Over two nights two singular British artists stake out The Cube Microplex with their intriguing strategies and complex lyricism, grounding and reorientating listeners and watchers alike. Both present works of image and sound that should grip, challenge and replenish in the opening gambit of play the cube, a newly formulated Cube resident scheme.
Richard Youngs and Luke Fowler (live) + The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott (film)
All Divided Selves (film) + Talk and discussion + Richard Youngs (live)
The first in the playthecube residency series. A Qu Junktions & Cube Cinema Collaboration
Both nights of this cross platform residency will host screening of feature films by Luke Fowler, each concerning two eminent and radical iconoclasts: the 2012 Turner Prize-nominated All Divided Selves centres on Scottish psychiatry reformer and provocateur R.D. Laing, while The Poor Stockinger… reflects on the life and time of Marxist historian and educationalist E.P. Thompson . On the musical front, a series of live musical performances will feature Richard Youngs on various instruments/voices, including a residential collaboration between Luke and Richard, plus a live discussion and Q&A.
play the cube is designed to slow things down a little, so the process and depth of an artist’s work can be desired and admired over a more ample timeframe and in more detail.
A cherry-picked wishlist of artisans and craftsfolk will be invited to enter the Cube to employ the spaces, specs and conditions unique to the building, all towards their own highly distinctive creative ends. The Cube workforce are available to work and play. Each residency will include a built-in period of public exposure for the artist and their work, and the artist is encouraged to develop a unique product/memento created during the timespan.
More info on the artists:
A filmmaker and musician raised in Glasgow in the eighties, Luke Fowler is recognised as an artist, filmmaker and musician who creates new grammar from old forms. A 2012 Turner Prize nominee who won the Jarman Award in 2008, Fowler produces, via sound, text and image, a layered portrait of the real life characters he focuses on, most of whom stem from a counter-cultural background. His structuralist film essays contain sonic and visual fragments that intriguingly link diverse references, theories, views and notions, proposing more and more portals of viewing and understanding, rather than neat/limited summarisations. His brazen and bold use of archive and 16mm film, text and sound/music makes the media and the message fizz with possibilities. A new kind of portrait artist.
“The starting points can be different catalysts. Either events in my life or something I’ve read, or a piece of music I’m listening to … but generally they stem from a sort of concern of trying to understand a question” – Luke Fowler quoted in The Tate
“While the backbone of the traditional feature film or documentary genres may be the story, the heart of Fowler’s films is constituted by something altogether more ungraspable and sublime, and on which his storytelling is predicated: people themselves with all their inherent complexities and contradictions. Fowler explores lives and beliefs, avoiding any instrumental use of his subjects and without succumbing to the shortcomings of representation and without doing violence to his subject” – Flash Art
Born in Cambridge and raised in the Fens, Richard Youngs began making music at the start of the seventies. His early work centred on the family piano. When this was sold in the late seventies, however, the classical guitar and cassette recorder became his instruments of choice, along with anything at hand that made a sound. From then on he has played any number of roles with bands such as Astral Social Club, Concrete Hedge, No Deserts, Jandek and Future Pilot A.K.A. Recent collaborative work with Andrew Paine, Heatsick, Kawabata Makoto and John Clyde-Evans also show him as a highly social musician.
His catalogue of releases wanders into all kinds of zones over a vast array of albums on various labels including his No Fans imprint: they include accapella, guitars, pipes or electronics and come out of solitude and in partnership with atmospheres that range from fragmental folk to all-out fuzz.
“THE iconic figure of the modern UK underground … Richard Youngs evolves in the shadows where most won’t look, but those who do will forever be dazzled and amazed” – The Quietus
“This is the music of exultation / This is the time of fulfilment / This is the music of exultation” – This Is The Music from Amplifying Host
More info on the film:
THE POOR STOCKINGER, THE LUDDITE CROPPER AND THE DELUDED FOLLOWERS OF JOANNA SOUTHCOTT
(Dir. Luke Fowler; 2012; 61 min)
This feature from Luke Fowler focuses on the work of the Marxist historian Edward Palmer Thompson, who, from 1946 (at the age of 24), was employed by the Workers’ Education Association (WEA) to teach literature and social history to adults in the industrial towns of the West Riding. These classes were open to people who historically had been unable to access a university education.
E.P. Thompson became synonymous with the discipline of ‘cultural studies’ that emerged in Post-War Britain, along with fellow left-wing critics Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart.
Fowler’s film explores the issues that were at stake for progressive educationalists. Like Thompson, many desired to use their teaching to create ‘revolutionaries’ and pursue the original WEA values of delivering a ‘socially purposeful’ education. The film captures a moment of optimism, in which Thompson’s ideas for progressive education came together with those of the West Riding and its established tradition of political resistance and activism.
The film includes archival material from television, local sources and the Workers’ Education Association archive itself, and combines them with new film and audio gathered on location in the former West Riding region of Yorkshire. In realising this commission, Fowler worked in collaboration with acclaimed American independent filmmaker Peter Hutton and Yorkshire-born writer/filmmaker George Clark.