Site Gallery

Yael Davids, Ruth Ewan,  Charlotte Morgan, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Hito Steyerl, Emily Wardill and No Fixed Abode. 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

Click here to watch the video podcast for Site, which features Art Sheffield’s co-curator Frederique Bergholtz talking about Emily Wardill’s Fulll Firearms, and artist Charlotte Morgan talking about her bookwork, Lookout.

Hito Steyerl
Red Alert, 2007

Red Alert is a new media translation of a work by Aleksandr Rodchenko, which was first exhibited in 1921. He did three monochromes, each in one of the primary colours and called them: Pure Yellow, Pure Red, Pure Blue. He believed that he had taken leftist painting to its logical conclusion and refers to this work as ‘the end of painting’.

Red Alert is an attempt to translate this piece into the present. But at the moment there is just one primary colour, namely the red-orange used by US Homeland Security to indicate the highest threat level on their colour based terror alert scale. The work uses computer screens, which are chosen to replicate Rodchenko’s proportions as faithfully as possible, to project a single video still.

Red Alert is a reflection on the end of video; as well as a crisis of representation, which affects the aesthetic as well as the political and refers to a collapse of the distinctions between both spheres.

Born in1966, Munich, Germany
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Image credit: Red Alert, Hito Steyerl, 2007

Emily Wardill
Fulll Firearms, 2010

From the use of allegory within stained glass windows to the intermeshing of status symbols with evidence of crime and theatrical props within melodrama, Emily Wardill makes films which explore the way ideas materialise. Her work is concerned with strategies of communication; how they utilise the concrete and how this relationship might be parallel to methods of filmmaking.

Fulll Firearms is a film based on footage from improvisational workshops. The story is of a woman who inherits a fortune from her father’s firearms company and uses the wealth to build a house to accommodate the ghosts of people killed by the guns. Squatters, who the woman sees as the ghosts that she had hoped would move into the property, inhabit the house. Trickery: the house’s architect’s trickery of her, her trickery of the ghosts and the squatters trickery of each other wind through the film, twisting and gathering up all that happens when ideas are met with their realisation.

Born in 1977, Rugby, UK
Lives in London, UK

Image credit: Fulll Firearms, Emily Wardill, 2010. Courtesy Fortescue Avenue, STANDARD (OSLO) and Altman Siegal Gallery. Photographer: Polly Braden

Charlotte Morgan
Lookout, 2010

For Art Sheffield 2010 - Life: A User’s Manual, Charlotte Morgan produced a limited edition bookwork comprising new and archival images and writing, continuing her interest in the structure and experience of built environments and the fields of art writing and self publishing.

The work focuses on the space between two prominent residential buildings, overlooking each other on the edge of Sheffield centre, The Velocity Tower, a 22 storey new build, which stands unfinished and only fractionally occupied, and the Hanover Tower, a 1960s social housing block. Morgan’s interest lies in their expansive views of the city, a much sought after commodity, their suggestion of distance, stillness and gazing; a state of inertia, suspense and possibility. These high rise buildings mark the boundary of the commercial, economic and cultural hub of the city and the outskirting suburbs, and map a shift in ideology and aspiration.

Lookout explores the vistas afforded by the flats placing intimacy with haunting vacancy and artifice, interrupted by a pictorial archive of high points, watch towers, radio towers, tree houses and platforms. Oddments, associations and narratives are compiled as layers of physicality, memory and suggestion, a place between the buildings, a critical assemblage coming together to address the boundaries of urbanism, culture and access, conscious of the book’s nomadic form.

Born in 1985, Worksop, UK
Lives in Sheffield, UK

Image credit: Lookout, Charlotte Morgan, 2010

Yael Davids
The Hand is Quicker than the Eye, 2009

Yael Davids developed a project with inmates at Mechelen City Prison, Belgium which included a series of workshops around the idea of ‘circus’ (including theatre, magic, illusion, acrobatics and storytelling) given by professionals in the field. The project developed from looking at the parallels between the institutions of the circus and the prison, both of which have traditionally been pushed to the periphery of cities. However, while the architecture and function of the prison is designed to enclose and hold its inhabitants, the circus is conceived as a space of fantasy and imaginative escape. These workshops culminated in a final performance inside the prison - footage from this performance forms this video piece.

“In the book - Life: A User’s Manual… the writing circles around details of the lives and objects in a single apartment block, creating the sensation of an eye travelling around the space… When it comes to rest on a detail such as a painting, the eye focuses, gradually zooming in on each little detail, opening up a vivid narrative spectrum. In film, often a close up; either of another part of the body or an inanimate object, is used similarly as a replacement for the face.”* In this work, this encounter with another through the close up, through a detail, is transposed to a live moment. Davids replaces the close up with a spotlight, lighting up certain details of the performance. The inmates perform magic - silently with balls, ropes and cards.The spotlight illuminates their hands, the surface where the magic trick takes place.

Born in 1968, Kibbutz Tzuba, Israel
Lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

* From the text The Hand is Quicker than the Eye, Yael Davids
Image credit: The Hand is Quicker than the Eye, Yael Davids, 2009. Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA)

Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Divertimentos, 2010

“Nothing is more comfortable in the world than the idealistic and metaphysical position, which can go in any direction and does not take objective reality into account, avoiding its control” ~ Lina Bo Bardi

In this project, which is in development, Wendelien van Oldenborgh is taking the work of the Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi and her interest in social reality and the popular to reflect on the relationship of cultural production and active spectatorship. In her design for the MASP (Museo de Arte de S√£o Paulo 1957 -1968) Lina Bo Bardi speaks about “removing the ‘aura’ from the picture, so that we can display the art as work with a high reputation, but still as work”. Her revolutionary exhibition model proposes both the paintings and the spectator as actors in a space of relationships.

Born in 1962, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Image credit: Picture gallery MASP. Photograph by Paulo Gasparini / Lina Bo & P.M. Bardi Institute Archive

In the upstairs foyer:

No Fixed Abode
Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City, 2010

For some, including Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland for whom this was a first recording, Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City was ostensibly a love song. Others however, heard it as a lament on urban deprivation and hopelessness. Primarily, for No Fixed Abode, it is neither. Instead, its resonance is metaphysical. A ghost of the view of the city as organism, this lament is one of infinite ruminations on urban life which become ever more intricate through continual lyrical and stylistic re-appropriation.

No Fixed Abode’s interest here arrives as a sense of recognition that this sentiment is tangible to them in their own city, with its own narrative. Alternatively, within Art Sheffield 2010 - Life: A User’s Manual this lament provides the point of departure for a visual cartographic work (free to take away) which looks at the play of various collective identities that are being manufactured for Sheffield at the moment.

No Fixed Abode is a collaborative project by artists Robert Quirk - born in 1983, Wigan, UK and Terry Slater - born in 1983, Matlock, UK. They live in Sheffield, UK

Image credit: Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City, No Fixed Abode, 2010

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

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