Bruce Haines

From Ritual To Theatre

06 - 20 Aug 2010


screened fridays 6, 13 & 20 august at 1.30pm and 5.30pm

During August, ANCIENT & MODERN presents ‘From Ritual to Theatre’ curated by artist Ben Judd, a series of artists’ films that explore the grey area between performance and ritual. Works by Jim Shaw, Matt Stokes, Marcus Coates, Alex Sanders, Bruce Nauman, George Gurdjieff, Catherine Sullivan and Maya Deren will be shown. These artists reuse the signs, codes and mannerisms of rituals, rites and ceremonies. Through their restaging, these events, both everyday and profound, are used as readymades, re-exploring their value and cultural status. The artists locate themselves at the fulcrum where one position begins to slip into another, the shimmering point where fixed positions begin to waver.

‘From Ritual to Theatre’ explores the paradox of the parameters and freedom that self-imposed ritual provides. In relation to the cultural and historical baggage that these ritualistic acts suggest, the role of the initiate is explored, a position which has a strangely exempted status. For anthropologist Victor Turner, the initiate occupies an ambiguous territory where they remain “neither here nor there ... betwixt and between the positions assigned by law, custom, convention”. During the liminal or transitional phase of any ritual activity the characteristics and laws of the dominant social structure are momentarily collapsed, as “the ritual subjects pass through a period and area of ambiguity” where “they are at once no longer classified and not yet classified”.

Running schedule commencing 1.30 and 5.30pm:
1.30 / 5.30 Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint, Generator, 2004, 4:00 min
1.34 / 5.34 George Gurdjieff, Hidden Symmetry 2, date unknown, 4:31 min
1.39 / 5.39 Jim Shaw, Initiation Ritual of the 360o, 2002, 10:54 min
1.50 / 5.50 Matt Stokes, Long After Tonight, 2005, 6:40 min
1.57 / 5.57 Marcus Coates, Out of Season, 2000, 7:16 min
2.05 / 6.05 Alex Sanders, Fire Spirit Ritual, c.1970, 3:27 min
2.10 / 6.10 Bruce Nauman, Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square, 1967-68, 5:00 min extract
2.14 / 6.14 Magali Reus, Background, 2009, 7:25 min
2.23 / 6.23 Catherine Sullivan, Triangle of Need (Olympian and Doves), 2007, 7:00 min
2.29 / 6.29 Michael Curran, All My Little Ducks, 1995, 7:00 min
2.36 / 6.36 Kenneth Anger, Invocation Of My Demon Brother, 1969, 10:30 min
2.48 / 6.48 Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, 1947-55, 8:00 min
2.55 / 6.55 Sian Davies, Thebes, 2007, 7:52 min
3.03 / 7.03 Guy Sherwin, Man With Mirror, 1976/2006, 9:00 min
3.11 / 7.11 Breda Beban, Walk of Three Chairs, 2003, 10:00 min
3.21 / 7.21 Jim Shaw, The Whole: A Study in Oist Movement, 2009, 16:40 min

Curated by Ben Judd / Text compiled by Emma Cocker and Ben Judd

Tags: Kenneth Anger, Marcus Coates, Maya Deren, Bruce Nauman, Magali Reus, Jim Shaw, Matt Stokes, Catherine Sullivan