Coinciding with their summer launch, GALERIE8
will be opening their permanent space with the exhibition Hackney Hoard, 22nd July 28th August, 2011. The exhibition is an inquiry into the value and status placed on contemporary art and the role it plays in society, regardless of its literal monetary value in terms of the materials from which it is made. For this project, GALERIE8 will be working with artists Adam Dant, Gavin Turk, Terry Castle, LE GUN artists, Annabel Tilley, Matthew Killick and the Last Tuesday Society.
On the 12th July 2007, whilst re-landscaping their back garden, four residents of Hackney, East London , unearthed eighty mystery gold coins. Further research into the coins confirmed their interesting provenance; American, minted during the late 19th Century and buried by a Jewish man who fled from Nazi Germany in the 1940s. After several years of investigation into the ownership of the coins, as well as an exhibition at the British Museum , the coins were returned to their owner a descendant of the man who buried them. Upon their return, the Coroners Court of the inner North Borough of London concluded that, under legal definition, the find was in fact Not Treasure a result that sparked much debate.
The quest to find the proprietor of the coins had provoked much speculation and wild storytelling ensued. Using the narrative and debate that surrounds this issue of what is treasure? GALERIE8 and renowned artist Adam Dant have initiated Hackney Hoard, a project that will explore the status of art in popular contemporary culture. The value of art is not dependent on precious materials, as treasure may be, but on this curious triangulation of value we assign between the viewer, the object and the market. Often notoriety equates to monetary value. Can the value we construct truly be translated into monetary terms? Let the excavation begin.
The artists involved in this project will use the discovery and narrative surrounding the Hackney Hoard as a starting point. Each artist will take apart the subject matter through the implementation of different explorative artistic styles and mediums.
Adam Dant, Treasures of Hackney, 2011
Taking the discovery and narrative surrounding the Hackney Hoard as a starting point, artist and amateur London historian Adam Dant will conceive a drawing entitled, Treasures of Hackney. This drawing is a map of the Hackney borough, with specific attention drawn to grand buildings and landmarks from the 16th and 17th centuries. Two legends are included in the map of the borough; these provide a visual and narrative taxonomy of the map. Rosters of famous citizens are included, such as Daniel Defoe and Edgar Allen Poe to infamous characters such as the Dick Turpin aka the notorious highwayman. In addition, Dant highlights 28 suggested sites to dig for treasure.
Gavin Turk, Revolting Brick, 2008
Gavin Turks art works reveal the paradoxical position of the artist as a maker of objects. Through pointed and reflexive subtexts, Turk uses his own role in a system which constantly recycles and repositions itself to question authenticity, identity and value. For this exhibition, he will exhibit his London Brick. A few years ago, one of Turks Bricks was stolen from an exhibition and, according to Turk, through the reportage and mixed-facts of the media, the Bricks value rose from its original price of £500 to £3,600.
Terry Castle, An Introduction by Terry Castle
Image and sound by Rory McVicar
Psycho-geographer, musician, and artist, Castle literally struck gold as the finder of the recent Hackney Hoard. For the exhibition at GALERIE8, Castle will introduce his story of the Hoard and the context of the exhibition through Hackneys history by way of a video installation.
LE GUN Artists, Study of a Briefcase Found at L.H Browns Show Shop of Curiosities, Hackney, 2011
The LE GUN artists practice is imbued with frenzy, curiosity and exaltation of the cult object. For Hackney Hoard, they will present a drawing that unveils the contents of the notorious briefcase that initiated a major treasure hunt of their own. In 2007 the LE GUN artists were given a disused shoe shop in Hackney with its contents (bequeathed by the late Mr LH Brown). The shoe shop was transformed by LE GUN into a curiosity shop. The artists displayed their own artwork amongst a host of bizarre objects found in the basement, including a small briefcase once owned by the late great trout tickling, dada loving, jazz pirate, Mr. George Melly. Their new drawing finally reveals its complete contents.
Matthew Killick & Last Tuesday Society
As a reliquary for mined and accumulated objects of fascination, The Last Tuesday Society is a curiosity cabinet, gallery and shop devoted to exploring and furthering the esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London . Artist Matthew Killick, known for his drawing installations inspired by his love of deep-sea wreckage diving, will mine the collection of the Last Tuesday Societys holdings and will present a collection - or hoard - of curious connections to Hackneys past.
Annabel Tilley, Drawing the Likeness Of, 2011
Annabel Tilley works with fragile materials; she often collects and sources fragments of long forgotten news clippings or distorted indexical images of her work. For Hackney Hoard, Tilley will continue a strand of her practice that takes the form of Institutional Critique. These small drawings, entitled "Drawing the Likeness Of" are site-specific works on paper created to mimic the underlying surface of the gallery space it is affixed to. Tilleys series of drawings are a commentary on the institutional commissions whose selections are a reflection of the commissioners own values.
Wall Street Journals: Research and Case studies of the Hackney Clean Policy
Some of the worlds best-known and well respected artists and writers choose the East End as their canvas. In a project initiated by GALERIE8, street artists and graffiti writers are invited to create a series of 'cleaned-off works' which will be shown alongside case studies of graffiti removal under the Councils Hackney Clean policy. Although the debate over ownership, aesthetics and authorship has been well discussed, this project will give the viewers another opportunity to question the circumstances for valuing and de-valuing art.