Edward Thomasson
The Present Tense
3 July 2014 – 24 August 2014
Opening: Thursday 3 July

Chisenhale Gallery presents the first major solo exhibition by Edward Thomasson and the premiere of his video, The Present Tense, commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and Create as part of the Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency (2012-14).

The Present Tense
 brings together three interconnecting stories, exploring the ways in which proximity and distance alter our understanding of one another. Set on and around a building site, a cycle of urban demolition and construction provides a backdrop for the physical and emotional regeneration of the central characters. After falling in the street, a woman observes the slow healing process of her grazed skin as she negotiates personal and professional transformations affecting her life. In a consulting room, a therapist uses Sandplay Therapy to mobilise communication with a young client. Elsewhere, police officers put on a performance for a group of teenagers, singing about their daily interactions with people on the street. These three scenarios come together to describe our public personas as narratives that are continuously rewritten by one another and ourselves. The Present Tense develops Thomasson’s approach to storytelling, which draws from the genre of musical theatre and its affective engagement with the audience, to navigate the space between interior experience and exterior presentations of the self within social contexts. This new work is conceived by Thomasson as an act of collective storytelling, exploring how performed narratives operate in non-theatrical environments, and features a group of trained and untrained performers, many of whom have worked with the artist throughout his eighteen-month residency.

The video is structured around an extended musical number written with composer Soosan Lolovar, who also collaborated with Thomasson on Between You And Me, a play presented by Chisenhale Gallery and Create at The Glass House Community Centre in July 2013.

To download an interview with Edward Thomasson about his exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery, please click here.

To download the exhibition handout, please click here.

Edward Thomasson (born 1985, Stoke-on-Trent) lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include Left Behind Together, Outpost, Norwich (2013), in collaboration with Lucy Beech; Coded Conduct, Pilar Corrias, London (2013); Just About Managing, Southard Reid, London (2012) and Inside, South London Gallery, part of the Nina Stewart Artist Residency (2011-12). The Present Tense has been developed during Thomasson’s eighteen-month Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency 2012-14 for Chisenhale Gallery’s Offsite programme and is commissioned in partnership with Create, a creative agency delivering projects in east London involving artists and local communities. The partnership reflects the two organisations’ mutual interests in commissioning artists to engage with east London’s communities and its varied social and cultural contexts. Edward Thomasson's exhibition is produced in partnership with Create.

Supported by the Edward Thomasson Supporters Circle.

With thanks to Southard Reid.

The Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency 2012-14 is supported by Legacy Trust UK and Arts Council England.

Chisenhale Exhibitions Partner: Fiorucci Art Trust

Edward Thomasson: Between You and Me
Saturday 6 July
The Glass House Community Centre, 161 Old Ford Road, E2 9QB

A newly-built conservatory has had all of its windowpanes smashed by an unknown vandal. The following day, in a class at the local community centre, a group of participants attempt to understand how this mysterious act of seemingly unprovoked vandalism relates to the homeowners, a girl and her father who have recently moved to the area. As the group construct potential narratives to explain the newcomer’s involvement with the attack, the girl is busy constructing a story of her own.

A new play by Edward Thomasson with music by Soosan Lolavar, Between You And Me looks at how stories are told, modified and retold in order to process the events we experience around us. Developed with, and performed by, a group of non-professional actors from East London. The play is structured around a series of songs and explores how narratives can be constructed and performed as a way of transforming ourselves and each other.

The play was presented at The Glass House Community Centre, a mid 1950s community centre in the Parkview Estate on Old Ford Road, momentarily transforming it’s main hall into an auditorium. Please see below for a video excerpt from the play.

Thomasson began the Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency in November by bringing together a group of non-professional performers from East London. The play is the first work developed by Thomasson with the group as part of his residency. Following Between You And Me the group will develop a new work to be presented at Chisenhale Gallery in 2014.

Cast
Dad.................................................................. Bill Osment
Daughter.......................................................... Amy Bentley
Group Participants........................................... Anoop Kainer
Binit Shah
Consuelo Guijarro Rincon
Jennifer Marzullo
Olivette Cole-Wilson
Yasmin Noorali
Teacher............................................................. Wendi Sheard

Edward Thomasson

Giclee print on 300gsm Somerset Photo Satin
42 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 50+5AP

SOLD OUT

Chisenhale Gallery presents the first major solo exhibition by Edward Thomasson and the premiere of his video, The Present Tense, commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and Create as part of the Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency (2012-14).

The Present Tense brings together three interconnecting stories, exploring the ways in which proximity and distance alter our understanding of one another. Set on and around a building site, a cycle of urban demolition and construction provides a backdrop for the physical and emotional regeneration of the central characters.

To accompany the exhibition Edward Thomasson has produced an edition entitled Untying Knots. The Giclee print depicts hands untying the knots of a shoe lace, which is rendered in watercolour. As in Thomasson's videos and performances, the isolated  focus on this everyday gesture imbues it with metaphorical potential. This isolation also refers to diagrams and other demonstrative illustrations, images of actions that imply learning and enacting.

Edward Thomasson (born 1985, Stoke-on-Trent) lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include Left Behind Together, Outpost, Norwich (2013), in collaboration with Lucy Beech; Coded Conduct, Pilar Corrias, London (2013); Just About Managing, Southard Reid, London (2012) and Inside, South London Gallery, part of the Nina Stewart Artist Residency (2011-12).

  • Edward Thomasson limited edition
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Andrea Phillips in discussion with Edward Thomasson, Wendi Sheard, Hadrian Garrard and Laura Wilson

Saturday 12 July, 3pm

A discussion chaired by writer and academic Andrea Phillips; with Edward Thomasson; Wendi Sheard, actor and Chair of Adhoc Players; Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create; and Laura Wilson, Offsite and Education Organiser, Chisenhale Gallery; looking at the process of commissioning The Present Tense and Thomasson’s 18 month residency.

The London Psychodrama Network Workshop

Sunday 13 July, 4 – 5pm

A workshop led by The London Psychodrama Network exploring methods of self transformation in response to Edward Thomasson’s exhibition.

Edward Thomasson
Friday 1 August
November 2012 - August 2014

Edward Thomasson, began the Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency in November 2012 by bringing together a group of non-professional performers from east London through an open call. A new play, Between You And Me, was developed by Thomasson and the group, with music by Soosan Lolavar, and premiered at The Glass House Community Centre near Victoria Park, on 6 July 2013. For more information please click here.

Following the presentation of Between You And Me the group worked together to develop a second new work, The Present Tense, which was presented as an exhibition in the gallery in Summer 2014.

The Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency is a major initiative between Chisenhale Gallery and Create. The partnership reflects the mutual interests of Chisenhale Gallery’s Offsite Programme and Create in commissioning artists to engage with east London’s communities and its varied social and cultural contexts.

Edward Thomasson (born 1985, Stoke-on-Trent) works with video, performance and drawing. His narrative-based videos are developed with groups of trained and untrained performers and focus on the relationship between performance and everyday life, specifically looking at how the act of storytelling is used as a way to attempt to understand environments and exchange experiences. Thomasson also collaborates with Lucy Beech on performances that explore enactment in non-theatrical environments.

Solo exhibitions include Just About Managing, Southard Reid, London (2012) and Inside at South London Gallery where he was the recipient of the Nina Stewart Artist Residency (2011-2012). Group exhibitions include One Another’s Company, IMT Gallery, London, (2011) and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, The A Foundation, Liverpool and ICA, London (2010). Thomasson is currently a participant on the Lux Associate Artist Programme (2012-13).

Please visit Thomasson's website for more information.

The Present Tense: Coffee Morning

Thursday 17 July, 9 – 10.30am

A special viewing of Edward Thomasson’s exhibition with cakes provided by the East End Women’s Institute.

Edward Thomasson
Saturday 12 July

Saturday 12 July 2014
A discussion chaired by writer and academic Andrea Phillips; with Edward Thomasson; Wendi Sheard, actor and Chair of Adhoc Players; Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create; and Laura Wilson, Offsite and Education Organiser, Chisenhale Gallery; looking at the process of commissioning The Present Tense and Thomasson’s 18 month residency.

Thursday 31 July 2014
Edward Thomasson in conversation with Jennifer Higgie: novelist, screenwriter, critic and co-editor of frieze.

The Present Tense: Naomi Pearce leads a tour

Saturday 19 July, 3pm

A tour of the exhibition led by independent curator and writer Naomi Pearce.

Edward Thomasson in conversation with Jennifer Higgie

Thursday 31 July, 7pm

Edward Thomasson in conversation with Jennifer Higgie, novelist, screenwriter, critic and co-editor of frieze.

All events are free to attend but booking is advised. To reserve a place please visit our Eventbrite page here.