Sunday 24 September – Sunday 5 November 2017 Opening preview: Saturday 23 September 4:30 – 8:00pm
The Old Waterworks is pleased to announce The Jump Room by Richard Whitby. This is the third iteration of Whitby’s project, which will incorporate a newly commissioned two- screen video installation with a set of drawings, a performance in Southend-on-Sea this Autumn with Sooyon Kim and Siôn Parkinson, and a publication with texts by Honor Gavin and Virginia Woolf. The Jump Room takes its name from a conspiracy theory alleging the existence of devices allowing teleportation between Earth and Mars, installed in the form of ordinary looking elevators in several buildings in the US.
Theories such as this one seem to explain the world through complex but linear and apparently evidenced narrative. Whitby is interested in how various kinds of narrative accrue credence and value, be that within fiction, the service industry, the conspiracy theorist ’Truth Community’ or mainstream political campaigning, as Whitby explains:
‘Whilst on the one hand many might accept that the world and its systems are deeply complex and incomprehensible, we still give attention (and therefore value) to relatively simple and therefore palatable versions of these systems. This is something that conspiracy theory arguably shares with, for example, contemporary ethical consumption and connoisseurship. Neither really provide ‘the answer’.’
He uses these ideas, alongside tropes from cinema, performance and contemporary communications media, to explore the nature of political and commercial fictions today. Working from a written script performed by actors, but also with various collected footage. Whitby has developed a science-fiction about storytelling and labour, contrasting grandiosity and confidence with banality and fatigue.
During the run of the exhibition, several workshops will be held at the Old Waterworks relating to the subjects of the work. A limited edition screen-printed t-shirt by the artist is also available for sale at the Old Waterworks.
Richard Whitby (b. Liverpool 1984, works London; richardwhitby.net) makes videos and performances, and writes. He studied at Wimbledon College of Art and the Slade and took part in the LUX Associate Artists Programme in 2012/13. He has a PhD in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium. In 2012 he produced a solo show with the Royal Standard, Liverpool and has since worked with Focal Point Gallery (2013) and the Bluecoat (2014). In 2015 he completed residencies with CCA Glasgow and Seoul Museum of Art.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the Old Waterworks
Based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, the Old Waterworks provides professional development opportunities for artists and access to arts education for the general public. Situated in a Victorian waterworks we are host to artist studios, a print room, dark room, project space, gallery and screening room, which is home to the White Bus Cinema.
The Old Waterworks seeks to contribute to the development of artists’ practices as well as broadening the educational offer within the county. We do this through offering dedicated artists’ studios alongside more flexible spaces within the building and providing facilities (dark room and printmaking). Our approach is collaborative and process-driven, with a diverse range of activity from exhibitions, workshops and debates to performances, screenings and publishing. We seek to establish an open space where artists and the community can work together, sharing experiences, knowledge and skills.
Saturdays and Sundays, 12 – 5pm or by appointment.
For further information or high resolution images please contact:
Twitter: @Old_Waterworks Facebook: @oldwaterworks Instagram: @theoldwaterworks
Address: The Old Waterworks, North Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7AB