Exhibitions

S Mark Gubb + Roadkill Zine: HISTORY OF A TIME TO COME

Preview: Friday 12 February, 2010. 6 - 9pm
Open: 13 - 14 February 2010, 12 - 5pm & 19 - 21 February 2010, 12-5pm (Or by appointment)
Plus Zine Fair 20 February 2010, 12-5pm

For the fourth exhibition in CRATE’s Bad Translation programme, S Mark Gubb is teaming up with a hypnotist and East-Kent based fanzine Road Kill to rediscover his youth - specifically, his late teens, which he spent as a heavy metal and hardcore-loving musician and skateboarder in Margate.

For Gubb, as for anyone between the age of seventeen and twenty-one, these were seminal times, when cultural allegiances were formed and rock-star dreams pursued, while the pressures and realities of adulthood approached quietly. Towards the end of this period, Gubb realised that he had to choose between his beloved music and returning to study art. He chose the latter, but the local DIY music and skateboarding subcultures left a strong imprint on his work, which even now is as likely to refer to Napalm Death as it is to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In fact, Gubb’s work is an exploration of how different subcultures, with their attendant languages, can overlap in contemporary society, creating challenges to notions of independence and originality for those who regard themselves as outsiders (or, indeed, insiders). A single work might find the common ground between the inclusive rhetoric of both the American political right and the independent music scene, but, rather than producing work that critiques this process from rigid ideological standpoint, Gubb explores its potential for good and bad with equal emphasis.

In this new work, he positions himself explicitly as the subject of the actions, decisions and tastes of others – someone whose personal understanding of time and place are part of a larger system of tastes and interpretations. In December 2009, Gubb visited a hypnotist to be ‘regressed’ to his time in Margate. The series of diaristic impressions of the town and the landmarks and events that were important to his time there formed a manuscript, from which Road Kill Zine will be producing a zine and exhibition of drawings.

Road Kill Zine

Road Kill Zine was started in 2007 by Craig Scott and Dan Singer. The pair met skateboarding in Whitstable and Herne Bay, and soon discovered the rich DIY culture and hardcore punk music associated with the sport since the 1980s. Inspired by pioneering hardcore bands Minor Threat and Black Flag (whose singers, Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins skateboarded together as teens), they adopted the ‘straight edge’ mantra (‘Don’t smoke, don’t drink...), and looked to the illustrators and fanzines associated with the bands for examples of how they might fill their evenings without dulling their minds. Their fanzines, which openly recall the subculture of the decade before they were born, take the classic obsessions of teenage misfits – zombies, sex, mistrust of grown-ups and authority figures - mix them with social commentary and weird humour, and render it all in a surreal anthropomorphic graphic style that reclaims each piece of source material, whether it be a slasher movie or a cheap pornographic image, as the subject of a very idiosyncratic imagination and worldview.

For History of a Time to Come Road Kill have produced a fanzine that takes the results of Gubb’s hypnotic regression and applies their skewed approach to his memories of day-to-day life in Margate, which include relatively quotidian events, such arbitrarily deciding to walk an unfamiliar route to his home. The results are tangential and phantasmagorical; a radical remaking of the past and an exploration of the relationship between Gubb, Scott and Singer; suggesting that illusive acts of the imagination and random thoughts are perhaps more substantive areas of commonality than any verifiable facts that might bind the three together.

In addition to the fanzine, which will be available for free from CRATE for the course of the exhibition, Gubb will work with Road Kill to produce a walk-in version of the ‘zine in CRATE’s project space. This could be seen as an attempt to make real those imaginary works the three have formed together. On the other hand, it could also be regarded as a shrine to the teenage bedroom or artists’ studio...

Zine fair CRATE will be holding an exhibition of fanzines and artists’ books to coincide with History of a Time to Come, featuring contributions from Road Kill – who will be bringing hand-printed hoodies and T-shirts as well as zines – and other self-publishers from Kent, including artist Lucy Harrison, who has a solo exhibition at CRATE in March. Other contributors include Duck and Cover Art Journal and Never Grow Up Zine. Entry is free, and all contributors will have work for sale. Non-contributors are welcome to bring their own fanzines to show and swap.

History of a Time to Come is part of Bad Translation, CRATE’s programme for 2009/10. It is generously supported by Arts Council England and Kent County Council.

Download the zine here

craigquestionsscott.tumblr.com
dansinger.co.uk
smarkgubb.com

Juan Cruz: TRANSLATING CHAPTER TWO

Preview: Friday 11 December 2009,6 - 9pm
Open: 12 - 13 & 18 - 20 December 2009, 12 - 5pm (Or by appointment)

Crate presents two new works by Juan Cruz: 
A Translation of El Arbol de la Ciencia (The Tree of Science) by Pío Baroja
A Translation of
La Sima (The Chasm) by Pío Baroja (with Naama Yuria)

For the third exhibition in Crate’s programme for 2009/10, two stories by Spanish writer Pío Baroja (1872-1956) are translated. These new works stem from artist Juan Cruz’s long-running interest in staging the interpretation of text from Spanish into English, treating it as a metaphor for visual representation and exploring the performative and physical aspects of the process.
 
For A Translation of El Arbol de la Ciencia (The Tree of Science) by Pío Baroja, Cruz has produced a typescript of the author’s best known work, which is about the growing disillusionment of a young medical student with his chosen profession and its inability to contribute in a meaningless and corrupted world. The pages of the typescript will form a stack at Crate – a dumb representation of the translation process - and photocopies of the translated text will be available to visitors.
 
For A Translation of La Sima (The Chasm) by Pío Baroja - A short story describing how the collective religious superstition of the inhabitants of a village prevents them from rescuing one of their own from a hole – Cruz translates the tale orally in a film produced in collaboration with Naama Yuria. This will be shown continuously throughout the exhibition’s duration.
 
These pieces are as much concerned with the process of translation as with its outcomes. Indeed, the work seems to question the distinction between process and product.  Neither artist had read Baroja’s stories before making the works, and the translations conspicuously contain a number of apparent errors and corrections – telling reminders of the way that a reader’s understanding of narratives (whether in literature or visual artwork) is constantly open to change as the reading progresses.  

Translation: Chapter Two is part of Bad Translation, CRATE's programme for 2009-10. The programme is generously supported by Arts Council England and Kent County Council.

About the artists

Juan Cruz was born in Palencia, Spain, in 1970. He is currently based in Liverpool, where he is Head of the Art Department at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University. Recent solo exhibitions include Mensch, The Enlightenments, curated by Julianna Engberg as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, 2009, and A Semblance of Activity, a solo Commission as part of ESTRATOS, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, Murcia, Spain. Juan Cruz is represented professionally by Matt’s Gallery, London and Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid.

mattsgallery.org/artists/cruz

Born 1981, Naama Yuria began her intergalactic research in 2020, with a universal exhibition supported by the Supreme Federation of the Southern-east galaxy of Ashphurka. The exhibition included projecting a 20 hours, 16mm film onto the seventh Ashphurkian moon. In 2023, with the generous help of Ashphurkian telepathic transmission, Naama operated the first teleporting gallery, channelling viewers to the exhibition space on planet Antares. As a certified investigator of Irregular Linguistic Celestial Phenomena, Naama founded the ‘Rudimentary Particles’ association, granting substantial support for young artists to explore various methods of infra-linguistic possibilities of navigation. In 2025, Naama completed the construction of the ship, Pantalaucha, on board which she sailed to the North Pole of Planet Earth as part of the Nagwa ‘Gold Dust Quest project’. The festive highlight of this adventure was incarnated in a 90Km x 90Km image of a ‘synchronization contractor’ projected onto a broad ice field from a purple hot air balloon.

James Howard: DIRT CHEAP FLIGHTS TO CLASSY PARADISE

Preview Friday 9 October, 2009. 6-9PM
Open: October 10 - 11 & October 16 - 18 2009, 12 - 5pm

CRATE presents an exhibition of new work by James Howard.

Howard has created two videos and four gigantic banners featuring budget holidays, herbal remedies, coin-operated televisions and pawn shops.

Each piece is a promise of a better life, a consumer con or an offer that is too good to be true: Gold Rush encourages people to steal "Nanna's gold" and turn it into cash, Coin Op Plasmas demands "another few quid" because Jeremy Kyle is on telly. And Dirt Cheap Flights aims to pull crowds away from Britain’s sea-side resorts.

The work takes its cues from advertisements for products and services that are so implausible or immoral that we would normally find them only on the internet - an unpoliced realm. In this exhibition, the advertisements have become real. Rendered at billboard size, they become menacing: reminders that we know little about those shady characters who fill the ‘junk’ in our email and want our credit card details.

Howard’s work seems to have been made by one of these shady characters: of no specific race or nationality (but definitely foreign), with little interest in local or national culture, insincere, probably male, and motivated by every vice, this persona is an unknowable, generic ‘other’. He does not care about the audience enough to check his English or make the images he uses beautiful or appealing –he is confident that there are as many people out there vulnerable enough to be drawn-in by his quasi-adverts as there are savvy ironists who will find the awkward Chinglish and odd products laughable.

And this character has seemingly infiltrated the gallery. Unintimidated by the art world’s refined sensibilities, he has covered every wall of CRATE’s project space with his vulgar propaganda; CRATE is, after all, merely another venue for the potential exploitation of the masses.

But are we able to separate Howard’s intentions from those of the character he seems to inhabit?

 
About the artist

James Howard began as a self-proclaimed scammer on the internet in the late 90's – which earned him quick cash and eventually a year in prison. Now Howard's scams found his artistic practice. He attended London's Royal Academy Schools, is included in the forthcoming Saatchi Gallery show: The Power of Paper and has been recently exhibited at Plastic Culture The Legacy of Pop with Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Takeshi Murakami. He is represented by Sartorial Contemporary Art, London. 

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Exhibitions