Yorkshire Artspace

The reception area at Yorkshire Artspace: Persistence Works hosted an installation by Rachel Koolen. One of Ruth Ewan’s six collectable postcards was also available to collect from this venue.

Click here to see images of the work in situ (link to Flickr.com)

Click here to watch the video podcast for Yorkshire Artspace, which features Art Sheffield’s co-curator Frederique Bergholtz talking about the installation, and an audio extract from the exhibition.

Rachel Koolen
Admin goes pomo, 2010

In her work Rachel Koolen brings into play and confronts administrative society. She engages with bureaucratic structures, the residue of modernism sometimes found within them (such as prefab design structures) and finds a certain elegance in their attempts to implement and make concrete ‘ideologically’ driven policies.

For Art Sheffield 2010 – Life: A User’s Manual she showed work that took this subject matter to act like a chameleon in the reception area of Yorkshire Artspace; speaking the rational, dry language that she recognises as her own and simultaneously evoking a specific humour.

One image in the installation, which is also the departure point, refered to her research into the Welfare system – an ink-jet print from a video still which documents an interview between a client and a social worker (1986). Even though everything seems quite familiar in this scene, it functions like an index for this sort of administrative space. By rendering this moment as matter (an ink-absorbed print), the original incident seeps into its own documentation and the technocratic space of history.

Born in 1979, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Image credit: Wavy Line, Rachel Koolen, 2009


At Site & Collectable postcards available free at each venue:

Ruth Ewan
Moderately Wrathful, 2010

Through manipulated or redirected situations Ruth Ewan’s projects bring lesser-known histories back into circulation. Working with print, performance and installation she examines the ways in which individuals and groups have utilised creative forms in an attempt to redefine their world.

Developed for Art Sheffield 2010 – Life: A User’s Manual, drawing on Sheffield’s radical history, Moderately Wrathful consists of a series of images distributed via all Art Sheffield venues. In a pamphlet published by Sheffield’s Holberry Society, a man called Sam Holmes describes how, at the age of 14, upon becoming a builder’s apprentice, he was presented with a copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914) by Robert Tressell (1870-1911). Holmes refers to the giving of this particular novel as a common gesture towards new apprentices, not only as a welcoming gift but also a handbook of sorts. Referencing the work of Robert Tressell, Moderately Wrathfulcombines images and text, cross referencing polemic extracts from Tressell’s novel, with several lesser-known drawings by the author of early aircrafts and hot air balloons.

Born in1980, Aberdeen, Scotland.
Lives in London, UK

Supported by the Yorkshire Artspace Residency Programme
Image credit: Fire Balloon, Robert Tressell, 1902, Courtesy The Robert Tressell Family Papers

Video podcast for Yorkshire Artspace

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