Camberwell Space is proud to present Triumph of the Will, curated by Fieldgate Gallery
Olympia, Leni Riefenstahl’s film of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, is a masterpiece of cinematography that erotises the body beautiful and
aestheticises perfection in a visual language still employed by the advertising industry today. It uses spectacle as a triumph of the ideal over labour.
Yet the Olympics, by definition, were as much about failure as they were about success, where display conceals obsession, and where the
repetition and pain required is sublimated into mesmeric entertainment. It is through the sheer Sisyphean pointlessness of this drama that such
fallibilities become the subject of this exhibition. With comedy, pathos, and absurdity, something of the human is reinstated within the spectacle by
these art works. In this respect, titling the exhibition after Riefenstahl’s more notorious film is not completely ironic, but rather, opens up a point of
departure for small acts of resistance.
Kris Emmerson’s work is inspired by modes of simulation within the digital realm. Our perception and understanding of the world around us is being
constantly re-presented and re-defined by computer generated imagery within the TV and Motion picture industries. By releasing these 'fantasies'
from the limitations of a narrative driven context they can exist as autonomous entities, offering a momentary sense of wonder; a time and place
outside of the now. ‘Dyathinkeesaurus’, 2010, is a projection modelled from a crude 3D scan of a child’s toy the dinosaur that marches on
relentlessly. Its body is cracked and torn, the fragile crust of its hollow form at odds with the weight of its step. It takes its title from the old joke “What
do you call a dinosaur with one eye?”
Kathleen Herbert’s ‘Limelight’, 2010, was originally commissioned by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and seeks to deconstruct the physical
space of the theatre and the spectacle of illusion. Set within an empty and darkened opera house and accompanied by the sound of her feet
moving across the floor the camera intimately watches a ballerina; her body moves in and out of the frame as she prepares for a performance.
Holding a spotlight as she performs a scene Odile and Odette from Swan Lake, the camera follows the light as it dissects the space revealing
architectural details of a working opera house and mirrors the views of the performer. Kathleen Herbert appears courtesy of Danielle Arnaud
Tom Dale presents a sculptural series of stunt ramps gone horribly wrong: ‘The Cow Palace’ 2008, ‘The Astrodome’, 2008 and ‘Pacific Colosseum’,
2008. The distorted ramps are at once loaded cultural signifiers and restrained objects of formal contemplation. For Dale the ramps project a leap
of faith, but where this blind optimism is headed is unknown. Some are turned on end, driven into the ground or twisted like ribbon, leading to the
most devastating of trajectories: they take the daredevil’s bravado to its absurdly logical conclusion. The suspension of belief demanded by this
directionless excess marks a point of fascination for the artist, as do the analogous political ideologies in the name of which such stunts are
regularly performed. Evel Knievel has formed a recent focus in Dale’s work: the iconic American stuntman was both a philandering ex-criminal with
an instinct for self aggrandisement and a national hero, the living embodiment of patriotism’s paradoxical blend of recklessness and order. Tom
Dale appears courtesy of Poppy Sebire Gallery.
There will be an accompanying text, The Beauty Of Failure, written by Paul O’Kane.
Fieldgate Gallery, 2012
General enquiries: 020 7514 6302
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1. For further information and images, contact: Tatjana Gretschmann, Camberwell Space Gallery Co-ordinator, on email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
020 7514 6402.
2. Camberwell Space is an exhibition space at Camberwell College of Arts. The exhibition programme reflects the College’s interdisciplinary art and design curriculum
and includes work by curators, critics and artists who are encouraged to realise experiments and projects which are innovative and international in outlook.
3. Camberwell College of Arts is one of the world’s foremost art and design institutions. Since 1898, it has had an international reputation for educating artists, designers
and conservators to the highest levels, many of whom have become acclaimed practitioners including Cathy de Monchaux, Mike Leigh, Howard Hodgkin, Maggi Hambling,
John Keane, Ewan Henderson, Humphrey Lyttleton, Gillian Ayres, Sarah Raphael and Tim Roth. www.camberwell.arts.ac.uk It is one of the six colleges of University of the
4. Operating at the heart of the world’s creative capital, University of the Arts London is a vibrant international centre for innovative teaching and research in arts, design,
fashion, communication and the performing arts. The University is made up of six Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design,
Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Art. Renowned names in the cultural and
creative sectors produced by the University include 12 Turner prize winners and over half of all nominees, 10 out of 17 fashion designers named British Designer of the
Year, more than half of the designers showcased in London Fashion Week and 12 out of 30 winners of the Jerwood Photography Award. www.arts.ac.uk
Camberwell College of Arts
45 - 65 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UF
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am - 8pm; Free entrance
curated by Fieldgate Gallery
10 October – 10 November 2012
Opening: Tuesday, 9 October, 5.30 – 8pm