Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery

Work by Maud Haya Baviera, Ruth Buchanan, Katarina Zdjelar 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 Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, which shows the work in situ and features Art Sheffield’s co-curator Frederique Bergholtz talking about Ruth Buchanan’s Several Attentions, and artist Maud Haya Baviera sharing thoughts about her video pieces Summer Wine and Happy.

Katarina Zdjelar
One Or Two Songs, On Someone or Something, In Particular, 2007

For this piece Zdjelar films a person who just moved alone to another country, got an electric guitar and started getting familiar with it. The piece celebrates the very possibility and desire of getting to know something over mastering any particular skill. This work highlights the way our bodies can be totally involved in occupying an unfamiliar territory and how one’s insecurity but also persistence in doing something (which one doesn’t really know how to do but still does it) proposes and produces alternative modes of being.

Born in 1979, Belgrade, former Yugoslavia
Lives in Rotterdam

Image credit: One Or Two Songs, On Someone, Or Something, In Particular, Katarina Zdjelar, 2007

Maud Haya Baviera
Summer Wine, 2007 and Happy, 2008

Summer Wine and Happy represent the artist’s long lasting interest in reinventing and dramatising behaviours and relationships. These video works present the observation of impossible couples while imagining oneself as a multiplicity of conflicting identities. Both works play with the idea of a double, a twin image reflecting distortion more than accuracy.

While being inspired by the visual and symbolic impact of films such as Vertigo (Hitchcock) and books such as Despair (Nabokov), Summer Wine and Happy can also be compared with surreal comedy where misunderstandings and illusions infiltrate the work and create a sense of burlesque decadence. The restricted filming and the bareness of the decor highlight the characters’ performance and focus on the physical division. The musical flamboyance of Summer Wine is a device allowing the artist to play with the characters’ exaggerated expression of seduction and deception.

Happy uses a banal conversation to reinvent the conflict between thinking and acting. Its characters’ over reaction in opposition to restrained manners infuse the work with equal amounts of the comic and the uncanny.

Born in 1980 in Annonay, France
Lives in Sheffield, UK

Image credit: Happy, Maud Haya Baviera, 2008

Ruth Buchanan
Several Attentions, 2009

This film Several Attentions takes the 1928 essay A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf as its departure point. The essay sets out to address the relationship between women and fiction but equally becomes an investigation into the conditions under which the production of a work of art can occur. Buchanan takes what she understands as the turning point in the essay as a catalyst for the film. In Woolf’s essay, ‘the character’ sets out for the British Museum in the ‘pursuit of truth’ and compiles an unnerving collection of quotations and thoughts after making a catalogue search under ‘Woman and Poverty’. The books she cites are now housed at the British Library and it is from these same citations that Buchanan constructed the film.

After spending a summer sourcing each excerpt in the library, Buchanan made a microfilm compiling all of these ‘references’ and in the resulting 16mm film Several Attentions, the artist is seen from the back working with the microfilm. She distorts and manipulates the material, shifting the way in which it is perceived; flipping and turning it upside down, moving from a detail to an overview, reorganising and obscuring it with her own body. These processes of obscuring, reversing and movement are crucial in this piece as Buchanan instigates physical relations that recalibrate relationships with the space of history, and the many voices and positions that create an artistic practice.

Born in 1980 (Te Ati Awa/Taranaki), New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Lives in Berlin, Germany and Wellington, New Zealand

Image credit: Several Attentions, Ruth Buchanan, 2009. Commissioned by The Showroom

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

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 Wrathfulconsists 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 Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery