are influenced by propaganda.

ROGER HIORNS investigates the alchemical transformation of ideas, actions and materials. His work tends to be self-contained, stepping aside from any external narrative and setting in motion processes that take place outside of his control. He frequently uses invisible methods to initiate palpable interruptions and these tools of manipulation transform and undo one another to produce a speculative aesthetic form that indifferently parades the possibilities of power.

ANDY HOLDEN works with plaster, bronze, ceramics, found objects and images, household paint and printmaking, music, film and performance. He has created monumental outdoor sculptures, affordable multiples and complex, poetic events. He makes the plinths and cases that display his work, and the posters that promote and document his performances. He composes music for performance and performs in his own band The Grubby Mitts. Each activity informs other aspects of his work in a cumulative way.

HENRY KROKATSIS works with a wide range of materials — smoke, found wood, broken glass, antique mirrors - giving each of his works a unique expression whilst they in turn attempt to convey an atmosphere, a feeling of something intentionally unspecific, uncanny. The elaborate nature of the labour involved in his production hints at an obsessive behaviour that is quietly unsettling; this in contrast to the seductive craftsmanship and unexpected warmth of the materials in their new context.

DAREN NEWMAN, typographer, illustrator and designer employs a distinctively elegant style to create bespoke hand-drawn typographic works in ink. Co-founder of Funnel Creative, a design agency in Manchester, Newman has built an impressive client base including the New York Times, computerarts, and Absolut Vodka.

ELIZABETH PRICE works with found and invented archives, investigating and testing ways in which things are recognised and organised. Her works unfold over indefinite or protracted periods of time, during which new material is episodically generated and disseminated, through exhibitions, events and publications. Cumulatively these episodes come to generate detailed archives narrating transitory, defunct and imaginary art institutions or organisations.

MIKE RICKETTS ’ work continually invokes the bureaucratic and intellectual structures of architecture, urban planning and policy as both subject and location for his work, but presents this context as a site populated by talisman-like objects as much as regulation and rules.

MAGNUS QUAIFE ’s paintings, whether rendered in watercolour, acrylic of oils, are formed with no ‘house’ style and this ambiguity of authorship is intentional, pertaining to an examination of authenticity. Quaife reveals snippets of self-mythologising and studio detritus from his paintings of everyday objects — Polaroid snapshots, tickets, book covers, forgotten or fleeting moments — exposing his fascination with visual communication. The painterly approach varies with each painting yet all are punctuated by a fascination with painting itself: as language; as translation; as currency; as idea. The marks of individual personality are not easy to eradicate and Quaife’s deliberately confounding touch can be glimpsed throughout.

SIMON MORRISSEY is an independent curator and Director of WORKS I PROJECTS, Bristol and Foreground Projects, Frome. http://www.worksprojects

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