Studio Voltaire presents a new exhibition by Charlotte Prodger. Percussion Biface 1-13 is the artist’s first solo exhibition outside of Glasgow where she is currently based. Prodger’s practice spans 16mm film, video, audio, sculpture, and writing. This installation uses ripped YouTube videos and recorded spoken word to agitate a tension between language and material.
In her exhibition, Prodger approaches the shifting and multiple temporalities of internet video as a space for speculation around the Paleolithic relationship between language and technics. The emergence of language was driven by structural changes associated with becoming bipedal, where erect posture freed the hands and mouth from grasping, stimulating a suite of intertwined developments amongst the trio of hand, mouth and tool.
Prodger continues her exploration of the videos of anonymous YouTube user NikeClassics, who for several years has documented various acts of adoration and destruction to his pristine collection of trainers. Here we see a ripped video of him wearing Adidas Forest Hills gifted by one of his YouTube followers, where he scrapes the trainers against a slab of bedrock. Simultaneously, Prodger describes her experience of watching an unrelated YouTube video by Paleomanjim; a flintknapper cutting down a large spall of black Oregon Dacite to form a biface.
In Prodger’s previous works, a staple material has been 16mm film, which she used for its finite parameters, forcing a pre-determined structure and economy on her work. She is drawn to certain YouTube videos that seem to share similarities with structural film, where long takes and process orientation suggest a fetishism opposing part to whole. NikeClassics, Samothwolff, and Paleomanjim present intimate interventions in a weaving of part and whole, of origin and immanence, with material actions in spaces situated on the thresholds of domestic and wilderness, urban and pastoral.
Prodger uses writing as a way of meeting and moving around the effects of a relationship to these videos. She approaches the nexus of language and technology as a conduit for cross-association, interweaving formal concerns (light, sound, rhythm) with speculations around queer subjectivity. Her repeated rewriting and reusing of anecdotes comes to represent an infolding and echo of movements within technics, and its varying repercussions in the self.
Supported by The Elephant Trust and Bilge & Haro Cumbusyan . With kind assistance from The Block.
Charlotte Prodger (b. 1974, Bournemouth, England; lives/ works in Glasgow) has had recent solo exhibitions at Intermedia/CCA (2012), Glasgow and Kendall Koppe (2011), Glasgow. The artist had a two person show with Jason Loebs at Essex Street (2012), New York. Prodger is represented by Kendall Koppe, Glasgow.
Charlotte Prodger, Percussion Biface 1-13, 2012. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artist and Koppe Astner, Glasgow. Credit Andy Keate.