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Visual Arts: Exhibitions


Antarctica Dispatches by Simon Faithfull
Antarctica Dispatches by Simon Faithfull

EAST International '05

One of the world's leading artists is taking one of the country's biggest contemporary exhibitions onto the information super highway. Gustav Metzger's vision means this year's EAST International will be unlike anything to have gone before.


Pictures, sculpture and video installation is exactly what you'd expect to find in a gallery - which is good enough reason for EAST '05 to have thrown out the rule book and create this year's exhibition on the information super highway.

EAST International, part of CAN.05 (Contemporary Arts Norwich), is one of the UK's biggest annual exhibitions of contemporary art.

This year, the event is billed as 'the art exhibition without the art' and sees the Norwich Gallery transformed into a communications hub, broadcasting around the world via a range of electronic media.

Gustav Metzger
Gustav Metzger

The inspiration for this year's event comes from the internationally renowned artist Gustav Metzger. Born in Germany to Jewish parents, he fled to England in 1939.

Living in King's Lynn during the 1950s, Gustav Metzger organised art exhibitions in the town before starting the 1960's movement Destruction In Art Symposium. This included actions by Yoko Ono, Gunter Brus and John Latham.

East '05

For EAST '05, Metzger has selected more than 20 artists to showcase their work for the seven-week exhibition which will explore economic, political and ethical issues.

The Norwich Gallery, at the Norwich School Of Art And Design, will become a broadcast centre for the duration of the exhibition. The gallery will receive, mix and transmit images and sounds through television, radio, the internet, print, film and mobile platforms, 24-hours-a-day.

Curator Lynda Morris feels the theme of EAST '05 is highly relevant in a world now obsessed with communications.

"It's that idea of an overload of information that is happening because of the web. Artists are now beginning to feel their way into channels and networks of international communication," she said.

"Artists working as individuals are able to do things before they become formalised in institutions and I think that's what Metzger is tapping into with this exhibition," she added.

First for EAST

For the first time, EAST includes a series of live performances, including work from Dan Tombs, Radio Goya and Mark Wilsher. The works will be broadcast in real time and uploaded onto the EAST website.

Jill Miller - Waiting For Bigfoot
Jill Miller - Waiting For Bigfoot

A number of the artists will also be making daily contributions to the event via the internet, including Jill Miller who's presenting the performance work Waiting For Bigfoot.

Throughout EAST, Miller will live at her campsite located in Northern California (also known as Bigfoot Country) and share her experiences around the clock via the Norwich Gallery as a real-time video via satellite uplink.

"I will be going to a location near to the site of the original film by researchers Patterson and Gimlin and living there for the duration of the EAST exhibition - waiting for Bigfoot to turn up," said Jill.

"The idea for this piece came from just thinking about what Bigfoot means to us.

"There are a few things that come to mind. Either there is an ape living in the forest that hasn't been documented and that's pretty amazing in it's own right. Or there are hundreds of people hallucinating a creature that looks like big foot, or there are loads of people who are lying about seeing an ape in the forest!

"No matter what the truth is - and maybe I'll help figure it out - whatever way you look at this it's interesting and compelling," she added.

Contributing artists

Other artists taking part in EAST '05 include Carrie Levy. Her work, Impaired, explores the power behind the position of the image-maker and the model that has no control over our gaze.

Impaired by Carrie Levy
Impaired by Carrie Levy

With images from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reaching the public through news media and the internet, Levy's video piece and photographs questions and highlights the voyeuristic arrangement between the viewer and the model.

Asnat Austerlitz's The Sunset Project comprises of seven films of sunsets recorded at different locations in Israel and Simon Faithfull's Antarctica Dispatches is a series of digital drawings made on his journey to Antarctica.

Also featuring in EAST are Tenantspin & Alan Dunn. A community internet TV project, they will present a series of live webcasts around the ideas of social inclusion and cultural e-democracy.

EAST International runs at the Norwich Gallery until Saturday 20 August, 2005 and online at the EAST website.

last updated: 11/07/05
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