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Words Fail Me at Auto Italia, London, 29th April 2018 – 24th June 2018

Initiated by Adam Gallagher working in collaboration with Curtly Thomas (sculptures, sound and performance), Ruth Angel Edwards (performance), Ari Skanda (text), Curtly Thomas and Nikhil Vettukattil (sculpture and text).

Ari Skanda and Nikhil Vettukattil's texts can be read here.

“Words fail me re-purposes this moment in the history of a British company (The Royal Doulton’s flambe glaze, a technical innovation introduced in 1904) to develop a set of terms and concepts that begin a dialogue with the project’s collaborators – asking to what extent we are able to provoke these historical processes and representations, and resist and destroy their symbolic and artefactual presence.

The sculptures (effigies) function as foils and as prompts to allow for a generative, antagonistic and counteractive mode of exhibition making. A newly produced sound piece by Thomas and Gallagher plays throughout the space, overwhelming the sculptures, testing them and the audience’s identifications and approximations. Together they have worked directly against the archetypes that are the sculptures, subverting them by introducing the culture and ideology of the carnival, playing with how power is performed and recognised.”

All 5 effigies were removed and burned in Burgess Park, London on the evening of the 24th of June 2018.

Read “Extrajudicial Killing” at opening.

Works installed:

Five-sculptures-as-effigies (Group work two) 2018 – fancy dress costumes and masks, spray paint, found wood, duct tape, 5 in total mixed dimensions. Burrokeet and Midnight Robber accessories loaned by Sunshine International Arts. Made with Curtly Thomas.

Improvised time (Group work three) 2018 – two pressure cookers, two hot plates, two holiday timers, one tea urn, kare kare ready mix pouch, 3 in total mixed dimensions.

JOGMODE, 2018 – 99min audio, played in sync on a set of monitor speakers and two stack high wattage PA. Made with Curtly Thomas.

Lovely day for a Guinness Toucan, 2018 - Mural in acrylics on window, 200cm x 180cm. Thanks to Ben Gomes for painting.

Horizontal mirrors, 2018 – mirror, 48mm x 120mm. Made by Nikhil Vettukattil.

Thanks to Ed and Marianne at Auto Italia South East and Ray at Sunshine Arts International.