Studio Voltaire presents a new commission by London-based artist Rehana Zaman. I, I, I, I, and I will be Zaman’s first solo presentation of work and is the first exhibition produced through the gallery’s new education programme Not Our Class.
I, I, I, I, and I is a video work and installation that presents an abstracted account of the collaborative attempts of a group of people alongside a bizarre and twisted narrative featuring a pig, a dog and Adolf Hitler.
Over the course of 2012 Rehana Zaman has been examining the workshop as a site of ‘the social’ with a group of young people from Body & Soul, a UK charity dedicated to transforming the lives of people affected by HIV. Improvisation games, collaborative techniques and performance strategies drawn from political theatre and actor’s workshops have been integrated into sessions leading towards the production of a video work to be shown within the exhibition at Studio Voltaire.
The work emerges from an ongoing interest in the impact of social structures on the self from familial relations to broader constructs around community and identity as explored in previous works such as Like an Iron Maiden Trapped Between a Rock and a Hard Place (2010) and Pig (2012). Constructing the workshops as a site of research, central to the process of I, I, I, I and I have been the questions, how might a group of people collectively create a work? And to what extent is this at odds with the desires and impulses of the individual?
Initiated in 2011 Not Our Class began a new programme of education and participatory projects that through research and practice take the work of Jo Spence as a starting point for investigating the legacy and potentials of her work in relation to contemporary culture and life. Through a series of commissions, offsite projects, workshops, public events and reading groups situated both within Studio Voltaire’s neighbourhood and contemporary art discourse the programme explores the new turn towards education and participation within contemporary art practice.
Supported by Bloomberg, The National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Elephant Trust. With kind assistance from Raven Row.
Rehana Zaman (b. 1982, UK) composes anecdotes, vignettes and short stories drawn from specific socio-political contexts, as videos, performances and texts. Narratives are abstracted and carefully staged to examine how individuals and groups relate. Recent exhibitions include The GDR Goes On, The Showroom; The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London; We Love You, Limoncello, London; Outpost Open Film, Outpost plus UK tour (all 2012); Other People’s Problems, Project Space Leeds (2011) and Of Many One, Scaramouche Gallery, New York, (2010). Rehana was a recipient of the Red Mansion Art Prize in 2012. She completed her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in 2011 and is currently participating in the LUX Associate Artist Programme.
Rehana Zaman, I, I, I, I and I, 2013. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artist and Studio Voltaire, London. Credit Andy Keate.